Salford lies at the heart of the City of Salford, ametropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England. Salford is sited in a meander of the River Irwell, which forms in part its boundary with the city of Manchester to the east. The Salford wards of Broughton and Kersal are on the other side of the river. Together with its neighbouring towns to the west, Salford forms the local government district of the City of Salford, which is administered from Swinton. The formerCounty Borough of Salford, which included Broughton, Pendleton andKersal, was granted honorific city status in 1926; it has a resident population of 72,750 and occupies an area of 8.1 square miles (21 km2). The wider City of Salford district has a population of 219,200.
Historically in Lancashire, Salford's early history is marked by its status as a Royal caput and the judicial seat of the ancient hundred of Salfordshire, to which it lent its name. It was granted a charter by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, in about 1230, making Salford a free borough. During the early stages of its growth, Salford was of greater cultural and commercial importance than its neighbour Manchester, although most contemporary sources agree that since the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries that position has been reversed.
Salford became a major factory town and inland port during the 18th and 19th centuries. Cotton and silk spinning and weaving in local millsattracted an influx of families and provided Salford with a strong economy.Salford Docks was a principal dockyard of the Manchester Ship Canal. By the end of the 19th century Salford had an enlarged working classcommunity and suffered from chronic overpopulation. Industrial activities declined during the 20th century however, causing a local economic depression. Salford subsequently became one of contrasts, with regenerated inner-city areas like Salford Quays next to some of the most socially deprived and violent areas in England.
Salford has become a centre of higher education, home to the University of Salford, and has seen several firsts, including the world's first unconditionally free public library, and the first street in the world to be lit by gas, Chapel Street in 1806. Salford's MediaCityUK became the headquarters of CBBC and BBC Sport in 2011.
Skyline of Salford from Hartshead Pike
The name of Salford derives from the Old English word Sealhford, meaning a ford by the willow trees. It referred to the willows (Latin: salix) or sallows that grew alongside the banks of the River Irwell. The ford was about where Victoria Bridge is today. Willow trees are still found in Lower Broughton. Salford appears in the pipe roll of 1169 as "Sauford" and in the Lancashire Inquisitions of 1226 as "Sainford"
The Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in what is now Northern England. With a stronghold at the sandstone outcrop on which Manchester Cathedral now stands, opposite Salford's original centre, their territory extended across the fertile lowland by the River Irwell that is now Salford and Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain, General Agricola ordered the construction of a Roman fort namedMamucium (Manchester) to protect the routes to Deva Victrix (Chester) and Eboracum (York) from the Brigantes. The fort was completed in AD 79, and for over 300 years the Pax Romana brought peace to the area. Both the main Roman roadto the north, from Mamucium to Ribchester, and a second road to the west, ran through what is now Salford, but few Roman artefacts have been found in the area. The withdrawal of the Romans in AD 410 left the inhabitants at the mercy of theSaxons. The Danes later conquered the area and absorbed what was left of the Brigantes. Angles settled in the region during the Early Middle Ages and gave the locality the name Sealhford, meaning "ford by the willows". According to theAnglo-Saxon Chronicle, Sealhford was part of the Kingdom of Northumbria until it was conquered in 923 by Edward the Elder.
Salford has a history of textile processing that pre-dates the Industrial Revolution, and as an old town had been developing for about 700 years. Before the introduction of cotton there was a considerable trade in woollen goods and fustians. Other cottage industries prevalent at this time included clogging,cobbling, weaving and brewing. The changes to textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on both on population and urbanisation, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of Salford.
Salford's built environmentis made up of a range of building stock. Some inner-city areas are noted for chronic urban decay. Salford's housing stock is characterised by an oversupply of older, smaller terraced housing and flatted accommodation that declined in value during the late 20th century. As demand fell, it left many owners in negative equity and often without the means to maintain their homes in reasonable condition. As a result, much of the built environment is poor.
The land use in Salford is overwhelmingly urban, with a number of green spaces. The largest is Kersal Dale Country Park, which covers about 32 hectares (0.32 km2). Others include Kersal Moor in Higher Kersal, The Meadow, Peel Park and the adjacent David Lewis Recreation Ground close to the University of Salford, and Albert Park and Clowes Park in Broughton. The territory of Salford is contiguous with other towns on all sides, and as defined by the Office for National Statistics forms the sixth-largest settlement in the Greater Manchester Urban Area, the United Kingdom's second largest conurbation. The M602 motorway enters Salford from Eccles to the west. The A580 "East Lancashire Road" terminates at Salford, entering the area from Pendlebury. Heavy rail lines pass through Salford.
Despite the rapid progress made during the Industrial Revolution, by 1851 education in Salford was judged "inadequate to the wants of the population", and for those children who did get schooling "order and cleanliness were little regarded ... [they] were for the most part crowded in close and dirty rooms".
Salford has thirty-two primary schools, and five secondary schools. Until recently there were three main 6th form and FE colleges: Pendleton College, Eccles Collegeand Salford College. They merged to create Salford City College in January 2009.
The University of Salford, a plate glass university, is one of four in Greater Manchester. It has its origins in the former Royal Technical College, which was granted the status of a College of Advanced Technology (CAT), on 2 November 1956. In November 1963 the Robbins Report recommended that the CATs should become technological universities; and on 4 April 1967 a Charter was established creating the University of Salford.The university is undergoing £150M of redevelopment through investment in new facilities, including a £10M law school and a £22M building for health and social care, which were opened in 2006.
The University of Salford has over 19,000 students, and was ranked 81st in the UK by The Times newspaper. In 2007, the university received nearly 17,000 applications for 3,660 places, and the drop-out rate from the university was 25%. Of the students graduating, 50% gained first class or 2:1 degrees, below the national average of about 55%. The level of student satisfaction in the 2009 survey ranged from 62% to 94%, depending on subject.
Early worship took place at the parish church of Manchester, however a small chantry chapel existed in 1368 on the only bridge linking the two settlements. In the 16th century, it was converted into a dungeon, and was later demolished in 1779. In 1634–1635, Humphrey Booth, a wealthy local merchant, opened a chapel of ease, which a year later was consecrated as the Chapel of Sacred Trinity (the parish of Sacred Trinity was created in 1650). John Wesley preached in the building, before his break with the Anglican Church. Upon his return in 1747 however he preached in the open, at Salford Cross. The chapel was rebuilt in about 1752–53, although the tower probably belonged to the original building. It was restored in 1871–74 by the architect J. P. Holden and a chapel was added to the south-east in 1934. It is now a Grade II* listed building.
Salford Cathedral is one of the largest Catholic cathedrals in Northern England. It was built between 1844 and 1848, and was listed as a Grade II* building in 1980.It is at the centre of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, which was founded in 1850 as one of the first post-Reformation Catholic dioceses in Britain. Its current boundaries encompass Manchester and a large part of North West England. TheBishop of Salford's official residence is at Wardley Hall.
Salford Deanery is in the Salford Archdeaconry of the Church of England. The sixteen churches in the deanery include the Parish Church of Saint Paul the Apostle in Paddington, St. Thomas' in Pendleton, St Philip with St Stephen in Salford and St Clement's in Ordsall.
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was founded in 1861, in Broughton. It was established by the local Greek immigrant community, who had arrived in the area soon after the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century. It replaced an earlier place of worship on Cheetham Hill Road, and an earlier chapel on Wellington Street. It is the oldest purpose-built Orthodox church in the country.
Salford Museum and Art Gallery opened in November 1850 as the Royal Museum and Public Library. It was built on the site of Lark Hill estate and Mansion, which was purchased by public subscription. The park was named Peel Park after Robert Peelwho contributed to the subscription fund. The library was the first unconditionally free public library in the country.
Harold Brighouse's play Hobson's Choice takes place in the Salford of 1880, and the1954 film version was shot in the town. Walter Greenwood's 1933 novel Love on the Dole was set in a fictional area known as Hanky Park, said in the novel to be near Salford, but in reality based on Salford itself. A more modern fictional setting influenced by the area is Coronation Street's Weatherfield. The Salford of the 1970s was the setting for the BAFTA award winning East is East. Salford was featured in the second series of the Channel 4 programme The Secret Millionaire, screened in 2007.
The folk song "Dirty Old Town", written by native Ewan MacColl, is the origin of Salford's nickname. Local band Doves released a song on their 2005 albumSome Cities called "Shadows of Salford". One of the most famous photographs of band The Smiths shows them standing outside the Salford Lads Club, and was featured in the artwork for their album The Queen Is Dead. The videos for theTimbaland song "The Way I Are", and the Justin Timberlake song "Lovestoned" were filmed in Salford.