Castlefield Basin & Urban Heritage Park
- Canals, Railways & Roads
Image Courtesy of www.webbaviation.co.uk © 2005
"Castle in the Field"
the Romans withdrew from Britain, the fort was abandoned (around
410 AD), and over the following centuries the site decayed and
became overgrown, so that by the Middle Ages it was known locally
as "The Castle-in-the-Field", which eventually became condensed
into Castlefield, as it remains today.
Urban Heritage Park
Castlefield area has been designated as Britain's first Urban
Heritage Park. It contains not only a wealth of Manchester's
industrial heritage - railway viaducts, canal systems and museums,
but also many tourist attractions including waterside pubs,
pleasant walks, boat trips and frequent events in the Outdoor
Arena. Most of its once derelict industrial buildings have now
been renovated or restored to their former glory, and numerous
archaeological digs have revealed the early history of the city.
Outdoor Events Arena
Booking: Telephone 0161-834 4026
As part of the renewal of the Castlefield Site, an extensive
new outdoor area has been developed as an events arena. Set
at the water's edge in the Castlefield Basin, its permanently
canopied banked terrace would not have been out of place serving
as an open "theatre" in Roman times, yet captures all the simplicity
and elegance of modern architectural design, without detracting
from the natural picturesque qualities of Castlefield itself.
Outdoor Events Arena
performances during the Castlefield Festival
for the Castlefield Festival
area provides for an audience both seated and standing, and
serves as a venue for all kinds of outdoor events, entertainments
and gatherings. The site had been, for many years a natural
gathering area, where street performers, various markets and
festivals took place. The arena has now finally made formal
such hitherto casual gatherings. Not least amongst these events
are canal festivals, where traditional canal narrowboats gather
from the surrounding counties. It also acts as a venue for
the annual Castlefield Carnival, usually held in early August,
as well as other musical events, promotions and exhibitions.
Carnival & Boat Rally
held on a Saturday and Sunday in late August or early September,
this recently introduced Carnival has become a popular tradition
which attracts thousands of people from all over the region
during the 2 days of its duration. The Castlefield Carnival
makes excellent use of the newly refurbished basins, and the
Open Air Arena truly comes into its own for the event. It is
definitely a fun weekend for the whole family and includes live
continuous entertainments, stalls, booths street acts and performances
of all kinds.
The Festival also attracts canal boats and cruisers from all
over the region, decked out in bunting and plying canal wares
of all kinds as well as exhibitions and displays about all the
many local canal restoration schemes which have sprung up since
the reopening of the Manchester canal system in the late 1980s.
Craft villages, street markets, food and drink stalls, live
music at Dukes 92, steel bands, ballet, various ethnic dance
troops as well as jugglers, tumblers and fire-eaters!
Organised by the Castlefield Management Company and backed by
the City Council and the Manchester Development Corporation,
as well as guest sponsors.
For further information contact : Telephone : 0161-834 4026.
on Liverpool Road at the major access point to Castlefield,
is the Castlefield Centre, providing both information and
guidance to visitors to the Castlefield basins. It houses
a small permanent exhibition on the history and development
of the area and provides up-to-date maps and a wide range
of leaflets and brochures giving details of all that Castlefield
has to offer. The Centre is open 7 days a week. The Castlefield
Centre is the home base of the Castlefield Management Company
and the Urban Ranger Service, both of which serve to maintain
and protect the amenities of Castlefield. Rangers patrol the
basin ensuring that the canals and towpaths are kept clear
of debris, as well as offering guided tours and providing
on the spot information to visitors. Guided "Blue Badge" tours
of Castlefield are provided every Wednesday and Sunday throughout
the summer season. As we write, Manchester's Castlefield basin
is being constantly improved and renewed, for the pedestrian,
and for the numerous boatmen who moor up in security, thanks
largely to the Central Manchester Development Corporation.