One origin of its name is said by legend to date from 1745 when a commander of the Young Pretender’s troops was said to have exclaimed that it is a ‘long sight’ to Manchester, though it may simply have come down to the fact that it was on rising ground with a ‘long sighted’ view to the countryside in the west.
Prior to the 1840’s much of what is present day Longsight came under the boundaries of Gorton or Openshaw.
One part can claim its origins further back in time, Grindlaw, still remembered in a street name, meaning a green hill used as a burial mound
In the 1850’s Grindlow House was owned by a Miss Elizabeth Foster, the story goes that she was to get married but having land in Australia was determined to go back and sort out her affairs. On her return journey her boat the Royal Charter sank with all hands and when the wreck was found some weeks later, her leg and stocking marked EF were discovered and brought back to Longsight to be interred at Grindlow.
As with nearby Levenshulme, it grew up alongside the Stockport Road on the main route south from Manchester and the coming of the railway began to turn what had been a collection of farms and settlements into a wealthy and a middle class neighbourhood of Manchester by the end of the nineteenth century.
The oldest church in Longsight is that of St John the Apostle and was built in 1846 and was designed by J. E. Gregan, the architect of the Mechanic’s Institute on Princess Street in the City Centre. Once able to house nine hundred worshippers it became a victim of the changing population in the suburb, amalgamating with the now demolished St Cyprian’s Church on Stanley Grove before closing in 1993 and now occupied as the Qadria Jilania Islamic Centre.
As Manchester expanded, industry came to the area. The Co-operative Society Printing Works, The Val Percy Works; which produced high quality ladies underwear and Sarsons’ Vinegar Works.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Walter and Howard Pownall had founded a small cotton mill on Bridge Street behind Deansgate in the centre of Manchester. They soon moved to what was then a large and modern factory on the Stockport Road in Longsight where they added spinning, knitting, bleaching, dyeing and printing to their trade. The Daisy Mill Works would give rise to the Daisy brand name. In the 1930’s after being partly rebuilt following a fire, it was lauded as the way forward for industry, modern in its construction and arrangement, and manufacturing the new Rayon product, in a factory flooded with light from strategically placed windows and skylights.
A 2011 census found 72.9% of the population was from a non-white background, so the population has changed somewhat.