Fairfield is a Moravian community, 6 km east of the centre of Manchester, established from 1785, largely through the initiative of Rev Benjamin La Trobe (1728-86), father of the architect Benjamin La Trobe (1764-1820) who did some of the drawings for the buildings. Early buildings that remain, include the church of 1795, the Brethren’s House, which once accommodated a bakery, and the Sisters’ House, that originally included a laundry, and from 1906 until 1958, was used as a Moravian theological college. A boarding school for boys, established in 1790, was closed in 1891, but the girls’ school of 1796 maintains its identity within a local authority school. The settlement includes about 50 cottages, the historic Moravian burial ground, and, with cobble-surfaced streets, retains an eighteenth century atmosphere. The historic buildings are listed and the whole settlement is protected as a Conservation Area. A plaque commemorates Charles Hindley (1796-1857), born into a family of Moravian cotton mill owners, who, as a member of parliament, was active in the movement for factory reform.
Immediately adjacent is a co-operative Garden City-style development of 39 dwellings, built from 1912 by Fairfield Tenants Ltd., on land previously used as allotments that had once belonged to the Moravians. The Georgian vernacular houses were designed by Edgar Wood (1860-1935) and James Henry Sellers (1861-1954).