Places & People

The Romans in Manchester

The Roman fort initially founded around 79AD was probably about 2-3 acres in size with around 500 men garrisoned there. It would have consisted of a bank of clay, surmounted by a wooden stockade and surrounded by a ditch. The tight military grip around Manchester may well have lasted only around 40 years as attention fell to the North and the subjugation of the tribes across the border.  As additional garrisons were required north it is certain that the Garrison at Manchester’s…

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Manchester before the Romans

It’s probable that there was a Brigantes settlement at the junction of the Irwell and Irk when the Romans arrived, and it’s likely that the name of the place was a forerunner of the later Welsh name Maen Ceinion. Meaning something like Beautiful Rock but the Romans record dozens of different spellings for their own name of the fortress they built on the Medlock/Irwell – the most common ones being Mamucio and Mamucium. Although the Roman fort in Manchester was…

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The Birth of Roman Manchester

By the AD 60’s there is much evidence of Roman penetration around the Pennines. A site at Templeborough near Rotherham has been dated to that time by the finding of good quality samian ware from the reign of the emperor Nero. This site would have controlled the eastern access to the Pennines and it is unlikely that it would have been built in isolation. Other finds have been made also dating from this time west of the River Derwent at…

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Roger De Montgomery

Roger De Montgomery was in command of a wing at the Battle of Hastings but returned to Normandy with Queen Matilda and the young Duke Robert. He was head of the council that governed the Duchy of Normandy in Duke William’s absence. The family ancestry was closely entwined either by blood or marriage with the Duchy of Normandy. Roger de Montgomery had four sons the eldest of which was Robert, Count of Alencon who was his successor.  Following Robert was Hugh,…

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Chapel Street

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This historic central street of Salford appeared the first map of Manchester in 1650 but its first mention goes back one hundred year’s previously when Salford Bridge Built at a cost of around £20,000 it is made of wrought iron and spanned on the south side one hundred and twenty five feet. Connecting the upper end of Chapel Street with what was in the late 19th century, the bustling Exchange Station and Hunt’s Bank ( now Victoria Station), the bridge…

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King Street

King Street’s origins in Manchester go back to the eighteenth century. Originally the section from current day Pall Mall to Deansgate was called King Street, the upper end to Brown Street was St James’s Street, the burghers of Manchester having the intention of creating a residential square on a par with St Ann’s, but the events of 1745 put pay to that and the whole of the street was thus named King St in reverence to the current monarch. Its evolution…

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Whitworth Street

Connecting London Road Station with Oxford Road, Whitworth Street, named after Joseph Whitworth was first laid down in 1899 and it would mark stage two of Manchester’s warehouse building project. With the opening of the Ship Canal earlier that decade, the required warehouse was now much bigger than those of the early and mid nineteenth century, owned now by multiple companies who would store the goods prior to dispatch  Big grandiose buildings attracted big grandiose architects who would leave their mark…

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Long Millgate and Poet’s Corner

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While it stood Poet’s corner was probably the most ancient bit of old fashioned Manchester at the end of the nineteenth century. Standing opposite the Grammar school, it was threatening then to tumble over onto the wooden paved street from its timber support. Long Millgate was the principle thoroughfare to reach the Collegiate Church from the North side of the town but even by 1817 it was seen as a dead end. Procter writing in his memorials to Manchester streets…

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Cross Street

In the early 1700’s a single mansion was all that stood on where Cross Street now stands, Radcliffe Hall on the site of the rising ground above the Unitarian Chapel. Whitaker gives a description of the Hall in 1770, just forty years before it was demolished “A large timber structure with its heavy portico of wood and its mass and projecting chimney place of stone presents itself to the eye as it glances from the Market St Lane…..constructed near the…

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Mosley Street

The most elegant and retired street in the town, as one eighteenth century writer described it, is named after Sir Nicholas Mosley, Lord of the Manor of Manchester at the turn of the seventeenth century. In 1788 a poem was written in its honour In search of fame,the muse shall now survey, and show by night what fools we are by day To dream of splendid folly e’er by the sun had dawn’d in gloom its daily course to run…

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