Glossop Heritage Trust

The Blue Plaque for Matthew Ellison Hadfield



A substantial crowd emerged outside Glossop Town Hall on 6th September 2015 to witness the unveiling of a Blue Plaque to who some may refer to as "The Man Who Built Glossop", eminent architect, Matthew Ellison Hadfield (1812-1885).

Crowd at the unveiling

Jonathan Partridge, director of Sheffield's foremost architect's practice, Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson who sponsored the plaque, said: "We feel privileged to be involved with today’s events and we hope that Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson can be involved in some way with the town’s future.” Having celebrated last year 180 years of continual trading, Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson is the oldest  architect's firm in the country.

The Mayor unveils the Plaque Anthony Wright, Chair of Glossop and District Heritage Trust who organised the event, announced the 30th birthday of the Trust as Sunday happened to mark 30 years to the day since The Trust was inaugurated.

The Mayor of High Peak, Councillor Stewart Young, unveiled the plaque on Glossop Town Hall, itself designed 177 years ago by Matthew Ellison Hadfield.

The Matthew Ellison Hadfield Blue Plaque

At the unveiling

Afterwards everyone convened to Bradbury House for refreshments and to view the exhibition honouring Matthew Ellison's many hundreds of buildings in Glossop, Sheffield and nationwide.

Refreshments at Bradbury House Exhibition at Bradbury House

Anthony Wright, said of M.E Hadfield: "It's very apt that this blue plaque has the support of Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson and we’re grateful to them for underwriting it and being a major part of his commemoration." He added: "There’s another reason why this particular Blue Plaque is important to Glossop Heritage Trust: this year, the Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary. What better way of celebrating that than installing a Blue Plaque on Glossop’s foremost building to Glossop’s foremost architect, who you might call the “father” of modern Glossop, substantially refurbished and decorated, and I’m sure M.E Hadfield would feel that this building is in very good hands." GHT Logo
Palace of Westminster design M.E. Hadfield was from an established Glossop family which had farmed at Lees Hall where he was born. Leaving school at the age of 15 he went to Sheffield where his mother’s brother Michael Ellison was the Duke of Norfolk’s Agent. After little more than a year he began articles with Woodhead and Hurst of Doncaster a firm of good regional architects, who had worked on Glossop Parish Church in the 1820s. Following articles he worked with PF Robinson in London, the founder member of the Institute of Architecture, and drew up plans for the 1835 competition to rebuild the Houses of Parliament. On 16 October, 1834 both Houses, the Commons and the Lords, were destroyed by fire and only Westminster Hall and other parts of Westminster Palace were saved. Although just 23 at the time, Hadfield's potential was clearly recognised and legend has it that out of 97 entries, his Gothic Revival drawings came second to those of Sir Charles Barry whose design we recognise as the Palace of Westminster today.

This is the Trust's second Blue Plaque and it intends to honour more local people in the future, so it will shortly be thinking about the next candidate. However, whilst there are many notable people who would qualify for a Plaque, the Trust's one main stipulation is that they must have been dead for at least 10 years!



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Page last updated: 30 September 2015.