Castlefield, Manchester - Canals, Railways & Roads


the Romans withdrew from Britain, the fort was abandoned (around
410 AD), and over the following centuries the site decayed and became
overgrown, so that by the Middle Ages it was known locally as “The
Castle-in-the-Field”, which eventually became condensed into Castlefield,
as it remains today.

Castlefield Basin, ManchesterCastlefield Arena Castlefield Outdoor Events ArenaCastlefield Boat Rally

Urban Heritage Park

The Castlefield area has been designated
as Britain’s first Urban Heritage Park. It contains not only a wealth
of Manchester’s industrial heritage – railway viaducts, canal systems
and museums, but also many tourist attractions including waterside
pubs, pleasant walks, boat trips and frequent events in the Outdoor
Arena. Most of its once derelict industrial buildings have now been
renovated or restored to their former glory, and numerous archaeological
digs have revealed the early history of the city.

Outdoor Events Arena

Arena Booking: Telephone 0161-834
As part of the renewal of the Castlefield Site, an extensive new outdoor
area has been developed as an events arena. Set at the water’s edge
in the Castlefield Basin, its permanently canopied banked terrace
would not have been out of place serving as an open “theatre” in Roman
times, yet captures all the simplicity and elegance of modern architectural
design, without detracting from the natural picturesque qualities
of Castlefield itself. The area provides for an audience both seated
and standing, and serves as a venue for all kinds of outdoor events,
entertainments and gatherings. The site had been, for many years a
natural gathering area, where street performers, various markets and
festivals took place. The arena has now finally made formal such hitherto
casual gatherings. Not least amongst these events are canal festivals,
where traditional canal narrowboats gather from the surrounding counties.
It also acts as a venue for the annual Castlefield Carnival, usually
held in early August, as well as other musical events, promotions
and exhibitions.

Carnival & Boat Rally

Usually held on a Saturday and Sunday
in late August or early September, this recently introduced Carnival
has become a popular tradition which attracts thousands of people
from all over the region during the 2 days of its duration. The Castlefield
Carnival makes excellent use of the newly refurbished basins, and
the Open Air Arena truly comes into its own for the event. It is definitely
a fun weekend for the whole family and includes live continuous entertainments,
stalls, booths street acts and performances of all kinds.
The Festival also attracts canal boats and cruisers from all over
the region, decked out in bunting and plying canal wares of all kinds
as well as exhibitions and displays about all the many local canal
restoration schemes which have sprung up since the reopening of the
Manchester canal system in the late 1980s. Craft villages, street
markets, food and drink stalls, live music at Dukes 92, steel bands,
ballet, various ethnic dance troops as well as jugglers, tumblers
and fire-eaters! Organised by the Castlefield Management Company and
backed by the City Council and the Manchester Development Corporation,
as well as guest sponsors.For further information contact : Tel: 0161-834

Visitors Centre

Situated on Liverpool Road at the major access
point to Castlefield, is the Castlefield Centre, providing both
information and guidance to visitors to the Castlefield basins.
It houses a small permanent exhibition on the history and development
of the area and provides up-to-date maps and a wide range of leaflets
and brochures giving details of all that Castlefield has to offer.
The Centre is open 7 days a week. The Castlefield Centre is the
home base of the Castlefield Management Company and the Urban Ranger
Service, both of which serve to maintain and protect the amenities
of Castlefield. Rangers patrol the basin ensuring that the canals
and towpaths are kept clear of debris, as well as offering guided
tours and providing on the spot information to visitors. Guided
“Blue Badge” tours of Castlefield are provided every Wednesday and
Sunday throughout the summer season. As we write, Manchester’s Castlefield
basin is being constantly improved and renewed, for the pedestrian,
and for the numerous boatmen who moor up in security, thanks largely
to the Central Manchester Development Corporation.