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Regency rejuvenation: The Landmark Trust open historic holiday accommodation in central Manchester

The Station Agent’s House is located at the original hub of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station.

Building conservation charity The Landmark Trust announces the opening of its first property in Greater Manchester, The Station Agent’s House on Liverpool Road in Castlefield.

Partnering with the Science and Industry Museum to provide an innovative new use for the building, Landmark has restored the Grade I-listed Station Agent’s House into vibrant self-catering holiday accommodation for up to eight guests. The sensitive adaptation includes accessibility features and the latest environmental measures. Breaks cost from just £24.38 per person per night.

The Station Agent’s House is located at the original hub of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, part of what is now the Science and Industry Museum’s globally significant site, in the heart of the world’s first industrial city. The Station Agent’s House was built in 1808 for Castlefield dyemaster John Rothwell. It is one of Manchester’s oldest houses and is situated on the corner of Liverpool Road and Water Street. The Liverpool Manchester Railway directors acquired the house for the Manchester terminus of the world’s first purpose-built passenger line at Liverpool Road Station (now the site of the museum), and it became the home to the Station Agents working there. In the 20th century, the house was converted into a shop selling sausages and later car parts; after the railway line was closed in 1975, it was altered again into office use for the museum.

Today the rejuvenated house becomes accessible to the public for the first time - and enjoyed as a residence for the first time in 100 years - welcoming everyone for short stays plus regular free public open days. Landmark’s revival has seen extensive external repair, including re-roofing and repointing the original brickwork with traditional lime mortar. Internally, step-free access has been introduced and there are fully accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, with a lift to the spacious first floor living area. Hot water and heating are now supplied by air source heat pumps. Modern gypsum plaster has been replaced with sheep’s wool insulation and lime plaster with added cork for improved thermal insulation. Ill-fitting 1980s single-glazed sash windows have been replaced with bespoke double-glazed sash frames and chipboard floors have been replaced with parquet flooring. At the heart of the house, a specially made oval skylight to a period design enhances the original staircase. Furnishings combine the best of the Arts & Crafts ethos with a touch of the 1930s Jazz Age, when rail travel was in its heyday.

Dr Anna Keay OBE, director of the Landmark Trust says:

‘The Landmark Trust is proud to be able to give a new future to this grade-1 listed building, part of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station. Its extensive repair and renovation has been a labour of love, made possible by many generous donations. It is our first building in Manchester and will make a wonderful base from which to explore this peerless industrial city.’

Sally McDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, adds:

'The Landmark Trust has brought expertise in sensitively restoring this incredible heritage building, meaning Station Agent’s House can now be experienced in a new way by the public. It’s a spectacular transformation that has breathed new life into the building while complimenting its historically significant status.

It’s an exciting time at the Science and Industry Museum as we undergo a multi-million-pound repair and improvement project with the aim of bringing into use every part of our historic site. This includes the reopening of Power Hall next spring, as well as new galleries, the re-opening of the 1830 Station and outdoor experiences in the coming years. We are so pleased that Station Agent’s House has become the latest regenerated space thanks to The Landmark Trust, who are supporting our vision to create a more sustainable museum and reveal new spaces and perspectives for everyone to enjoy.'

A holiday in the Station Agent’s House will offer an immersive experience in both history and modernity: views from upper floors sweep across many eras of railway infrastructure and give a unique perspective of the heritage buildings located within the Science and Industry Museum’s six-acre site, while the striking new Aviva Studios is situated just next door. The house is a 10-minute walk from Deansgate railway station or a 30-minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly. It becomes Landmark’s 3rd railway building, 14th spot in the north of England and joins a varied portfolio of 200 historic properties across Britain, the Channel Islands and Italy. 

The Landmark Trust will open the Station Agent’s House for free public open days each year. 

Victoria Braddock, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester says:

'Manchester’s rich history is woven into the fabric of the Station Agent’s House. We are thrilled to see the Landmark Trust’s restoration of this unique building, in partnership with the Science and Industry Museum, which makes it the first in the city for the building conservation charity. As we approach the bicentenary of the 1830 Liverpool and Manchester railway opening, the preservation of this historical house adds immense value to our heritage and identity. 

Joining local venues such as the Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield Viaduct and Aviva Studios in the growing Castlefield neighbourhood, the Station Agent’s House will undoubtedly add to the city’s vibrant cultural landscape as it opens to the public for the first time, and will also provide a welcoming and distinctive experience to the growing accommodation offer in the city-region.'

Calum McGowan, Chair, Castlefield Forum says:

‘We are absolutely thrilled at this restoration, and what great news to see more of the Museum’s estate come to life. Part of our mission at the Forum is to ensure that we celebrate and cherish the heritage assets in our neighbourhood so this is another great contribution towards that. The building looks set to be a wonderful place to stay, on iconic site, in an iconic neighbourhood!’

The Landmark Trust lease the Station Agent’s House from the Science and Industry Museum and worked with a team including architect Adrian Wiles of Wiles and Maguire Ltd plus Manchester-based contractors Walker Conservation Specialists Ltd on the revival. It follows Landmark’s 50th-anniversary announcement of target buildings the charity particularly wished to save, including buildings related to transport, industry and those in the north of England; the charity continues to seek further buildings across the north. 

Restoration of the Station Agent’s House was possible thanks to the 487 individuals who supported Landmark’s public fundraising appeal, together with generous support from trusts and foundations, gifts in wills and in memory. 


About the Landmark Trust

The Landmark Trust is a building conservation charity. Founded in 1965, Landmark rescues at-risk historic buildings and restores them into self-catering holiday accommodation welcoming everyone. Today 200 ‘Landmarks’ are located across Britain, on the island of Lundy and in the Channel Islands plus Italy. The lettings income from holidays pays for the maintenance of each building, so safeguarding each site forevermore. The charity relies on fundraising to rescue further buildings. 

About the Science and Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world.   

The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.   

The Science and Industry Museum site is on the site of the Liverpool Road Station terminus of the Liverpool Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its internationally significant buildings are the world's first passenger railway station and the oldest existing railway goods warehouse. In total there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site. The museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound regeneration project to supporting its vision of creating a more sustainable museum and reveal new spaces and perspectives for everyone to enjoy.

Unsuitable for a museum gallery use due to its size and layout as a former residential house, the Station Agent’s House has been used as offices since the Science and Industry Museum first opened on the site from 1983, when the shop frontage was removed, and a replica of the historic doorway reinstated.

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

The Station Agent’s House sleeps up to eight across double and twin bedrooms and costs from £780 a four-night midweek break. Bookings for holidays during 2024 and 2025 are open now. Regular free public open days will be held annually, including on Sunday 19 May 2024.

The Station Agent’s House was built in 1808 for John Rothwell, partner in the nearby Rothwell & Harrison dyeworks on Water Street. After the construction of the Liverpool Road Station, it retained its residential function, providing accommodation for the Station Agent (later Station ‘Master’).

In the mid-20th century, the house’s ground floor was converted for shop use. In 1982 it was restored to an earlier appearance before the Science and Industry Museum opened, later being used for offices. 

As part of the Science and Industry Museum’s long-term plan to carry out crucial restoration work, create a more sustainable museum and reveal new spaces and perspectives for visitors, conversations between the Museum and the Landmark Trust began in 2019 around the feasibility of restoring the Station Agent’s House into holiday accommodation. A lease was agreed in 2023 and Landmark’s year-long restoration began. 

Photographs of the Station Agent’s House are available from here:

Browse the galleries and then press the download button (in the bottom right-hand corner), select the right-hand ‘gallery password’ tab on the pop-up menu and enter the password: print

The Landmark Trust also manage Alton Station in Staffordshire (sleeps up to eight, restored by the charity from 1972) and Coed y Bleiddiau on the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia (sleeps up to four, restored in 2018). 

Browse Landmark’s buildings in the north of England: 

For media enquires please contact Amy Taylor at Landmark on or Alex Urmston at the Science and Industry Museum on