Middleton Heritage

Middleton Heritage is a collection of voluntary groups and societies with a common interest in Middleton and its heritage. There are ten different member societies including The Edgar Wood Society, The Civic Association and Middleton Archaeological Society.  

The group was set up ten years ago with the aim of helping to conserve the town’s heritage. Since then they have been involved in many initiatives including the Conservation Area Appraisal, which led to it being extended in 2009, development of the Golden Cluster tourist attraction and the production of an Edgar Wood Trail.

The group also supports the work of the ‘Edgar Wood & Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative’ by running a programme of events commemorating Middleton through the ages.

The website http://artsandcraftschurch.org provides details about up-coming events and activities for all the groups and a there is a lively blog with regular updates. There is also a wealth of information about Middleton’s historic buildings and famous Middletonians.

Members of THI and The Edgar Wood Society pictured here with Wilson Potter’s Brewers.
Members of THI and The Edgar Wood Society pictured here with Wilson Potter’s Brewers. 

The Edgar Wood Centre

The Edgar Wood & Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is a £2 million Heritage Lottery Fund Programme, to restore Middleton’s unique Edgar Wood architecture and other important historic buildings. As well as repair and restoration grants, the THI supports many community events and activities organised by Middleton Heritage.

One of the THI grant schemes is to restore part of Long St Methodist Church and School Building known as The Edgar Wood Centre. The grant can only be awarded once a viable and sustainable future for the building has been identified. Middleton Heritage have been working in partnership with the owners (Heritage Trust for the North West) to identify an appropriate business model.

Our vision for the building is to create a function suite or ‘urban village hall’ for commercial / private hire or community events. Alongside this we hope to develop a heritage resource centre that will become a ‘home’ for Middleton Heritage groups.

Pending the THI grant we have been slowly bringing the building back into use by putting on various events aimed at promoting Middleton’s heritage to a wider audience and exploring commercial letting opportunities.

In May 2015, Wilson Potter held their regular monthly brewery bar at the Edgar Wood Centre. This was a great success with lots of positive feedback from their guests.  We hope that the brewery bar will become a regular and eagerly awaited occasion in our calendar of events.



Heritage Themed Beers

Our partnership with Wilson Potter goes back to 2013 when they created the first of our heritage themed beers, ‘Nod to Nowell’ in honour of Alexander Nowell, the man who founded the town’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in 1582 and who is also credited with discovering bottled beer.

Nod To Nowell is a 4.2% extra pale ale made with Bobek and Galena hops and was named by Dawn Holmes, a friend of the brewers.

This was followed in 2014 by ‘SBA’  (Sam Bamford Ale), to celebrate the poet, radical and silk weaver Sam Bamford, who led a contingent of six thousand Middleton men and women to St Peter’s Field in Manchester in what was to become known as The Peterloo Massacre.

SBA is a 4.0% ruby ale named by Maureen Glynn, a member of the Edgar Wood Society.

This year, the town is celebrating another famous son, Edgar Wood. An avant-garde architect and all round craftsman. He was also a designer of interiors, furniture and stained glass as well as being a talented artist.

Crafty Mr Wood is a 3.8% amber session ale named by Lee Wolf also a member of The Edgar Wood Centre.