Ducie Street Warehouse
37 Ducie Street, Manchester, UK
photo Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
The red brick Ducie Warehouse was constructed by the Manchester Sheffield & Leeds Railway, and is the only survivor of four similar warehouse they built in this area. Part of the terminus basin of the Ashton Canal was filled in for its construction.
The warehouse is large and rectangular in plan — ten bays by eight. It has seven storeys, and the impression of its height is exaggerated by the vertical pilasters between bays and stone quoins on its facade. The gabled roof features four cornices along the two shorter sides.
Like many warehouses of the period, the internal structure uses cast and wrought iron, giving the building some fireproofing. The cast iron columns here are 2m in diameter and support longitudinal wrought iron box girders plus transverse secondary beams, all carrying brick vault flooring. Each floor has a ceiling height of more than 6m and the brick walls are more than 1m thick. There were 18 internal hoists to raise and lower goods between floors and to the railway or wagons outside.
Between 2002 and February 2005 the warehouse was converted into an apartment hotel (The Place). On the two lowest levels, 800 sq m was transformed into a bar, restaurant and nightclub. The architect for this work was Mueller Kneer.
Excavations by Matrix Archaeology on the south side of the building in 2008-9 revealed foundations for a wagon turntable (circa 1860) near the former railway sidings and above a vault over the warehouse’s basement.
Over the years, the building has also been known as Old London Warehouse and the Cotton House. It is a Grade II listed structure.
"Manchester: The Warehouse Legacy, an introduction and guide"
English Heritage, London, 2002 (reprinted 2005)
"A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester”
by Robina McNeil and Michael Nevell
Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2000