Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Samuel Gratrix, Junior and Brother

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May 1928.

of Manchester

1852 Advertising as lead and block tin merchants and manufacturers, glass retailers, lead mills, at Alport Town, 211 Deansgate, Manchester.

1890s: Lead, glass, oil, paint, and colour merchants, brass founders, metal workers, sanitary plumbers, and electrical engineers. In the 1890s they had premises in ‘Alport Town’ and Bradford (Manchester). They were forced to move from Alport Town when the area was to be redeveloped for the construction of a large freight warehouse for the GNR, alongside Central Station. This was the subject of a court case, with Messrs Gratrix claiming compensation for having to move to a new site in central Manchester (Alport Works, Quay Street) [1]

1928 Advertising as suppliers of lead, tin, solder, white metal and zinc, lead pipes, at Alport Works, Quay Street, Manchester


The 1849 36" O.S. map shows 'Alport Lead Mill' on the north side of the street curiously named 'Alport Town', which ran from Deansgate to Watson Street. The Manchester and Salford Junction Canal ran under the length of Alport Town. The lead mill was a more-or-less square building with a ground area of 60 x 70 ft. Its immediate neighbours were the Black Horse Inn and high density back-to-back housing, including a group called Gratrix's Buildings. The mill is not present on Bancks's 1831 map.

The 1894 OS map shows that the 'Alport Works (Brass)' had been extended along most of the length of Alport Town and along much of Watson Street. Gratrix's Buildings and a row on Watson Street had been demolished to make way for the works, but the Black Horse Inn remained.[2]. Other changes in the area were more marked: the 1849 O.S. map shows a large yard on the eastern side of Watson Street, containing the M&SJC Locks 3 & 4, but the 1894 map shows that the yard and canal had been covered by Manchester Central Canal and the Cheshire Lines Railway Goods Station. The 1916/1922 O.S. map shows that Alport Town and the whole area bounded by Deansgate, Peter Street, Watson Street and Great Bridgewater Street had been cleared and taken over by the GNR Goods Station and its elevated railway system.

The 1916/1922 O.S. map shows that the 'Alport Works' occupied a square site on the south side of Quay Street at its junction with Lower Byrom Street. Immediately adjacent on the east was the County Court building, with the graveyard of St. John's Church immediately to the south.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] ‘A compendium of compensation cases, containing a summary of all cases reported in the Estates Gazette between January 1, 1892, and December 31, 1902’ (online).
  2. The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey Maps: Manchester (SW) 1894: [2]