The Roman General Julius Agricola founded ‘Mamucium’ in 79AD; the name means ‘breast shaped hill’, as this was what Agricola discovered in Castlefield, where the original settlement was based. Now, the fort that was built here – protected by the Rivers Irwell and Medlock – only survives in ruins, and the amphitheatre is a modern one, built to host occasional outdoor gigs. Canals are a key feature in the area; Castlefield was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world’s first industrial canal, the success of which inspired ‘canal mania’ in Britain. The real draw in the area, however, is ambitious cultural complex HOME (with its innovative cross-arts programming), the Museum of Science and Industry (housed in the magnificent buildings of the world’s first passenger railway), the small but influential Castlefield Gallery and the restaurants and bars that face out onto the canals.
Once a hub of industrial activity, Castlefield is now one of the city’s most tranquil spots. That’s thanks, in part, to its designation in 1982 as the UK’s first Urban Heritage Park, which safeguarded canals and cobbles and created a largely traffic-free haven. Its moored-up, flower-decked canal boats are evidence of the slower pace of life here.
Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4FP - Visit now
The Science & Industry Museum is housed in the buildings of the world’s first inter-city passenger railway; this sprawling, interactive land of scientific exploration includes a working steam train.
Cask, 29 Liverpool Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4NQ
Cask is a well-loved pub on Liverpool Road in Manchester. It has an excellent selection of continental beers and a cosy beer garden.
BRUTAL at Saul Hay offers an important chance to step back and consider the rapidly changing fabric of our urban surroundings.
Soft Bodies at Castlefield Gallery will reference the body in relation to technology, politics, gender, race and sexuality.
Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences for all ages as Manchester Science Festival returns.
Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.
This blockbuster exhibition was due to close at the end of March, but has been extended until 29 November as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s reopening programme.
Packed with sparkling live song, queer love stories and a good dose of festive politics, Sh!t Theatre are back in Manchester just in time for Christmas.
Sparkling and sincere, Le Gateau Chocolat brings family-friendly cabaret and a good dose of glitz in this retelling of The Ugly Duckling.
Join the Science and Industry Museum this October half term for a safe, scientific and inspiring day out.
Castlefield Gallery presents ‘Obstructions’ – a rather unconventional group show about the freedoms within restriction, and rules that are sometimes there to be broken.