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and Suburbs of Manchester

Northenden is
located at the southernmost edge of Manchester, south of the River
Mersey, and was incorporated into the City in 1931 along with Bagueley
and Northenden Etchells, all of which had previously been in the County
of Cheshire. Its name means “northern dale or valley”, no
doubt because of its immediate proximity to the Mersey. This river
once marked the boundary between Lancashire
and Cheshire.
has a long history, having been mentioned in the Domesday Book of
1086, and was at that time a small farming community with a manor
house and woodland. A weir existed on the river in the 14th century
(now unsurprisingly at Mill Lane) and a mill was set up for the grinding
of corn. The mill belonged to the Tatton
of Wythenshawe Hall,
and it was not actually demolished until the 1960s.
Lying as
it does on a major (and very old) crossing of the Mersey on the Salt
Road from Cheshire to Manchester, it prospered in medieval times.
The ford was an important passageway north out of and into Manchester,
(now remembered in Ford Lane) and Bonnie Prince Charlie marched his
army over it in 1745 in his abortive attempt to seize the crown of
England. There was also a ferry across the river here, known as Jackson’s
Boat (near the present day Boat Lane), and it survived until the building
of the footbridge in the 1870s.
Its distance
from Manchester enabled Northenden to avoid the Industrial Revolution
in the 19th century, and it remained relatively rural, as it still
does (apart from having the M56 and M60 motorways now running across
either end of the village). The nearest it came to industrialisation
was in the establishment of a cottage industry in the spinning of
was still largely rural until the early 20th century, until the building
of the enormous Wythenshawe housing
estate alongside. Northenden responded by rapidly developing a shopping
centre along Palatine Road to service the new neighbourhood with all
the necessities of life – shops, schools, churches, a cinema and small
businesses and service industries. Eventually, Wythenshawe acquired
its own shops and commercial centre, and the motorways bypassed the
village so that it was able to return to the (more-or-less) sleepy
village it had always been.
In the 1980s the
area became part of the Mersey Valley Park, and the banks of the river
form part of the Mersey
Valley Trail

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.