The Old Grammar School as it is known today was founded in 1572 and constructed in 1586 as Queen Elizabeths Grammar School. It came about as a replacement of Thomas Langley's school in the Parish Church founded in 1412. Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Pauls Cathedral who was educated at the church school funded the project during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. She granted letters of patent to the school hence its original name which was passed down to several more schools in the area for more than 400 years until recently when bureaucrasy intervened and the last Queen Elizabeth School name was changed ending the tradition, much to the dismay of many local people with a connection to it. Another gem to our heritage gone forever. However the original building still stands to this day.
Contructed in an attractive light sand coloured stone with mullioned windows and an adjacent 'schoolmasters house', the building fell into disrepair around the turn of the century through dis-use and flood damage, being built on low ground next to the Whitbrook. The building was purchased by Alfred Butterworth for £400 in 1909 and was donated back to the Parish Church where the whole idea originated.
The building was used as a Sunday School and for youth work often staffed by a Church Army Captain or Sister. In the early 60's it was leased to the Middleton Operatic and Dramatic Society. In the 1990's due to it's deterioration, The Old Grammar School Trust was established and funding was obtained from English Heritage and the National Heritage Lottery Board to restore the building which was carried out in 1997.
Tireless work by trust members resulted in further funds and grants to secure the future of the building along with tremendous effort by local people and organisations and it is now used as a meeting venue for local community groups. The school displays many artifacts and objects of Middleton history as well as a gallery of artwork by the Middleton Art Society.
The School is staffed by a group of volunteers and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-4pm. The venue can also be hired for private functions, community groups and school visits. For more information telephone 0161 643 2693.
The Old Grammar School Trust is a Registered Charity 1057041