This building gives a focal point to King Street though its flamboyant style is not to everyone's taste. Besides being a memorial to Elizabeth Gaskell the building had a social purpose; it provided newspapers and a library, concerts and musical evenings in an attempt to wean the working man away from the pub. The original menu stated that "a warm bath may be had at any hour for sixpence". Galsworthy enjoyed a stay here and it later served as a setting for the TV version of The Forsyte Saga.
At the dedication ceremony in 1907 Watt said that Mrs Gaskell's works had given him real delight, and he thought that they should acknowledge their famous townswoman. And as for the controversial building he had no wish to monopolise the honour of paying homage to Mrs Gaskell, but he found the best committee was that of one person! He contributed two drawings to the Knutsford edition of Cranford.
Knutsford Page Map of Knutsford