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Buildings of the Labour Movement

Front cover for Buildings of the Labour Movement

Paperback by Nick Mansfield


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This fascinating survey ranges from the communal buildings of the early 19th- century political radicals, Owenites and Chartists, through Arts and Crafts influenced socialist structures of the late Victorian and Edwardian period to the grand union 'castles' of the mid twentieth century. 

There are also chapters on the ubiquitous co-operative architecture, long forgotten socialist holiday camps, and those memorials associated with the hidden story of radical ex-servicemen and their remembrance of war dead. The countryside is also not forgotten with rural labour buildings, as well as the clubhouses of idealistic socialist cyclists. The book though is not just about bricks and mortar but uncovers the social history of the men and women who worked so hard locally to achieve their goals.

Though many buildings have been lost over the years, the book outlines the recent struggle for their preservation and details many which can still be visited.


Foreword by Tony Benn
1. Introduction
2. Trade societies
3. Nonconformity
4. Radicalism
5. Owenism
6. Chartism
7. Co-operation
8. Trade unions
9. Mechanics Institutes and education
10. Socialism
11. The Clarion movement
12. The Labour Party
13. The rural labour movement
14. Ex-servicemen and the commemoration of war
15. Holidays and leisure
16. Buildings associated with key events
17. Decline and demolition
18. Preservation and interpretation
19. Sites to visit
Image acknowledgements

Additional Information

  • Printed Price: £30.00
  • Series: Architectural History
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Format: Paperback
  • Physical Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Pages: 164
  • Illustration: 220, Colour and b&w
  • Product Code: 51761
  • ISBN: 9781848021297


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Buildings of the labour movement

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • Interior of Redhills, headquarters of the Durham Miners' Association, 1913-15
  • NUM Building, Barnsley, Yorkshire, built for the South Yorkshire Miners' Association, 1874
  • Detail of meeting hall stained glass, NUM Building, Barnsley, Yorkshire, 1912
  • Redhills, headquarters of the Durham Miners' Association, 1913-14, taken during the Miners Strike of 1984-85
  • An interior of St Mark's Belgrave, Leicester
  • Courtroom, Dorcester Shire Hall, 1797
  • Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 1853
  • Manchester Mechanics Institute, 1855, the birthplace of the Trades Union Congress
  • Meeting room, Albert Memorial Hall, site of the Labour Party Conference in 1917
  • Christ Church, Every Street, Ancoats, Manchester, built 1823 and demolished 1986 (taken in 1982)
  • The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Convalescents Home, 1925-27

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