Fairfield Moravian Settlement is a small community founded by the Moravian Church back in 1785. Then, it was intended as an enclosed, mostly self sufficient community, with its own nightwatchman, shop, bakery, school, inn, doctor and even their own fire-engine! Then it was a small settlement near the village of Droylsden, out in the countryside, but in the intervening years, the conurbation of Manchester has grown up and around the surrounding villages, and today, the settlement is a small oasis of calm, peace and quiet that really belies the fact that it lies between two major arterial routes out of Manchester (link to the location on googlemaps here – Fairfield Road is the road i speak of in the photographs behind the cut). The buildings all date back to the 1785 period, although i didn’t walk around all of it that day – i simply ran out of time, and the weather was closing in.

Looking down one of the streets within the community. You get a feel for the quietness straight away.

Looking down one of the streets within the community. You get a feel for the tranquility of the area straight away.

If you’d like to read more about the Settlement, there’s more information here and here. More photos behind the cut, as usual…

[Edit added to the letterbox information below]

The other side of the same street. Although the houses look quite small from the front, theyre not - theyre narrow and long.

The other side of the same street. Although the houses look quite small from the front, they're not - they're narrow and long.

i do love the cobblestones.

i do love the cobblestones.

Even the lampoosts are fairly old...

Even the lampoosts are fairly old...

Everything about the area just speaks of great age, tranquility, serenity. Even the cars dont impact on that.

Everything about the area just speaks of great age, tranquility, serenity. Even the cars don't impact on that.

Sign on a building

Sign on a building

Theres a wide range of homes, from grand georgian style through to more humble cottages.

There's a wide range of homes, from grand georgian style through to more humble cottages.

Blue Plaque to Charles Hindley - a local MP and social reformist, he was born into a Moravian mill owning family and became active in the movement for factory reform, particularly the reduction of the working day. He was MP for Ashton from 1835 until his death in 1857.

Blue Plaque to Charles Hindley - a local MP and social reformist, he was born into a Moravian mill owning family and became active in the movement for factory reform, particularly the reduction of the working day. He was MP for Ashton from 1835 until his death in 1857.

More cottages

More cottages

I dont think there are many of these left any more! This is a Victorian Letterbox - you can tell from the initials on the front, VR. These days, of course, they have ER, but after Victoria, theyd have had ER (Edward VII), then GR (George V), then possibly ER again (Edward VIII - the one who abdicated), although there probably wasnt time to make any dedicated to him, and then GR again (George VI, the present queens father).
I don’t think there are many of these left any more! This is a Victorian Letterbox – you can tell from the initials on the front, VR. These days, of course, they have ER, but after Victoria, they’d have had ER (Edward VII), then GR (George V), then possibly ER again (Edward VIII – the one who abdicated), although there probably wasn’t time to make any dedicated to him, and then GR again (George VI, the present queen’s father). [EDIT: I was mooching on flickr groups earlier tonight when i stumbled across a group devoted to Edward VIII postboxes. I was right – they are rare, but they DO exist. Click the link if you’d like to see some. A quick google reveals that actually, 271 post boxes were made during the short reign of Edward VIII. This kind of thing, if anyone is wondering, is partly why i love the internet… being able to simply, quickly, and easily find out completely unimportant, but very interesting bits of information. Stephen Fry put it very well in a recent article on the internet for the BBC: “Let’s look at the most powerful kings there have ever been ever, the great autocrats or even dictators. In any sense that counts except the power of life over death, I have more power than Louis XVI. I have more power for knowledge and understanding at my fingertips, and at yours. And I don’t even have to be sat at a computer. I can just carry a device around with me. He had to summon scholars and ask grave questions.

It’s true of the physical world. I can go into a shed that contains the bounty of provender and spices of all five continents laid out in front of me, which would have taken him months to get. So we are immensely empowered.” And on that rather lengthy note i shall end this Edit.]

Back of the cottages from the main road

Back of the cottages from the main road

Another house, the back of - again, from the main road. The gardens and yards of these are quite small, and the road follows the original path, i think. The community is designed in such a way that it faces inwards on itself, which is why all these cottages have back gardens backing onto the main road.

Another house, the back of - again, from the main road. The gardens and yards of these are quite small, and the road follows the original path, i think. The community is designed in such a way that it faces inwards on itself, which is why all these cottages have back gardens backing onto the main road.

gates in the garden walls

gates in the garden walls

You can see how large the houses actually are in this shot...

You can see how large the houses actually are in this shot...

This is looking across the gardens of Fairfield Court, an old peoples home, from the main road, towards the settlement.

This is looking across the gardens of Fairfield Court, an old people's home, from the main road, towards the settlement.

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