Districts of Manchester
Aerial photo of Moston. Image provided courtesy of Webb Aviation ©
2008. www.webbaviation.co.uk - all rights reserved.
Moston was incorporated,
with neighbouring Blackley, into the City
of Manchester in 1890 and currently has a resident population of around
12,500. The name Moston seems to refer to two simple old English words
"moss" and "ton", where moss
usually referred to a place that was mossy, marshy or peat bog, and
ton signified a settlement or farmstead. The place was already
named by the early 12th century having grown into a recognisable community
near to the district known as White Moss.
it does on the northern limit of Manchester, it would have been open
moorland and well away from the city. This distance enabled Moston
to avoid much of the Industrial Revolution, and it continued as pleasant
open countryside until well into the 1850s, with no more than a few
manor houses and farmsteads within its district. At that time it was
a place of choice for wealthier residents and a much sought after
area to live in away from the filth and squalor of central Manchester.
Even as late as the early 20th century Moston was essentially a rural
By the 14th
century the Moston family had built and occupied Moston Hall, and
the Bowkers, (hence nearby Bowker Vale), the Chaddertons, the Chethams
and the Egertons had houses within the district. These great land-owning
families are still remembered in local placenames today.
By the 16th
century, washing and bleaching of linen had become a major local cottage
industry - carried out in local streams - and there is a record of
a wadding mill in the district by 1714. By the early 19th century,
dyeing had been added to to its textile skills and the Moston Print
& Dye Works was set up in 1820, with Dean Brook Dye Works following
Moston Mill was built in 1910, and nearly two centuries behind the
rest of Manchester, Moston caught up with the Industrial Revolution.
coal mining had also been carried out in the district since the 16th
century and in 1840 Moston Pit sunk its first pit shaft. Despite several
new shafts, the pit suffered regular flooding and had a fairly short
and unfortunate history. It finally closed its gates and sealed the
shafts in 1950.
of industry in the area was accompanied by a population explosion,
from around 50 residents in the 1831 census to over 1000 within the
next half century. This saw much of its hitherto rural nature disappear
under housing developments and the associated services and utilities
that accompany urbanisation - schools, churches, pubs and shops. This
rapid expansion of population inevitably brought with it severe sanitation
problems, which as much as any other factor hastened its incorporation
into Manchester, where a (then) advanced sewage system had already
celebrities have included television historian Michael
Wood, social reformer and political reformer Samuel
Bamford and Ben Brierley
the local dialect poet and playwright.
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.