Saturday, 11 August 2018

Salford buildings that tell a story ........ part 2 looking behind the old foundry wall on Adelphi Street

It is so easy to pass a building without ever wondering about its history or even what lies behind it, especially that has now gone.

On Adelphi Street, 2014
And so it is with this slab of a building on Adelphi Street at the junction with Peru Street.

The metal gantry which runs on to it announces the firm of Lloyds Metal Processors and that is a clue to the sites industrial heritage.

Once and not that too long ago this was the Adelphi Iron Works which occupied part of the stretch from Peru Street back towards Upper Cleminson Street.

In the 1890s it had shared the spot with the New Bridge Foundry but by 1911 was the sole resident of this bit of Adelphi Street.

On Adelphi Street in 1844
But go back to the 1840s and the site was one large set of filtering ponds fed by the Adelphi Reservoir on the other side of Peru Street.

It belonged to the Adelphi Dye Works, Print Works and Baths and is reminder of just how many textile processing plants existed within a short walk of where we are, along with a Rope walk and brewery.

That said there were still some fine houses including the impressive Adelphi House set in extensive gardens and facing out to the reservoir on one side and the sweep of the river on the other.

And here I am a little confused because by the 1890s this was a Freemason’s Hall and what had been grandly called Adelphi Bank on Adelphi Terrace had assumed the name of Adelphi House.

On Peru Street in 2014
All of which takes me back to that simple observation that what you see is not always what there is to know.
So looking at that brick slab in Andy Robertson’s picture you might wonder what was behind it.

And the answer is very little, for unlike me who must have passed it plenty of times Andy turned off Adelphi Street to wander down Peru Street and revealed that today it is just a brick slab standing guard over an expanse of empty land.

And soon after the story was posted Rick Holt  left a  comment of which there is more in the comments below.

"This part of the building houses a substation,so cannot yet be demolished.In the end corner near Peru St is a white stone plaque set in the brickwork.This is the only evidence that the building once was the home of Sir James Farmer Norton & Co Ltd,established 1852.There are more shots of the area on the above site." 

And "unknown has added that "his part of farmer Norton's was the toilet block at the bottom of number 1 bay where they built the rolling mills and wasn't the sub station which was on the other side of the road just in front of the toilets was the packers."

Picture; on Adelphi Street at the junction with Peru Street, 2014,from the collection of Andy Robertson and the area in 1844 from the OS map of Manchester and Salford, 1842-44, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,


  1. The building has now sadly gone,I wish I had known it was being demolished as I would have bought the tablet.Here from 1034 is an image showing Adelphi house tucked away on the riverbank.There are about seven pics from that year ,and another set from about 1951.

  2. Farmer Norton was definitely around there, I applied for a job there in 1972. Adelphi Iron Works, Salford.