Welcome to Salford, a city in Greater Manchester, England that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Manchester. However, Salford has a rich history, stunning landmarks, and a vibrant culture that make it a must-visit destination for any traveler. Situated in a meander on the western bank of the River Irwell, Salford’s boundary with Manchester forms its city center. Landmarks in the city include the 100 Greengate skyscraper, the old town hall, cathedral, and St. Philips Church. Salford was the former Salfordshires judicial seat in the historic county of Lancashire and was granted a market charter in about 1230 by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester. These two initially made it of greater cultural and commercial importance than neighboring Manchester: the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries reversed that relationship. The former County Borough of Salford was granted city status in 1926, and the current wider borough was established in 1974. The economy of the city was focused on a major cotton and silk spinning and weaving factory district in the 18th and 19th centuries and an important inland port on the Manchester Ship Canal from 1894. Industrial decline in the 20th century led to the city having run-down and antisocial areas. However, multiple media sector headquarters relocated to the Salford Quays development called MediaCityUK to replace the loss of heavy industry. Notable establishments and companies in the city include the University of Salford, Salford City Football Club, Salford Lads Club, BBC North, and ITV Granada.
Salford has a rich history that dates back to the Neolithic era, as evidenced by the flint arrowheads and workings discovered on Kersal Moor and the River Irwell. 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 center. Following the Roman conquest of Britain, General Agricola ordered the construction of a Roman fort named Mamucium (Manchester) to protect the routes to Deva Victrix (Chester) and Eboracum (York) from the Brigantes. Salford was founded when the fort was completed in AD 79, and for over 300 years, the Pax Romana brought peace to the area. The withdrawal of the Romans in AD 410 left the inhabitants at the mercy of the Saxons. 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. Following the emergence of the United Kingdom of England, Salford became a caput or central manor within a broad rural area in part held by the Kings of England, including Edward the Confessor. The area between the rivers Mersey and Ribble was divided into six smaller districts, referred to as wapentakes, or hundreds. The southeast district became known as the Hundred of Salford, a division of land administered from Salford for military and judicial purposes. It contained nine large parishes, smaller parts of two others, and the township of Aspull in the parish of Wigan.
Salford’s industrial history is also fascinating. The city has a history of textile processing that predates 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 population and urbanization, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of Salford. The well-established textile processing and trading infrastructure, and the ready supply of water from the River Irwell and its tributaries, attracted entrepreneurs who built cotton mills along the banks of the river in Pendleton and Ordsall. Although Salford followed a similar pattern of industrial development to Manchester, most businesses preferred to build their premises on the Manchester side of the Irwell, and consequently, Salford did not develop as a commercial center in the same way as its neighbor. Many of these earlier mills had been based on Arkwright-type designs. These relied on strong falls of water, but Salford is on a meander of the Irwell with only a slight gradient and thus mills tended to be built upstream, at Kersal and Pendleton. However, with the introduction of the steam engine in the late 18th century, merchants began to construct mills closer to the centers of Salford and Manchester, where supplies of labor and coal were more readily available. One of the first factories to be built was Philips and Lees Twist Mill in Salford, completed in 1801, the second iron-framed multi-story building to be erected in Britain. The large Salford Engine Twist Company mill was built to the west of S