During the Roman times Manchester began when a wooden fort was built by the Roman Army on a plateau, about one mile south of the present cathedral. It was built in 80AD. The fort was called Mamuciam. At about 200AD the fort was rebuilt and then soon after a civilian settlement grew up around the fort. The soldiers provided a market for goods to be sold and the civilians sold things such as shoes and wine.
Manchester throughout the Middle Ages
During the time of the Domesday Book at around 1086, a village called Mamecester existed. In time the village changed its name to Manchester. In 919 the present King repaired the old Roman fort. At the time when the Normans where around in the 11th century, Manchester had a small population but that grew throughout the 12th century. In the early 13th century Manchester was made into a town. Later on the Lord of Manor (Robert Grelly) built a manor house near by then he also built the church of St. Mary. In the Middle Ages Manchester was a medium sized town. In Medieval Manchester there was a wool industry. As well as this, there was also a leather company in the town. In 1301, Manchester was given their own charter.
Manchester in the 16th century
In 1515, Hugh Oldham (Bishop of Exeter) founded a grammar school. Throughout the 16th and 17th century Manchester grew as a town and became more important across the globe. In the late 16th century, Manchester was thought to have had a population of around 4,000 people. Then by the mid-17th century, the population increased to 5,000 people. However Tudor Manchester still wasn’t a huge town.
Manchester in the 17th century
In 1603 Manchester suffered from the outbreak of the plague, it may have killed a quarter of the population. At the beginning of the 17th century, Manchester was most commonly known for its wool and also its cotton. A civil war began in 1642 between the King and parliament. In 1656 Cheethams Hospital (a school for poor children).
Manchester in the 18th century
In the early 18th century, Manchester’s population grew to around 10,000. When the industrial revolution began in the 18th century the population soared and reached 70,000. During the time of the Georgians, Manchester was still popular for making wool, cotton, linen and silk. In the year 1729 a cotton exchange was built where cotton could be bought and sold to countries around the world. With the coming of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, Manchester’s textiles industry grew bigger and bigger. There were also some more improvements made in Manchester such as, St. Ann’s church was built in 1712. As well as this, the first newspaper was written in 1719 and a quay was built on the Irwell in 1735. Meanwhile an infirmary was built in 1752 and the Manchester’s very first theatre opened 1772. By 1756 the population in Manchester had risen to just over 16,000 people that was also including Salford.
Manchester in the 19th century
During the 19th century the industrial revolution transformed Manchester. The population grew even bigger from 1801 when it was 75,000 to 126,000 in 1821. A water company began connecting pipes to the people’s homes who could afford it. However in Manchester at that time, the slums were extremely bad. A majority of streets were unpaved and rubbish such as rotten food lay in heaps on the ground. Due to the fact that some family’s had to live in one bedroom cellars, people became often sick and in 1832 cholera epidemic killed 674 people. In 1829 the Royal institution for the promotion of Literature, Science and Arts was built, it was then converted into an art gallery in 1882. The church of St. Mary was built in a cathedral in 1847. By 1851 the population in Manchester grew even larger and now consisted of 186,000 people. In the late 19th century the population had another boost after the arrival of the Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe. The first public library was then opened in 1852. Finally Manchester was made into a City.
Life in Victorian Manchester gradually started to improve.
Manchester in the 20th century
In 1900 the John Ryland’s Library opened in Manchester and is still standing today! It then merged with the University of Manchester in 1972. There were plenty of new industry’s too including: flour milling, biscuits and breakfast cereals. Tourism also became an important industry within Manchester. The museum of Science and Industry opened in 1969. In the 1970s the Arndale Shopping Centre was built. In the early 20th century the council started building the first council houses in Manchester as well as demolishing the slums. Throughout the 20th century more and more people moved out of the center of Manchester and the population started to drop considerably. During the 1970s China Town also started to grow. In 1992 the first of the metro link trams started running through Manchester. In 1996 the devastating IRA bombs destroyed the City Center and it was rebuilt. Finally the last shopping center (The Trafford Center) was built in 1998.
Piece written by: Charlotte, BBC School Report.