Manchester UK Districts

Collyhurst


Districts of Manchester

The name Collyhurst originally meant “wooded
hill”. The hill is actually largely made up of red sandstone,
hence the area is known as Red Bank. Stone quarried at Red bank was
used to construct the Roman fort
at Castlefield, as well as several bridges over the River Irwell and
the Collegiate Church at Manchester, later to become Manchester
Cathedral
. Collyhurst existed as a grazing or pasture land at
the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and remained largely rural
up to the early 19th century. A burial ground for plague victims was
also located at Collyhurst Clough. The district was incorporated into
Manchester in 1885.
In medieval times Collyhurst Common was a popular place for archery
practice (every young man was obliged by law to maintain bow and arrow
skills for use in time of war).
The every present Mosley family had a house in the district in the
17th century and Sir Nicholas
Mosley
, Lord of the Manor of Manchester, for a time lived at Collyhurst
Hall. By the mid 19th century the Hall had been demolished and a church
stood on the site.
By the mid-19th century, Collyhurst had begun to expand rapidly as
coal was discovered nearby and houses were constructed to house the
coal workers at the newly created St George’s Colliery. A chemical
works had also come into being on Collyhurst Clough. Both air and
water were resultantly poisoned by dust and chemical effluent, it
was a most unhealthy place to live and work and life expectancy was
very low for working people. Ironically, the worst squalor was to
be found at Angel Meadow, which had been a pleasant leafy suburb in
earlier times.
Corn Mills, Brick Making Works, a Paper Mill, Rope Works and several
Dye Factories also existed
alongside the River Tib so that by the late 19th century Collyhurst
was very heavily industrialised. Later, the railways came and several
new blue brick viaducts cut swathes across the Irk Valley – most still
stand today, largely derelict except for one main line to Yorkshire
and the revolutionary hyperactive Metrolink
Rapid Transit System
carried across the valley by another.
On a more domestic level, the resident population has gradually and
consistently declined during the post-Second World War years, and
a train ride over one of its viaducts reveals many derelict and abandoned
Victorian terraces beneath. New housing initiatives have been made
and there are pleasant modern houses at the top of the hill, but Collyhurst
is still scarred by its industrial past. Red Bank is largely set aside
for the railways and for light industry.

See also:

NOTE:
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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This page last updated 14 Nov 11.