What’s medieval about the Medieval Quarter?

Cotton city is older than you think


Finding the medieval in Manchester

Better known as the Cottonopolis of the Industrial Revolution, ‘medieval’ isn’t a term frequently associated with the city of Manchester.

Today’s Manchester Evening News article about the City Council’s plans for the revitalisation of ‘the Medieval Quarter’ poses the questions: since when was it the Medieval Quarter, and what’s medieval about it?

One simple answer is that the area was the locus of the medieval town that existed after Roman Castlefield and before the industrial city – the ‘middle ages’, literally. So although ‘the Medieval Quarter’ is a relatively new name, the area bordered by Chetham’s School of Music and Library, the National Football Museum, Manchester Cathedral and the Corn Exchange has always been the medieval quarter of Manchester.

But the medievalness of the area isn’t immediately obvious (at the moment).

The three easiest places to see medieval Manchester in the Medieval Quarter today are Chetham’s Library, Hanging…

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