Today its fame resides in the curry mile and being an area with a high student population, but its origins go back to the oldest guild in Manchester, the Guild of The Blessed Mary.
The area in history is most associated with the Worsley family and Platt Hall, now the museum of Costume but also for a time to be the resting place of the statue of Abraham Lincoln and the Birches of Birch Hall.
Latterly William Royle echoed the mood of Rusholmites who were proud of their independence, he would save Platt Hall from demolition in the early 20th century.
Some would place the first mention of the district of Rusholme back to 1190 when the Platt Estate was conveyed by Matthew, son of William to the knights of St. John, the military order established at the beginning of the Crusades.
By the reign of Henry III, the religious Guild of The Blessed Mary had been founded on land in Rusholme which at the time was known as “gylde housys and geldehustide “
The Platt’s, Birch’s and Worsley’s
Today the site of Manchester’s Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall is most famously associated with the Worsley family and particularly Oliver Cromwell’s enforcer Charles
The current building dates from the mid 1700’s but would be saved for the people of Rusholme in 1908 by local resident William Royle after plans to demolish it and replace it with new housing. Instead it became an exhibition centre and after the second world war becoming first and still only Costume Gallery.
Today a statue of William Royle stands in the park.
The Birch family were, with one exception neither politicians nor warriors, they could trace their lineage back to the 1100’s and were granted lands for service in the crusades and would build both Birch Hall and Birch Chapel. Subsequently the Estate would pass to the Manchester businessmen John Dickenson and then to the tragic Anson family
The Hall was demolished in 1926 and its former site is now in the grounds of Manchester Grammar School.
The village avoided much of the ravages of Industrial Manchester, the census of 1831 showed the village contained 179 houses and a population of 1,078 depending upon its agriculture and its hand-loom weaving, which was carried on in most of its thatched cottages, its farm would survive until the 1920’s.
Incorporated in Manchester in 1885 there have been many plans for the area, Manchester’s Hollywood, a second Garden City and Manchester’s Venice.
In the 1950’s one of the last vestiges of the old village were knocked down with the demolition of Platt cottage which stood opposite Platt Fields, in order for luxury flats to be built in its place.
Today there are remnants of that vision but the area is best known for Wilmslow Road and its “Curry Mile” as well as having a large student population, with the universities a short bus ride away.