Georgian Manchester

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Manchester, St Ann

At this time the town was still centred around the church and marketplace. The establishment of St Ann's Church in 1709 and laying out of St Ann's Square in 1720 to the S of the old town centre was the first major planned development outside the medieval confines. Of the other seven churches erected during the C18 little trace survives.

By the second half of the 18th century Manchester had become a provincial town of the first rank. Trade was burgeoning and rapid expansion towards the end of the 18th century was facilitated by sales of large parcels of land in and around the centre. Terraces in the south part of the town on Byrom Street, Quay Street and St John Street indicate the character of housing of the middle classes at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Occasional dwellings further down the social scale survive, with a concentration in the streets north of Piccadilly Gardens and in Castlefield, where houses of artisans and skilled workers include examples with atticGlossary Term workshops, used for processes such as handloom weaving and fustian cutting.

Rapid growth in the late 18th century and 19th century was accompanied by seemingly unprecedented levels of poverty, deprivation and squalor, and although the slum housing has almost completely disappeared a range of philanthropic, charitable and municipal buildings survives as witness to the middle class response to the plight of the urban poor.


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