It is only since very recent times that Salford could begin to be thought of as a tourist venue, for it’s 19th and early 20th century history has been dogged by poverty and industrial squalor and images created by the likes of its most celebrated artist, L.S. Lowry. However, after considerable slum clearance and redevelopment, Salford has become a place which the tourist should visit as it has a great deal to offer. Salford is much older than its more internationally celebrated neighbour, the City of Manchester.
The Salford Hundred
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 919 AD, Salford had been part of the kingdom of Northumbria, until had been conquered by Edward the Elder, king of the West Saxons. The Manor (or Hundred) of Salford contained all the lands “between the Ribble and the Mersey”, contained 9 large parishes, and came under the diocese of Lichfield in matters ecclesiastical. Salford was also mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book of William the Conqueror. It makes reference to Salford as being “held by Rogier de Poitou” (aka. Poitevin). The so-called Salford “Hundreds” (an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “district”), included most of modern Manchester, as far as Heaton Mersey in the south, Bolton and Bury to the north, Oldham and Rochdale to the east, and Warrington and Wigan to the west.
Salford Hundred Heritage Society A society has been formed to research the archaeology and early history of Salford Hundred, initially with emphasis on the area covered by the NE of Salford Hundred. The societys website is currently under construction, but there is a web blog at: https://salfordhundred.wordpress.com/
Salford’s Shopping City, the Quays and the University of Salford
Salford – the Willow Ford
Salford’s name is a corruption of 2 ancient words: “Sal” or “Sahl” , (from the Latin “salix” meaning sallow – the old word for willow), and “ford”. Hence, it could be translated as the willow ford. It was, for many centuries, the only place to cross the River Irwell for many miles in either direction. The willow tree-lined the banks of the Irwell separated Salford from Manchester for many centuries, and the original river crossing stood where the Victoria Bridge is located today, near the corner of Blackfriars and Deansgate. Extensive stretches of the banks of the Irwell in Salford are still lined with willow today. In the early 13th century, Salford had already emerged as a small town, with an annual rent of 23 shillings (�1.15). On 4th June 1228, Henry III granted Salford a weekly market on Wednesdays, and an annual 3 day fair on “the eve, day and morrow” of the Nativity of St Mary, that is 7th-9th September. The fair continued right up to 1851 when it was abolished after shopkeepers complained of noise and nuisance.
The Manor of Salford
By 1230, the town was granted a charter by the Earl of Chester, then Lord of the Manor, creating the town a free borough, and countersigned by the famous Simon de Montefort. By 1399, the land had come into the inheritance of Henry Bolingbroke, who ascended to the throne of England as Henry IV, thus creating the Royal Manor of Salford, with the monarch as Lord of the Manor, a status which Her Majesty the Queen holds to this day.