Industrial city in Greater Manchester, northwest England, on the west bank of the River Irwell and the Manchester Ship Canal; population (2001) 72,800. Industries include engineering and the manufacture of electrical goods and textiles.
History Mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 923, Salford was a place of some importance in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. In 1228, King Henry III granted the town the right to hold a market and an annual fair. Salford township and part of Broughton township received the charter of incorporation in 1844. In 1853 the adjoining township of Pendleton and part of Pendlebury were merged with Salford which, in 1889, became one of the first county boroughs in the country. City status was conferred in 1926. With the growth of the cotton, textile, and engineering industries in the 19th century, the city's population expanded rapidly, resulting in overcrowding and the building of much poor quality housing. Salford reached its population peak of 234,000 in 1921. Many of the 19th-century houses were demolished after World War II, and the population declined dramatically in the second half of the 20th century.
Features The Lowry, a centre for performing and visual arts on the site of Salford Quays, opened in 2000. A Millennium Commission Landmark Project, it contains a large collection of paintings by L S Lowry, who lived in Salford for much of his life; and two theatres which seat 1,650 and 400. Also incorporated in the complex is the National Industrial Centre for Virtual Reality. Other features include the neoclassical St Philip's Church (1825), designed by Robert Smirke; the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John (1848); and Salford University (1966), founded in 1896 as the Royal Technical Institute.
Famous people Salford was the birthplace of the scientist James Prescott Joule and the novelist Walter Greenwood. A 17th-century draper and astronomer, William Crabtree, is said to have sighted Venus for the first time from here in 1639.
The Quays The opening of the Manchester Ship Canal (1894) was a major factor in the industrialization and expansion of Salford. The canal forms Salford's southern border. The city suffered during the industrial decline of the second half of the 20th century, which affected its traditional dock-based industries. Salford Quays, a regeneration project begun in the 1980s, transformed Salford's docklands into a mixed-use waterfront development for leisure, business, and residential use, creating a total of 12,000 jobs.
Museums The Salford Museum and Art Gallery is home to Lark Hill Place, which claims to be the finest recreated Victorian street of its kind, with authentic period shops and rooms, many of which were amassed from the locality and are typical of a northern industrial town. Ordsall Hall Museum is one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the North West. The Working Class Movement Library was founded in Salford in 1962 by Edmund and Ruth Frow. It has a unique collection of books, pamphlets, and other documents on the local and national history of the Labour Movement. The Lancashire Mining Museum is housed in a building designed by Charles Barry in 1829.
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