A Suburban District of the City of Manchester
Aerial photo of District of Whalley Range
Image provided courtesy of Webb Aviation © 2008. www.webbaviation.co.uk
- all rights reserved.
Whalley Range was originally called Jackson's Moss,
and was at one time divided between the two neighbouring districts
of Withington and Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
Before the 19th century development of the area there was a farm and
a village pond where thatching rushes were washed. This "Moss ",
or marsh, may be the one which is referred to in Moss
The origin of the present day name is contentious - most maintain
that it was actually devised by Samuel Brooks, a wealthy calico printer
who had been born in Whalley in Lancashire,
at the end of the 19th century, as he regarded it as a little more
genteel than its former name - more suitable and in keeping with the
elegant middle class houses of substance that were being built in
the area. But there are other explanations on offer too. In any case,
Brooks, who was responsible for much of the 19th century development
of the district, named his own home Whalley House and the road it
stood on Whalley Road, and it may well be that the name grew out of
this. Brooks is also still commemorated by Brooks Bar, where the old
toll gate stood.
Whalley Range is surrounded by Alexandra Park, Moss Lane West and
Wilbraham Road. It is the location for the celebrated William Hulme
Grammar School, established as an independent school in 1887, named
after William Hulme of
Kearsley - the school became a direct grant school in 1976. Nearby
is Whalley Range High School on Wilbraham Road.
The district is also known for its multicultural makeup and the sheer
number and diversity of the religions and cultures to be found there,
including the Manchester Chinese Church, the Pioneer Centre for Spiritualism,
St Edmunds Convent, St Bede's Roman Catholic College and several other
churches and mosques.
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.