Aerial photo of Rusholme. Image provided courtesy of Webb Aviation
© 2008. www.webbaviation.co.uk - 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.
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.
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
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
Fields Park was extended into large pleasure gardens.
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.
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.
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.