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The name District
of Levenshulme is probably derived from two words: Leofwine
and hulm (or holm ). It is thought that this land belonged
to Leofwine (a Danish settler) and it was an “island” of
dry land surrounded by marshland (or hulm). Hence Leofwine’s hulm .
The spelling of the name has varied a great deal throughout the subsequent
centuries : Lywensholme, Leysholme and Lentsholme being just a few
of the variations. It is bordered by Longsight to the north and Heaton
Chapel in the south with Stockport Road (the A6) running through it
in a north-south direction as its main artery. Leveshulme was incorporated
into the City of Manchester in 1909.
The defensive
ditch built by Danish settlers, and known as the Nico Ditch runs through
the district, and a few parts are still visible (notably the preserved
section in Platt Fields Park). In the 13th century the district was
owned by the Slade family (still remembered in Slade Lane and Slade
Hall), and in the 16th century it was purchased by Richard Siddall
who had Slade Hall built. The Hall remained in the Siddall family
until 1903 when it was sold to the London & North Western Railway
In 1724
the main road to Stockport was turnpiked and a toll bar installed
at the Longsight end of the district -tolls were payable for travelling
along it – this is now Stockport Road. By the 1840s the district was
still predominantly rural with many identifiable farmsteads along
Wellington Road right up to the border with Heaton Chapel (now in
Stockport Metropolitan Borough).
The railway
arrived in the mid-19th century and saw considerable expansion in
the resident population. Today the main railway line from Manchester
to London still runs directly through Leveshulme and parallels Stockport
Road for most of its length to Stockport.
Rows of
roadside shops grew up along Stockport Road to service passers by
and the area still has this same configuration nowadays. Its size
and prosperity are evidenced by the construction of its Town Hall
in 1898 and a Police Station nearby. It had two railway stations,
a local Mechanics Institute and Library.
The predominance
of trade and commerce in Levenshulme, more than any other single factor,
was probably responsible for it avoiding the industrialisation that
many other districts suffered. Levenshulme is particularly free of
mills and factories, and only McVities Biscuit Factory and the Monarch
Laundry opposite (the latter now sadly gone) really stood out as industrial
at all. It did have a bleach works on Pink Bank Lane and later a brick
works and two dairies, though their impact on the district appears
to have been minimal. Located in Crossley Road adjacent to McVitiies
was also the Fairey Engineering factory, a once large and crucial
factory in the Second World War effort for its aircraft manufacture,
as well as Crossley Motors.

See also:

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.