& Suburbs of Manchester
The name Fallowfield
is derived, not as one might have supposed, because its fields lay
fallow, but after an early owner of the area, one Jordan de Fallafield.
By the 14th century it was more commonly known as Fallafeld.
The district is bounded by Old Hall Lane, Whitworth Lane and Mauldeth
Road and was formerly divided between its neighbouring northern and
southern districts of Rusholme and Withington.
By the early
19th century Fallowfield was still largely agricultural in character,
and it escaped the worst ravages of encroaching industrialisation
during the 19th century, though its population was significantly enlarged
by the influx of the middle classes moving outward to avoid the city
grime and squalor. Hence, many fine houses were built in the area,
including work by Alfred Waterhouse,
the architect of Manchester
of Wilmslow Road as a major turnpike southwards out of the City, and
later the coming of the railways, meant that Fallowfield was inevitably
swallowed up by increasing urbanisation, and its open rural nature
was changed irrevocably and forever. The early 20th century saw the
gradual disappearance of all but one of its farms, Firs Farm, subsequently
lost in the Manchester Athletic Club grounds, later known as the Harris
Stadium after local champion cyclist Reg
Harris, on Whitworth Lane. These grounds also succumbed eventually,
and the Owens Park Student Village Complex now stand on the site.
feature of the area is Manchester Grammar School (MGS) in Old Hall
Lane. The school moved from its original location in Long Millgate
in the mid-1930s (the original buildings now part of the Chethams
School of Music). This prestigious school regularly features amongst
the top ten in the United Kingdom for its academic achievements, and
boasts a long list of celebrities as Old Mancunians. These include
the writer Alan Garner, actors Robert
Powell and Ben Kingsley,
theatre producer Nick Hytner, and many others already listed in the
Local Celebrities section of this website.
The author is also proud to admit to having been a teacher at MGS
during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Due to the
large number of temporary student residents within the area, Fallowfield
is a lively and dynamic district, with Wilmslow Road forming its main
artery and the innumerable takeaway food outlets and convenience stores
that supply and maintain a student population.
We have made reference to several sources in compiling this web page,
but must make special mention of the Breedon Books' "Illustrated
History of Manchester's Suburbs" by Glynis Cooper, of which we
made particular use. Information about this book can be found on our
Books About Manchester webpage.