Views of Old Manchester


I’ve always been curious about the history of the places I live in so for a while I was reading a lot about the history of Manchester, mostly via small booklets published by the City Council. The drawings in this Internet Archive discovery are familiar from some of those publications which tended to recycle the same few views. Manchester’s history dates back to the Roman occupation of Britain but the city never received the kind of detailed artistic attention that London inspired.


Views of Old Manchester is dated 1885 but its antiquarian publishers use the old-fashioned (and somewhat anachronistic) medial “s” in their text. The drawings are from Jackson’s Views of Manchester Streets (1822) and James’s Views (1825), and show a variety of Dickensian buildings many of which had been demolished by the time this small book was published. The only recognisable structure to contemporary eyes is the tower of the Cathedral. For an idea of how Market Street looks today, Flickr has plenty of recent views while mcrarchives has photos dating back to the 19th century.


Map of Manchester, 1650.


Top of Market Street (Built about 1550).


Middle of Market Street (Built about 1530).


Bottom of Market Street (About 1820).


Old Smithy Door (About 1580).


The “Old Church” (Founded in 1422).


Old Blackfriars Bridge (Constructed in 1761).



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