utopia britannica cover picture

Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

*Latest updates*

"Did you live in a commune?"

Utopia homebase
Travel through Utopia

Utopian Stories


Utopian Links


communes britannica cover picture communes britannica blog

Bollington 1832- 46
Model village around mill - cottages with gardens, educational & recreational facilities provided to "elevate the position of the working class." Owner Samuel Greg's faith in the scheme was shaken when his supposedly contented workers went on strike causing him a nervous breakdown and the scheme to collapse.
GRID REF: SJ941778
REF: Industrial Colonies & Communities. ed.S.Jackson.Fingerpoint 1988.

Bromborough Pool 1853-8
FOUNDER/LEADE:Wilson Brothers
Factory Village created by the enlightened owners of Price's candle factory. Cottages with large gardens & indoor toilets, along with a social club and playing fields.The Wilsons also set up a branch of the Belmont Mutual Improvement Society ‘for their workers instruction and intellectual recreation’ and to promote "intellectual, moral and social advancement".
GRID REF: SJ356828
REF: Villages of Vision

Port Sunlight 1888 - present
Influential model village named after the soap whose fortunes it was based on. Built round the Lever Bros. factory that was moved from Bolton to a marshy site on the south side of the Mersey in 1888. The first phase of the scheme was completeted by 1897. A second phase of building was carried out in 1911after further drainage works had been carried out. 30 different architects created a variety of picturesque & romantic stlye houses. Also a grand boulevard and art gallery along with schools, hospital, gym, social clubs, church and theatre. The village like its contemporary at Bournville was a model for the Garden City & Suburbs movement with W.H.Lever (later Lord Leverhulme.) being a key member of the Garden Cities Association. Also developed model housing on company estates in the Congo and attempted to revive the fishing industry on the Scottish island of Lewis & Harris. Port Sunlight is now a conservation area.
GRID REF: SJ 335340
REF: Villages of Vision / A Guide to Port Sunlight Village.

Barrowmore Village Settlement 1920 - 1940
The colony of Barrowmore Village Settlement established in 1920 by the Joint Committee of the British Red Cross and the Order of St. John in Barrowmore Hall as a sanatorium to treat soldiers returning from the First World War with Tuberculosis. It was later bombed and destroyed in 1940.
GRID REF: Barrowmore
REF: http://www.barrowmore.co.uk/

'Reilly Greens' 1946
The Reilly Plan was an alternative report on post war reconstruction based on Sir Charles Reilly's post-war plan for Birkenhead. Reilly had been Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool (a post created by Lord Leverhulme of Port Sunlight fame.)The plan included Reilly Greens, small village greens which most houses adjoined. With groups of 3 to 5 greens around a community centre containing a restaurant, bar, sports and hobbies areas, library and hall. Family houses around the greens would not have kitchens, as the community centre's restaurant was to provide a low cost catering service to be managed by residents. Houses would be provided with small electric cookers for emergencies. This would leave women free to undertake paid work. Only Bilston and Dudley councils showed any interest in implementing the plan. Dudley beginning an estate on modified 'Reilly Green' lines in 1950.
GRID REF: 'Birkenhead'
REF: The Architectural & Social History of Co-operative Living. L.F.Pearson


Return to top of page

Site last updated 3.1.2007