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This article is about the city in England. For alternative meanings, see Manchester (disambiguation).

is a typical example of the Victorian architecture found in Manchester and is the home of Manchester City Council]]
Manchester is a city in North West England which in 2001 had a population of approximately 422,300. The city is situated in the centre of a large metropolitan county called Greater Manchester which has an aggregate population of 2,438,000.

The term "Manchester" is often loosely used to refer to the Greater Manchester conurbation, rather than the City of Manchester which is a metropolitan borough. While Greater Manchester contains some towns such as Wigan or Rochdale which clearly have seperate identities, it also contains several boroughs such as Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford which run directly into the Manchester urban area.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Culture
3 Transport
4 Places
5 Bibliography
6 External links


City of Manchester
Status: Metropolitan borough, City (1853)
Region: North West England
Ceremonial County: Greater Manchester
- Total
Ranked 228th
115.65 km²
Admin. HQ: Manchester
ONS code: 00BN
Geographical coordinates: 53°29'N 2°15'W
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
Ranked 6th
3,652 / km²
Ethnicity: 81.0% White
9.1% S.Asian
4.5% Afro-Carib.
1.3% Chinese
Manchester City Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive: Labour
MPs: Keith Bradley, Paul Goggins, Gerald Kaufman, Tony Lloyd, Graham Stringer

Manchester was started by the Roman general Agricola who called the fort he set up there Mamucium, meaning breast shaped hill. A facsimile of a Roman fort exists in Castlefield.

In the 14th Century Manchester became home to a community of Flemish (Dutch) weavers, who settled in the town to produce wool and linen.

Manchester played a key part in the Industrial Revolution. Its damp climate made it and the surrounding area ideal for cotton mills, such as Quarry Bank Mill. Its growth was also aided by its proximity to Liverpool's ports and the emerging rail and canal networks.

At 11:20 a.m. on Saturday 15 June 1996, the IRA detonated a bomb containing 1500 kg of explosive in a van on Corporation Street, near the junction with Market Street. This was the largest IRA bomb ever detonated in Great Britain. Fortunately warnings received in the previous hour had allowed the evacuation of the area, but 206 people were recorded by the ambulance service as having been injured, mainly by falling glass and building debris. A large area of the city centre was devastated, and over 50,000 square metres of retail space and 25,000 square metres of office space subsequently had to be rebuilt. Since then the city centre has undergone extensive rejuvenation along with the more general efforts to regenerate previously degenerated areas of the wider city (such as Hulme and Salford).

In 2002, the city hosted the XVII Commonwealth Games very successfully, earning praise from many previously sceptical sources.

In the 1990s, Manchester earned a reputation for gang-related crime, particularly after a spate of shootings involving young men, and reports of teenagers carring handguns as 'fashion accessories'. Gun-crime is still a problem in Manchester (some have cynically referred to the city as 'Gunchester') but a number of initiatives are in place by the Greater Manchester Police to help reduce the number of youths getting involved with gangs and their associated crimes. The district of Moss Side gained a particular reputation for gang violence, although substantial community and police initiatives have helped rejuvinate the area.


Art, museums and exhibitions

Manchester was home to the artist
L.S. Lowry after whom the Lowry Centre in Salford Quays is named, one of Manchester's many theatres. There are many art galleries in Manchester, notably Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Chinese Arts Centre, the Cornerhouse and the Castlefield Gallery.

Manchester has a good selection of exhibitions including a war museum, a museum of science and industry, an urban life museum, a jewish museum, a Pankhurst Centre, a People's History Museum and the general Manchester Museum.


The Hallé Orchestra is based in Manchester, often playing from their own concert venue, the Bridgewater Hall (named after the Duke of Bridgewater). Previously, they performed at the Free Trade Hall, which was for many years a focal point for public debate and cultural activity in the city. The city is also the home of the Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham's School of Music.

Manchester was home to the The Bee Gees (one of the biggest selling popular Music artists) during their formative years.

Manchester has played a significant role in British youth and counterculture throughout the 1980s and 1990s, coining the phrase Madchester. The rock bands Oasis, New Order, Inspiral Carpets, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and The Smiths came from Manchester, as well as New Wave outfits such as Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Magazine and electronic music outfits such as 808 State. It was also home to one of the world's most famous clubs, the Hacienda nightclub, in the 80's till the early 90's when it was closed due to gang and drug trouble.

More recently, Manchester's contribution to popular music has included artists like Badly Drawn Boy, Elbow and Doves.


The city is noted for its excellent theatres, among them the Library Theatre, the Royal Exchange and the Contact Theatre. It is also home to two highly-regarded drama schools; The Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre and the Arden School of Theatre.


Manchester has a wide variety of buildings from Victorian architecture through to modern. Buildings of architectural interest in Manchester include:


BBC has its north west headquarters in New Broadcasting House on Manchester's Oxford Road, while Granada Television also have their original headquarters in the Castlefield area of the city.

The city's main newspaper is the Manchester Evening News and the town is home to local radio stations such as BBC GMR, Key 103 Century FM and Smooth FM, as well as some smaller stations.

The Guardian newspaper was founded in Manchester in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian. The head office was moved to London in 1964, but it still shares a Manchester office on Deansgate with its sister publication, the Manchester Evening News.


Manchester is home to three Universities: The University of Manchester, UMIST, and Manchester Metropolitan University. Together with nearby Salford University, and the Royal Northern College of Music, these give the area a student population in excess of 50,000. This is one of the biggest student populations in Europe. The first two institutions are to merge in autumn 2004 to form the largest university in Britain.


Sport and especially football are an important part of Manchester culture. Two major football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City, bear the city's name. United's ground is just outside the city, in the borough of Trafford. These football teams are just two examples, according to the Urbis centre Manchester has the highest concentration of football clubs per capita anywhere in the world. Other football teams in Greater Manchester include Oldham Athletic, Stockport county, Bury F.C, Wigan Athletic, Rochdale F.C and Bolton Wanderers.

The legacy of the commonwealth games includes many first class sporting facilities such as the Manchester velodrome, the City of Manchester Stadium and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Old Trafford (cricket) ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, hosts many first-class cricket matches.



Manchester International Airport is the third largest airport in the UK (after Heathrow and Gatwick). In 2003 it handled 20 million passengers and provided direct flights to over 180 destinations worldwide by over 90 airlines.


The main roads serving Manchester are the
M56, M6, M60, M61, M62 and M66 motorways.


The main central railway stations are
Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Victoria. A tram system called Metrolink is operated by Serco and links the city centre to Altrincham, Eccles and Bury with several extensions proposed for the near future.


One legacy of the industrial revolution is an extensive network of
canals: the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal;, Rochdale Canal, Manchester Ship Canal which provides access to the sea, Bridgewater Canal, Ashton Canal and the Leigh Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal;. Today, most of these canals are used for recreation.


Towns that run directly into the Manchester urban area include
Salford, Sale, Altrincham, Cheadle, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Stretford. Places like Trafford and Salford can be considered part of the Manchester urban area in a way that Wigan or Bolton are not.

Places in the borough of Manchester include:

See also:


External links

Districts of England - North West England
Allerdale | Barrow-in-Furness | Blackburn with Darwen | Blackpool | Bolton | Burnley | Bury | Carlisle | Chester | Chorley | Congleton | Copeland | Crewe and Nantwich | Eden | Ellesmere Port and Neston | Fylde | Halton | Hyndburn | Knowsley | Lancaster | Liverpool | Macclesfield | Manchester | Oldham | Pendle | Preston | Ribble Valley | Rochdale | Rossendale | St Helens | Salford | Sefton | South Lakeland | South Ribble | Stockport | Tameside | Trafford | Vale Royal | Warrington | West Lancashire | Wigan | Wirral | Wyre

Administrative counties with multiple districts: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside