The city and borough of Salford is located in Greater Manchester in the North West of England, and offers visitors a wealth of attractions to enjoy from its waterside location. From the historic, as the area is home to numerous listed buildings such as Wardley Hall, Salford Cathedral and the Barton Aqueduct Swing Bridge, to the highly modern with the recently redeveloped Salford Quays, an area buzzing with activity and now home to MediaCity as well as The Lowry and countless bars and restaurants. For those looking to relax, a trip along the Bridgewater Canal, Salford’s historic waterway will also prove a delight.
Although granted city status in 1926, there have been settlements in Salford dating back to the Stone Age, with evidence of Roman activity having also been unearthed including a huge collection of Roman coins and the discovery of the Worsley Man in 1958.
With the industrial revolution came a time of growth for Salford which benefitted from a successful textile industry, and with the building of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, the Salford Quays were linked to the River Mersey and became part of the world’s largest navigation canal. It was at this time that the Barton Swing Aqueduct was built which remains in place today. Still in operation and now a Grade II Listed building, it was designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams, a civil engineer who worked extensively on the Manchester Ship Canal, which was described as “a feat without precedent in modern history”.
Although Salford was subjected to extensive bombing during the Second World War, thankfully many beautiful buildings remain in place today, with Salford home to over 250 listed buildings including 3 Scheduled Ancient Monuments within the city. One of these is the medieval Hanging Bridge which borders Manchester and connects the River Irk and Irwell via the Hanging Ditch, and dates back to 1421 having been built to replace the previous bridge located there. The remains of an Iron Age fort which dates back to 500BC and an underwater section of the Bridgewater Canal are also scheduled.
Salford is a historic and cultural city and as such has also been a focus in popular culture, having previously been the home of Granada Studios and New Broadcasting House, the major development known as MediaCity is now home to ITV Studios and ITV Granada as well as the BBC.
Films & TV
Coronation Street was originally filmed at Granada Television in Manchester from 1960 to 2013, before production of this the world’s longest running TV soap was moved to Salford’s MediaCity.
With the BBC having now moved its production to MediaCity, programmes ranging from Breakfast, to Match of the Day and Blue Peter are all made there, in addition to BBC’s Radio 5 Live, and Radio 6 broadcasts.
Love on the Dole (1933) by Walter Greenwood is set in the fictitious Hanky Park in Salford, with Greenwood having been born in the city of Salford. This successful novel would later become both a film and play.
Christopher Eccleston was born in Salford on the 16th February 1964, the renowned British actor has starred on stage and screen and is best known for his role as the 9th Dr Who, as well as appearing in films such as 28 Days Later and Shallow Grave.
Russell Watson the celebrated English tenor was born in Salford on the 23rd November 1966, whose many works have included The Voice and That’s Life.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was born in Salford on the 8th September 1934, as is recognised for his talents as a composer and conductor, as well being appointed the Master of the Queen’s Music in 2004.
One of Salford’s most striking landmarks set on the waterfront at Salford Quays is The Lowry, a development which was opened in April 2000, bringing together the community and promoting the performing and visual arts through its two theatres, studios and gallery spaces. With cafes and bars on site beautiful views can also be enjoyed from a state of the art venue whose mission is To Enrich, Engage and Entertain.
The magnificent Ordsall Hall is a Tudor Manor which dates back to the 15th century, and was home to the Radclyffe family for over 300 years. Having provided the setting for Guy Fawkes, a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth, the Hall which is now a Grade I Listed Building was extensively refurbished in 2011 and is now open for the public to enjoy. The Great Hall and Star Chamber are said to have been the locations of sightings of The White Lady, believed to be the ghost Margaret Radclyffe.
Kersal Cell dates back to 1563 and is the second oldest building in Salford, with the surrounding area featuring the Kersal Dale Country Park and the Kersal Moors nature reserve. The Kersal Cell’s most famous resident was John Byrom the English poet who also invented a system for universal shorthand.