Ancoats, just off the Northern Quarter in Manchester, is one of the city’s most increasingly desirable neighborhoods. We pick out our top highlights of the area.
Layer upon layer of history makes Ancoats, an Area of Conservation since 1998, really special. Once home to the textile mills that established Manchester’s reputation as ‘Cottonopolis’, the district was also a centre of manufacture for machinery, glass and newspapers, with a population of over 50,000 in the mid-1800s.
The street signs are named after the notorious street gangs, or ‘scuttlers’ who once patrolled and fought here; so Bengal Street for the Bengal Tigers, Angel Meadow for the Angels. As industry moved on, however, the area declined, leaving 80% of business space vacant in the 1990s. Now, the beautiful red-bricked factory buildings are being renovated as flats, and small, independent businesses are opening again.
Ancoats is undergoing a period of rapid change – it may well look very different in just a few years’ time. In the meantime, it’s a fantastic area to explore; if you know what you’re looking for. Keep an eye out for Grade-listed churches, small cafés, an independent theatre and even a TV studios. Cutting Room Square is currently Ancoats’ hub, a wide open space with public art and benches that used to be where bales of cotton were cut.
Hope Mill Theatre, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 7JA - Visit now
Hope Mill Theatre is a risk taking independent theatre and a welcome addition to both Ancoats and Greater Manchester. We love their shows and the general feel good vibes this place gives off.
Companio Bakery, Unit G.06 Flint Glass Wharf, 35 Radium Street, Ancoats, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6AD - Visit now
Started by artisan baker Russell Goodwin, Companio Bakery sells freshly-baked bread from a small unit in Manchester’s Ancoats. They are open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9am to 3pm, and then from 4pm to 6pm at Victoria Train Station where homeward bound commuters snaffle up any remaining bread.
Cask Ancoats, Cottonfield Wharf, 2 New Union St, Manchester, M4 6FQ - Visit now
The sister venue to the original Cask on Liverpool Road is a very welcome addition to the area. Situated in one of the many, many new-builds in Ancoats and New Islington, Cask Ancoats doesn’t retain much of the original’s shabby chic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the beer choice is brilliant.