Saturday, 7 August 2010


And so onto the final destination of my tour into the heart of northern darkness...the pretty little town of Macclesfield 15 miles south of Manchester - home and final resting place of Ian Curtis.

I wasn't sure what to expect after the horrors of Blackpool but Macclesfield proved to be a charming little village full of quaint workers' cottages set off by gentle green rolling hills behind the town. Named Most Uncultured Town In Britain by the Times in 2004, Macclesfield seemed to have upped its game since then with a cute retro cinema (where the Sumner/Hooky interface clearly found lyrical inspiration on one of their pilgrimages to chez Curtis) and a hip art show at the local library (below).

Ian Curtis lived at 77 Barton Street, Macclesfield (below bottom) with his wife Deborah and daughter Natalie in the three years preceding his suicide. It was apparently in the kitchen of this house, after watching Warner Herzog's film 'Stroszek' and listening to Iggy Pop's 'The Idiot' that the Joy Division singer hung himself on the eve of the band's first American tour. There is nothing remarkable about the house - it looks like a nice, comfortable first home for a young couple in a tranquil leafy street. Standing outside the house, it seemed easy to imagine the difficulty Ian experienced in reconciling this pretty, homely normality of family life with Deborah to the the intense relationship he had established with Belgian journalist Annik Honore and the international success Joy Division were beginning to experience.   


Curtis' memorial stone lies in the leafy grounds of the Macclesfield Cemetery, the attractive, worn original stone unfortunately stolen in July 2008 to be replaced by a more modern version (below). People as far as Canada and Japan had visited the site to pay their respects and leave talismans and other precious objects in tribute. Don't walk away in silence...Ian Curtis 1956-1980 RIP.


  1. I loved that song so much when I was young, actually I still love it .... I shall go listen to some of their stuff, thanks for the reminder !!!

  2. Hi,

    I am the photo editor at Austin Monthly Magazine and we are hoping to use the image of the graves site and or the home of Ian Curtis. Can you please let me know if you have a high-res version of these photos and if we can have permission? Thanks!

    CORY RIVADEMAR Photo Editor
    Austin Monthly | Austin Monthly Home
    11612 Bee Caves Rd. Suite 2-125
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    c. 512.771.6280