Context 165 - August 2020

22 C O N T E X T 1 6 5 : A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 CEINWEN PAYNTON Incredible Edible Todmorden The idea of open-source food, grown by the community for everyone in the community, started in the redundant Todmorden Unitarian Church in 2008 and has spread across the world. High in the South Pennines, in a landscape so wild that only a Bronte could love it, sits the town of Todmorden. Named either for a fox or for a long-forgotten man called Todde, the town is dwarfed by three structures that form a triangle in which the town sits. Two John Gibson-designed buildings, the Town Hall and the Unitarian Church, and the Stoodley Pike Monument. The neo-classical town hall, opened in 1875, is so ornate and different to any buildings that flank it, that it looks built on a different scale to the town and more suited to a big city. The monument on Stoodley Pike, a 37-metre-high obelisk, which sits on top of the 400-metre hill, commemorates manhood lost; erected to remember the boys and men who did not come home from the CrimeanWar. Both the Pike and the Town Hall seem to have a scale all of their own, so imposing are they. Both are statements of the power of human endeavour, hope and of a new world. The third monumental building, forming the point of the triangle in which the town nestles, is the splendid gothic revival Unitarian Church. Grade I listed, it was com- pleted in 1869. The solidity of the nave mirrors the statement pediments and facade of theTown Hall, and the 60-metre spire reflects the Pike, both reaching for heaven and built to outlive their architects. The Pointy Place: Todmorden Unitarian Church (Photo: Rick Butterworth) Working at Burnley Road herb garden