Albert Vincent Reade, 1864 - 1940
Hyde Chapel, Gee Cross from Werneth Low

inscribed and signed on the reverse " Gee Cross Church / Near Hyde / from Werneth Low / A Vincent Reade "

pencil and watercolour
24 x 31.50 cm. ( 9.3/4 x 12.3/4 in. )


The first Chapel on this site was completed in 1708, and was the first religious building in Hyde. There are pictures of this building in the chancel. It was replaced in 1848 by this present building. It was designed by architects Bowman and Crowther of Manchester in the second pointed or ‘Early English’ style. It has been described as ‘a building of national importance’ (Pevsner). It was reputedly the first non-conformist Chapel to be built on the plan of an English Parish Church, complete with nave, clerestory and chancel. There is a hammer beam roof with stone corbels, and the pews and all woodwork are of oak. It has a broach spire measuring 145 feet and the Chapel cost £7,500 to build.
Hyde Chapel today. Throughout its three hundred year history, the chapel has remained true to the tradition of catholicity of its Presbyterian founders. Following the precept of James Martineau, the congregation has always refused to accept a doctrinal label and continues to maintain that no label other than Christian is required and no name other than Hyde Chapel is appropriate.

Gee Cross is a suburb and village within Tameside Metropolitan Borough, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies within the town of Hyde and borders Woodley in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport and Godley, also in Tameside metropolitan borough. The centre of the village dates back to the times of the Domesday Book, however the large nearby town of Hyde grew up in the Industrial Revolution, and now Gee Cross merges into the southern part of Hyde.

Historically a part of Cheshire, Gee Cross does not have statutory boundaries, as it does not have civil parish status. Tradition would dictate that the northern boundary is at the corner of Lilly Street and Stockport Road, at a location known as the "big tree". The big tree commemorates those that lost their lives in the Falklands conflict of 1982.

Gee Cross is home to a, recently evolved, Well Dressing festival, which is an ancient custom in the Pennines. There is also another recent addition, an annual village fete, a major fund raising event for local charities which is held on the site of a former reservoir which is now classified as the village green.

The centre of the village hosts a small commercial district which has grown in recent years to include an Estate Agents, new Hairdressing Salons, a Pharmacy, Florists, new Cafe and a Wine Bar, alongside the longstanding businesses such as Barbers and Hairdressers, Takeaways including a traditional Fish and Chip shop, Bistro, Laundrette, Bakers, several Beauty Salons, a tattooist, and a few office based businesses. In addition to this at the bottom of Stockport Rd is a large car dealership. The local Post Office was formerly located on the corner of School Lane and Stockport Rd, but was closed in the phasing out of smaller branches. It has now become a private house.

The village is a popular social venue, featuring numerous pubs alongside newer restaurants and bars. These include The Buxton, The Queen Adelaide, The Werneth, The Cheshire Cheese, and the Grapes Hotel. The former Lamb Inn has been converted to a day nursery. Another addition to the already thriving Gee Cross pub scene is the Joshua Bradley. Named after the former Mayor of Hyde and situated on the borders of the village, this 19th-century former private hall (Bamford Hall in its previous incarnation) has been subject to a £3 million transformation by Hydes brewery.[citation needed]

The two primary schools are Dowson Primary and Gee Cross Holy Trinity (CofE). Just outside Gee Cross is Alder Community High School, which is a new high school built in 2004. It is a computing and maths specialist school which teaches over 800 11-16 year olds.

There are Anglican, Methodist, and Unitarian Churches. The Unitarian Church in the centre of the village is known as Hyde Chapel. The Anglican Church is called Holy Trinity Gee cross.

Gee Cross is built on the side of a hill called Werneth Low.

Werneth Low is mostly a protected country park, that was first created as a war memorial by the people of Hyde. It has a visitors centre and ranger service.

On a clear day, there are views as far as Bolton, Wigan and, on a very clear day, the Welsh mountains. Sightseers can view Manchester city centre, including the tallest tower in the UK outside London - Deansgate Square South Tower. The Hare and Hounds pub sits on the top of Werneth Low, as does Hyde Cricket and Squash club, and Werneth Low Golf Club.

Artist biography

Albert Vincent Reade was born in 1864, he was a portrait, landscape and still life painter. He studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and Colarossi's Paris, He exhibited  between 1901 and 1933 and lived in Manchester.