Explore Manchester, England
Explore Manchester the sixth-largest in the United Kingdom. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with he Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell.
Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester’s unplanned urbanization was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialized city.
In 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. It is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world’s first inter-city passenger railway station; scientists first split the atom, developed the stored-program computer and produced graphene in the city. Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Manchester’s buildings display a variety of architectural styles, ranging from Victorian to contemporary architecture. The widespread use of red brick characterizes the city, much of the architecture of which harks back to its days as a global center for the cotton trade. Just outside the immediate city center are a large number of former cotton mills, some of which have been left virtually untouched since their closure while many have been redeveloped into apartment buildings and office space. Manchester Town Hall, in Albert Square, was built in the Gothic revival style and is considered to be one of the most important Victorian buildings in England.
Manchester also has a number of skyscrapers built during the 1960s and 1970s, the tallest of which was the CIS Tower located near Manchester Victoria station until the Beetham Tower was completed in 2006; it is an example of the new surge in high-rise building and includes a Hilton hotel, a restaurant, and apartments. The Green Building, opposite Oxford Road station, is a pioneering eco-friendly housing project, while the recently completed One Angel Square, is one of the most sustainable large buildings in the world. The award-winning Heaton Park in the north of the city borough is one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, covering 610 acres (250 ha) of parkland. The city has 135 parks, gardens, and open spaces.
Two large squares hold many of Manchester’s public monuments. Albert Square has monuments to Prince Albert, Bishop James Fraser, Oliver Heywood, William Ewart Gladstone, and John Bright. Piccadilly Gardens has monuments dedicated to Queen Victoria, James Watt and the Duke of Wellington. The cenotaph in St Peter’s Square is Manchester’s main memorial to its war dead; designed by Edwin Lutyens, it follows his design for the original on Whitehall in London. A larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln by George Gray Barnard in the eponymous Lincoln Square was presented to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft of Cincinnati, Ohio, to mark the part that Lancashire played in the cotton famine and American Civil War of 1861–1865. A Concorde is on display near Manchester Airport.
Manchester has six designated Local Nature Reserves which are Chorlton Water Park, Blackley Forest, Clayton Vale and Chorlton Ees, Ivy Green, Boggart Hole Clough and Highfield Country Park.
The night-time economy of Manchester has expanded significantly since about 1993, with investment from breweries in bars, public houses and clubs, along with active support from the local authorities. The more than 500 licensed premises in the city center have a capacity to deal with more than 250,000 visitors, with 110–130,000 people visiting on a typical weekend night, making Manchester the most popular city for events at 79 per thousand people.