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Districts & Suburbs of the City of Manchester

Aerial photo of Rusholme
Aerial photo of Rusholme. Image provided courtesy of Webb Aviation © 2008. - all rights reserved.

Rusholme was known in earlier times as Russum , probably from the old English word "ryscum" - the plural word for rushes. It is bounded by Chorlton on Medlock in the north, Levenshulme in the east, Moss Side in the west and by Fallowfield to the south. It was incorporated into the City of Manchester in 1885.
There is evidence that both the Romans and the Danes occupied the area in their day, and the so-called Nico Ditch that runs through the district still survives today. This defensive earthwork, built by local Saxons against Viking incursions can still be evidenced in a preserved section in Platt Fields Park. Rusholme was still predominantly farming land until the mid-19th century although a spinning, rope and shoe making existed as cottage industries.
In Platt Fields there stands Platt Hall, now the Gallery of Costume, but once the home of the Worsleys, of whom Charles Worsley was a Cromwellian general in the English Civil Wars and in 1654 the first Member of Parliament for Manchester. Birch Fold Cottage was another local ancient house, until its demolition in 1912. The original inhabitants, the Birches, sold the house and lands to John Dickenson in the mid-18th century. Both family names survive in placenames today - Dickenson Road, Birchfields Park and Birch Hall Road.
It was at the corner of Dickenson Road and Wilmslow Road in Rusholme that the first BBC Northern television studios were situated , in the old Dickenson Road Methodist Church (demolished in the late 1960s). Wilmslow Road itself had been turnpiked (surfaced and a toll charged to travel along it) in 1770, and, as the area became increasingly developed for expensive middle class housing, it turned from agricultural into residential land. Platt Fields Park was extended into large pleasure gardens.
The celebrated cricket radio commentator Neville Cardus was born in Rusholme in 1891, L.S. Lowry lived and worked there for a time, and the painter Ford Madox Brown had premises there for a time while working on the murals in Manchester Town Hall. Old Hall Lane is the home of the Manchester Grammar School since its move from Long Millgate behind Manchester Cathedral in the 1930s.
The second half of the 20th century saw the arrival of Asian immigrants to Rusholme. Nowadays, Rusholme is best known for its Indian and Asian restaurants, known locally as the "Curry Mile" because of its excellent curry houses and takeaways.

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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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Copyright © Gloria Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom - all rights reserved.
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.