"Manchester" Manchester by Evenith666
Manchester Travel Guide: 1,763 reviews and 4,086 photos
Manchester is a city in the North West of England and lies at the centre of the Greater Manchester urban area. Manchester is often described as the 'Second City' of the UK and 'Capital of the North'. It is today a centre of arts, the media, higher education and commerce, regarded as the best place in the UK to locate a business.
Manchester was the first industrialised town in the world, and was at the core of the industrial revolution, and the dominant international centre for textile manufacture and cotton spinning.
Historically most of the city was part of Lancashire, with areas south of the River Mersey being in Cheshire.
Manchester has two Universities, The Manchester University, the largest full-time non-collegiate university in the United Kingdom, and the Manchester Metropolitan University. The two universities are located on and around Oxford Road, along with the Royal Northern College of Music, making it the largest urban higher education project in Europe.
Manchester held the Commonwealth Games in 2002, and has two Premier League football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City.
The name Manchester comes from the Roman name Mamucium, the name of the Roman Fort which originally occupied the site. The fort was built in the first century AD to protect Diva Victrix and Eboracum (Chester and York) from the Brigantes, the main Celtic tribe in the north of England. Parts of the Roman Fort are still visible in Castlefield. The fort and settlement had been abandoned in the third century (although the fort may have held a small garrison until the early fourth century), and by the time of the Norman Conquest the focus of the settlement had moved to the confluence of the Rivers Irk and Irwell.
During the English Civil War, Manchester favoured the Parliamentarians. Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley was elected but only stayed in office for a year, when he was appointed Major General of Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. The man was a diligent puritan, who turned out the ale houses and banned the celebration of Christmas. He died in 1656.
Manchester had been using significant quantities of cotton since the early 1600’s, originally in linen/cotton fustians. By around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance. The rivers Irwell and Mersey were made navigable in 1736, linking Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater canal, Britain’s first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines in Worsley. In 1776 the canal was extended at Runcorn to the Mersey, resulting in the combination of competition and improved efficiency halving the cost of transporting raw cotton. Manchester became the dominant marketplace for the textiles produced in the surrounding towns with its Commodities Exchange, opened in 1729.
Manchester soon became the worlds largest marketplace for cotton goods, being given the names ‘Cottonopolis’ and ‘Warehouse City’. Manchester was expanding at an astonishing rate at the turn of the 19th Century due to unplanned urbanisation brought on by the industrial revolution. It developed a wide range of industries and by 1835 it was without a doubt the greatest industrial city in the world. The canal was extended to cope with larger ships, and Manchester became one end of the world’s first intercity passenger railway, The Liverpool and Manchester Railway. In 1878, the GPO (forerunner of British Telecom) provided its first telephones to a firm in Manchester. The Manchester Ship Canal was created by canalisation of the rivers Irwell and Mersey for 36 Miles from Salford to the Mersey Estuary. This enabled Ocean-going ships to sail right to the Port of Manchester. On the canal’s banks, the worlds first Industrial Estate was created at Trafford Park. The first Trade Union congress was held in Manchester from 2nd to the 6th of June, 1868.
Although the Industrial Revolution brought wealth to the city, it also brought poverty and squalor to much of its population. The number of cotton mills in Manchester reached its peak of 108 in 1853, thereafter the number began to decline and Manchester was surpassed by Bolton in 1850’s and Oldham in the 1860’s. However, this period of decline was counter-acted by Manchester rise as the financial centre of the region. Manchester continued to process cotton into the 20th Century and in 1913 the area produced 65% or the worlds cotton. The first world war saw Manchester ability to export fall, and cotton processing grew in other parts of the world, mostly on machines made in Manchester.
In 1996, the IRA detonated the largest bomb ever to go off on British soil in Manchester. The insurance paid out to businesses was around £400 million. Since then Manchester City Centre has undergone extensive redevelopment. The Manchester Arndale is the UK’s largest inner-city shopping centre, and new and renovated complexes such as The Triangle and The Printworks have become popular shopping and entertainment destinations.
The Beetham Tower, completed in 2006, is the tallest building in the UK outside London. Its lower 23 floors form the Hilton Hotel, featuring the 'sky bar' on the 23rd floor, and from the 25th floor upwards there are luxury apartments up to the 47th Floor Triplex Penthouse, residence of Ian Simpson, designer of the building. The city is today one of the largest financial centres in Europe.
- Pros:fantastic buildings, culture, shopping and nightlife
- Cons:as with all major cities, manchester gets extremely busy
- In a nutshell:One of the greatest cities in the world
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