Manchester's Ten  Metropolitan Boroughs




City of Salford

Salford Quays - aerial photograph
Salford Quays. Aerial Photograph
Image courtesy of © 2005

in the Domesday Book

earliest mention of the Salford Hundred occurs in William the Conqueror’s
great survey, the Domesday Book, made for in 1086. It was recorded that
King Edward the Confessor had held the Manor, (or Hundred), in 1066
when it was mostly forest land, divided into 21 berewicks (or sub-manors)
each held for the King by a thegn.
granted the land to Roger de Poitou who parcelled it out to his own
followers. By 1086 the hundred was again in the King’s hands and was
held intermittently by the monarch over the next three centuries. Roger
de Poitou also created the (lesser) Manor of Manchester which has ever
since been separate in matters of Local Government from Salford. To
this day Salfordians proudly boast being the oldest of the two cities,
and object volubly to being called “Mancunians”.

Government in Salford

Salford Charter also granted the right to elect its own “Reeve” and
to hold its own Law Courts (the “Laghemot”). This charter remained the
basis of Salford’s local government until the Police Commissioners Act
of 1791. During
Tudor and Stuart times, Salford was assessed for taxation as a parish
of Manchester and in 1655 paid the sum of �12-8s-1d (�12.40). By this
time, the Manor of Salford included Broughton, Pendleton and Kersall
– the latter being granted rights to a monastery, known as St Leonard’s
Cell, which by 1660 had passed into the hands of the Byrom Family, and
the celebrated John Byrom, who wrote the hymn “Christians Awake” .

Also, the fact that the administrative headquarters and centre of Salford
local government is actually in nearby Swinton is locally very controversial,
and the city centre of Salford is nowadays little more than a shadow
of its former self, with most of its redevelopment having taken place
out of town – in Salford Quays, or outlying districts like Swinton and

during the Civil Wars

Manchester, during the Civil War, Salford was Royalist. The siege of
Manchester which started the Civil War was launched from Salford. Salford
was also devoutly Jacobite and supported the Pretender to the Throne
of England, Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), whom they
hosted on his ride through the area in November of the 1745 Rebellion.
Blessed by the Reverend John Clayton, a friend of John Wesley, he left
for his campaign in the South, only to return defeated 9 days later.
Two local men, Tom Syddall and Thomas Deacon, who had joined the Manchester
Regiment to help Charles Stuart fight in the Rebellion, were captured
and beheaded – their heads brought back and displayed on the Exchange
in Manchester.

in the 18th Century

the early 18th century, contemporary maps show Salford as still largely
rural, with the major road networks already in place. By 1750 the town
was to change dramatically – possibly the most drastic transformation
of any town in England, as factories (largely spinning, weaving, dyeing
and bleaching) took over the fields, so that nowadays only their names
survive to indicate where they were. Salford’s growth at this time was
marked by some degree of industrialisation. Cloth was manufactured,
silk weaving was done in the locality, as were dyeing, fulling, and
bleaching. The population had reached 7,000 by the end of the 18th century.
the end of the 18th century the canals were in place – the Bridgewater
from Worsley, and the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The River Irwell had
been made navigable all the way to Liverpool.

in the 19th Century

the 19th century, the effects of the industrial revolution on Salford
was phenomenal. Factories replaced homeworkers and the resident population,
which was just 12000 in 1812, increased by 1840 to 70244, and by the
end of the century to 220000. This rapid increase, probably the greatest
in the whole of Britain, was reflected in the vast areas of poor quality
housing that were built throughout the Victorian period when overcrowding
created real social problems.
were crowded together at as many as 80 to the acre. Trade continued
to boom, and with the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal and
the docks at Salford, the city became an industrial meeting point for
all major routes and was receiving raw materials for the whole north
west of England, as well as being the main distribution point for manufactured
goods being exported out. The fate of Salford during the Industrial
Revolution was not an enviable one. Most of the worst effects and excesses
of over-industrialisation and human exploitation were to be found there.
was not all quite so black – there were some real improvements made
to the social and material fabric of late Victorian society. For Example,
the first Public Libraries Act was introduced in 1850. Salford had,
a year previously, already established a library, museum and art gallery,
the first municipal authority in Great Britain to do so.


the 1960s, Salford has gradually restored itself of the grubby smoky
town images of the post-war period. Today it boasts many delightful
aspects, from the elegance of ancient Worsley, to the formal civic grandeur
of the Crescent, where the Art Gallery and the University of Salford
now stand.
the last decades, with the abandonment of the great docks, many acres
of dock wasteland have been redeveloped as the Salford Quays project.
Waterway frontages have been attractively revamped, trees planted, ….
and attractive new waterside dwellings have been introduced into a hitherto
undesirable area, making it now a much sought-after place to live, as
well as having major new cultural developments like the Lowry and the
Imperial War Museum.

Historic Places of Salford

has a great history. Peel Park, now Salford Art Gallery, was owned by
Sir Robert Peel, a local of Bury, Prime Minister and founder of the
Metropolitan Police Force. Ordsall Hall, near Salford Quays, was once
the home of Sir John Radclyffe, who was given the privilege by king
Edward III of escorting his bride to be, the Belgian Princess Phillipa
to England. Near MacDonalds (Fast food & hamburgers) in Acton Square
stands the house of William Harvey, founder of the Vegetarian Society.
Not far away stands Joule House, named after James Prescott Joule, the
world famous 19th century physicist, who lived there for several years.
In one of the houses on The Crescent lived Thomas Worthington, one of
the great architects of the region.
Salford boasts some fifty public parks and gardens, and has at last
thrown off its unfortunate image of the “Smoky Old Town”.




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This page last updated 16 Nov 12,