If Those Walls Could Talk

Hidden histories beyond bricks and mortar


Hi I’m Tom and thanks for visiting my blog!

I graduated with a first class honours history degree in 2015 and I’m currently studying my masters in Public History and Heritage. I made this blog to reflect my passion for history (especially local history of the Manchester/Greater Manchester region).

I often walk around and spot historic architecture and wonder “what did this building used to be? What is its hidden history?” So therefore I set up this blog to share with everyone the secrets that lie beyond bricks and mortar. Also I hope it shows that even the most unassuming of buildings, or even sites, can reveal so much about our heritage!


“Who can ever affirm, or deny that the houses which have sheltered us as children, or as adults, and our predecessors too, do not have embedded in their walls, one with the dust and cobwebs, one with the overlay of fresh wallpaper and paint, the imprint of what-has-been, the suffering, the joy?

 Daphne du Maurier, Myself When Young (1977)


20 thoughts on “About

  1. In your article on Princess St Manchester you comment that there was a timber yard nearby. This could be the yard of J&J Sutton as Joseph Sutton lived I believe in Princess St at the time of the Peterloo massacres. I would be interested in researching the archival records you mention as Joseph Sutton is in my family tree.


  2. Hi Thomas –

    Not sure why I didn’t find your blog sooner, but glad I am seeing it now. I’m one of your Mulvany cousins, and we’ve been in touch over Ancestry. My mom was a Mulvaney, and William Mulvany and Judith Waters are my 4x great grandparents.

    Anyway, I was researching Curragh House and came across your images and information. I need to share this with my Mulvany aunts and uncle – they would love this.

    Well, just wanted to say hello and send my best.

    Patti Juric


    1. Hi Patti,
      Glad to hear from you again! It’s good to know you’re still researching the family tree. Thanks for your kind comments about the Curragh House post, it’s such a beautiful building and our ancestral connection meant I had to write about it!
      All the best


  3. Hi Tom
    I read your article about Damhouse in the Manchester Regional History Review. I’ve been interested in the story of Elizabeth Durie for some time – mainly because of the mental health treatment at the time, private mental asylums, attitudes to mental health etc.
    I’d like to read your thesis ‘Damhouse, A History’. Is it possible to get hold of a copy?
    Best wishes


  4. Tom I need some help regarding a specific property on King Street and hope you might be able to help! Pls can you contact me. thx


  5. An excellent site and I say this as one of Manchester’s leading historians, the city’s most prolific tour guide, author of Penguin’s Manchester Compendium and compiler of the forthcoming Manchester Encyclopaedia. Have you been on any of our walks by the way (New Manchester Walks)? Ed Glinert


  6. Hi

    I can add to your history of Shakerley Old Hall … specifically tenant farmers unrtil 1947!

    I am also interested in your story of Paddy’s Hump … I see Marion Thomason regularly in church.

    do you have a connection to Tyldesley?? 2/3 of us produced a town trail around some of the historic township buildings for this year’s ‘Heritage Open Days’ … I can let you have a copy. We have a website and I’d like to link your articles if that is possible. we are also looking to relaunch a Tyldesley Historical (Hysterical?? ) society!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Thomas, I have loved reading your blog, I myself am Atherton born & bred & love to read about the history you have portrayed about our town. I also think I was at the same school as your Dad if he went to St Richards. It is great to know that someone is preserving our heritage in both the written & photographic form. Keep going & well done. Regards Angela

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Angela, thank you so much for your kind comments! It is lovely to hear feedback and to know my work is appreciated. My Dad thinks he remembers you too, he’s not sure if you’re also the same Angela who lived on Weston Street?
      Thanks again!


  8. Fascinated to read your accounts of familiar places in the town I left forty years ago. As a product of the area’s collieries and cotton mills and the old St George’s School, I look forward to reading much, much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hi Thomas

    nice one loved reading all about Atherton. things I didn’t even know it was a good Saturday afternoon spent reading it all many thanks for all your hard work
    do you know anything about wood end farm just off platt lane on the edge of hulton park when I was a kid we use to go in the woods there and a farmer fletcher lived there was wandering if he was family to the fletcher and burrows mine industry
    he was a bit of an eccentric
    thanks mick

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Thomas,

    I really enjoyed reading your piece about Paddy’s Hump. I have a question; where did you find the names of Harold and Ruth Bartlett? I was good friends with them back in the ’80s and always wondered what happened to them after they left Paddy’s Hump.



    Liked by 1 person

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