It is always intriguing to come across architectural curiosities like these; somehow miniature, encapsulated in themselves and far more quirkily decorative than their ordinary, urban surroundings. It could be a commercial building, such as the little
inn on Cross Street in Manchester City Centre, towered over, in its narrow niche between them, by far grander buildings. Or it could be Victorian or Edwardian almshouses, which are always fascinating to find in the midst of every day terraces and streets.
Like parks and drinking fountains, they were gifts to the indigent workforce from wealthy individuals who had benefited from their labour. There are never very many of them, perhaps a group of six or so small, bespoke dwellings, no doubt
for the very deserving poor who had somehow, against all the local odds, managed to reach old age. Or then again, it could be a stand alone religious settlement, such as Fairfield, built by and for Moravians who, like the Amish, did not partake of modernity
until their last sticklers had to sell to people who did drive cars. Even in the nineties, when I first saw it on a fund raising Victorian Day they were holding, there were no vehicles allowed on its cobbles and those old ladies not in fancy dress for
the occasion, did still wear the long frocks traditional in their small society.