How did money from slavery help develop Greater Manchester?

Harvest House, Mosley Street, Manchester

Richard Cobden

Harvest House, located at the end of Mosley Street, near Piccadilly, is regarded as the first of the palazzo-style warehouses to be built in the commercial quarter of the city centre. The building dates from 1839 and was built for Richard Cobden. It was the work of Edward Walters, a young architect who had been encouraged to establish his practice in Manchester by Cobden, and who went on to design a number of Manchester’s most important commercial and public buildings, most notably the Free Trade Hall. Walters also designed the Manchester and Salford Bank at 38-42 Mosley Street.
Richard Cobden had come to Lancashire in the late 1820s, attracted by an expanding economy based on cotton. He developed interests in calico printing but was also aware of the opportunities to be found in the buying and selling of land and property in Manchester. Cobden was to acquire a considerable amount of property in the city centre. Having moved into Mosley Street, he wrote to his brother in 1832 of the property boom, at a time when the town was in the grip of a cholera epidemic.

‘My next door neighbour Brooks, of the firm of Cunliffe and Brooks, bankers, has sold his house to be converted into a warehouse. The owner of the house on the other side has given his tenant notice for the same purpose. The house immediately opposite to me has been announced for sale, and my architect is commissioned by George Hole, the calico printer, to bid 6,000 guineas for it, but they want 8,000 for what they paid 4,500 only five years ago’.

This information was provided by Terry Wyke.