09 Oct Exploring the Home Of Mancunians
This is a guest post about my home city of Manchester, written by Sarah Oxley.
Mancunian is the official title of a resident of Manchester; and the Mancunians are very proud of their demonym, as well as their city. After exploring the city a little myself, I can see why they are so proud of it. The variety of areas, suburbs and history is amazing.
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a closer look together:
Castlefield is where everything began. In 79 AD Romans built a fort called Mamucium to protect their interests in the area from the local tribe, the Brigantes. The settlement which was created around this fort, where the families of the Romans lived has since expanded and transformed into the city of Manchester.
Throughout history, Castlefield has played an important role. The construction of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761 is seen to mark the start of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester. Castlefield is also famous for its role in the Manchester-Liverpool rail route, which was the first steam passenger service and which lead the way for the Age of Railway.
But Castlefield isn’t all about the “what was”, as today it’s a very lively and trendy place to hang out and enjoy yourself. Apart from the history, a wide variety of restaurants and bars lure people in. One of the most popular restaurants is Dukes 92, which is adjacent to Dukes lock, the 92nd lock of the Rochdale Canal. It was meant to be the first lock, but the locks were built by a Yorkshireman, who couldn’t bear the thought of a No.1 of any kind being in Lancashire. And you thought the rivalry was exaggerated, right?
The Northern Quarter
The Northern Quarter is Manchester’s self-styled creative quarter, and famous for its alternative and bohemian culture. Vintage has been a popular theme is this quarter before it hit the mainstream, and independent shops thrive here, as well as specialist boutiques and corner cafes. Artistic expression is around every corner, and it’s definitely a quarter of Manchester worth exploring extensively.
It’s iconic red-brick and classic architecture makes it a very popular destination for films. It’s been used for blockbusters such as Captain America, as well as being a popular location for independent film crews. If you’re a celebrity chaser, then the Northern Quarter is an important place for you to keep an eye on. You never know when you might bump into your favourite celebrity.
The word Hulme (pronounced hyoom) originates from Old Danish, and means small islands or land surrounded by streams or marsh. This quarter of Manchester was first settled by Norse invaders, who named it so, as it’s surrounded by the rivers Irwell, Medlock and Corn Brook.
It became more significant to Manchester during the Industrial Revolution when people flocked to the city looking for work in the cotton mills. Beforehand it was a rural area and mainly used for farming.
The Industrial Revolution brought change to Hulme, but it can be argued that it wasn’t the best change. In the 60s, 70s and 80s this area was renowned for its social and economic decline, but the redevelopment in the 1990s has now created a thriving community. Testament of this is the Hulme Community Garden Centre, which is a volunteer led project aiming to unite the community through gardening.
Hulme is more of a controversial area of Manchester, but if you really want to understand its significance and roll within Manchester’s history, then it should definitely be on your destination list, when exploring the city.
To help you get an even better idea of what you’re missing out on by not visiting Manchester, One UK have created an interactive area guide. It highlights key areas of Manchester and gives you a brief insight into what you can discover in each.
This article was written by Sarah Oxley on behalf of One UK, providers of city centre apartments and flats in Manchester.