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Districts & Suburbs of Manchester

The name District of Levenshulme is probably derived from two words: Leofwine and hulm (or holm ). It is thought that this land belonged to Leofwine (a Danish settler) and it was an "island" of dry land surrounded by marshland (or hulm). Hence Leofwine's hulm . The spelling of the name has varied a great deal throughout the subsequent centuries : Lywensholme, Leysholme and Lentsholme being just a few of the variations. It is bordered by Longsight to the north and Heaton Chapel in the south with Stockport Road (the A6) running through it in a north-south direction as its main artery. Leveshulme was incorporated into the City of Manchester in 1909.
The defensive ditch built by Danish settlers, and known as the Nico Ditch runs through the district, and a few parts are still visible (notably the preserved section in Platt Fields Park). In the 13th century the district was owned by the Slade family (still remembered in Slade Lane and Slade Hall), and in the 16th century it was purchased by Richard Siddall who had Slade Hall built. The Hall remained in the Siddall family until 1903 when it was sold to the London & North Western Railway Company.
In 1724 the main road to Stockport was turnpiked and a toll bar installed at the Longsight end of the district -tolls were payable for travelling along it - this is now Stockport Road. By the 1840s the district was still predominantly rural with many identifiable farmsteads along Wellington Road right up to the border with Heaton Chapel (now in Stockport Metropolitan Borough).
The railway arrived in the mid-19th century and saw considerable expansion in the resident population. Today the main railway line from Manchester to London still runs directly through Leveshulme and parallels Stockport Road for most of its length to Stockport.
Rows of roadside shops grew up along Stockport Road to service passers by and the area still has this same configuration nowadays. Its size and prosperity are evidenced by the construction of its Town Hall in 1898 and a Police Station nearby. It had two railway stations, a local Mechanics Institute and Library.
The predominance of trade and commerce in Levenshulme, more than any other single factor, was probably responsible for it avoiding the industrialisation that many other districts suffered. Levenshulme is particularly free of mills and factories, and only McVities Biscuit Factory and the Monarch Laundry opposite (the latter now sadly gone) really stood out as industrial at all. It did have a bleach works on Pink Bank Lane and later a brick works and two dairies, though their impact on the district appears to have been minimal. Located in Crossley Road adjacent to McVitiies was also the Fairey Engineering factory, a once large and crucial factory in the Second World War effort for its aircraft manufacture, as well as Crossley Motors.

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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.

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This page last updated 14 Nov 11.