Withington history
Old Moat
Old Moat is an area immediately to the west of Withington village centre, taking its name from a moated manor house which was near (the demolished) Withington Old Hall. In the early part of the 20th century, the area was farmland including Withington Old Hall (also called Chorlton's Farm or Old Hall Farm, on what is now Eddisbury Avenue), except for some Victorian housing adjoining Withington village.

See the demesne map (1758) for an early view of the area as a rural landscape. Since the First World War, most of the area between Withington and Princess Road was developed as publicly-owned housing to form the Old Moat estate.

Old Moat is now an area with a variety of house styles and some modern developments. The influence of the  "garden city" movement in the design is clear - houses are well-spaced and arranged among attractive green areas and trees. 

Here are some typical views of original houses and green areas. Click on the pictures for full-size images.


The Old Moat plaque

One of the features of the Old Moat estate is a recently restored plaque on the wall between two of the houses in Eddisbury Avenue. It marks the site of the old moat around the home of one of the ancient landowners from which the estate is named. Notice the engraved map at the bottom of the plaque showing the location of the old moated house relative to Eddisbury Avenue. (Click on the image below to expand it.)

Old Moat Primary School: Old and the new (2012)

Old Moat Primary School was opened in 1929 to provide a local school for the large number of families that moved into the Withington area in the 1920s. The site was shared with Whalley Range High School until the 1980s and the site has a rich & varied history including being bombed during World War II. The old school building which was used for 83 years served the community well but reached the end of its life. Over two years (2010-2012), work on site lead to a new state-of-the-art, modern and environmentally sustainable 7.75 million 2 form entry primary school built on the Old Moat School site. This new school building opened on February 22nd, 2012. The old school building was demolished in April/May 2012 and the rest of landscape works were completed by the summer of 2012.

Pictures of the previous Old Moat Primary School, its demolition and the new school are below. Click on the pictures for larger views.


The old school (early Feb 2012).

A mural on the wall of the old school.


Demolition (early April, 2012).

Old Moat School - demolition

Old and New (April 7th, 2012).

The new school rising like a phoenix from 
the rubble of the old! (April 10th, 2012).

Old Maot Primary School - new building

The entrance to the new school
(July, 2012).
Old Moat Primary School - new building

The new building (July, 2012).


The green area opposite the school (July, 2012).

Goodbye party for the old school
Advert for the Goodbye Event: "The school will hold a goodbye open afternoon for all current staff and pupils, and any ex-staff, ex-pupils and the wider community on Friday 3rd February from 2pm until 5pm. Displays of archive materials from the school some of which date back to the 1920s will be on show. There will be musical performances from the current pupils and opportunities for a final tour of the old building. There will also be opportunities for local people to record and share their memories of the School to ensure that as the school moves forward into its new building, it remembers the wonderful years it has had in its current building. All the local community are welcome to attend and see the excellent learning and work that is currently taking place in the School, which will only be more enhanced and increased by the the move to the new premises after half-term." School website: www.oldmoatschool.net

Below are some pictures, all contributed by Gavin White, of the goodbye party for the old school (3rd February, 2012). Click on the images for larger views.


The cake!

From L to R: The Deputy Head (Mrs. Hackland), The Head (Mrs. Lamb), and Mrs. and Mr. Middleton. Mrs. Middleton is a former teacher at the school and was presented with flowers on the occasion.

old moat school

Visitors at an exhibition of the history of the school.

"Green Heroes" - some members of the school's ecological group which helps with green projects, including a community garden.


"Green Heroes" - members of the school's ecological group selling plants.


Creating art.

New plantings in Old Moat

In 2009-10, some new garden areas were created in Old Moat. Here are a few pictures.

Doncaster Avenue - trees include Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and a fastigiate Cherry (Prunus x hillieri 'Spire') with soft pink flowers & good autumn colours.


Ridsdale Avenue - the birches are Betula utilis  jacquemontii.

Old Moat Park

Old Moat Park covers 5.6 acres between Rippingham Road and Hill Street. It was a recreation ground (picture below) with a bowling green and bandstand recorded as far back as 1916, and then called the "Rippingham Road Recreation Ground". It was originally bordered by agricultural land with fields on two sides.