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The District of Hulme, Manchester
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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Hulme Arch
Hulme Arch
Photograph by kind permission and © of William Starritt, 2010

Hulme is now a bustling inner city area of south Manchester, but until the mid 18th century, it was a peaceful rural area where farming was the sole occupation.

The Bridgewater Canal, completed in 1761 was commissioned to transport coal from mines in Worsley to Manchester. This brought new jobs to the area, but it all happened with such speed that the influx of people seeking work meant that accommodation had to be provided quickly. This resulted in low-quality housing and poor sanitation.

Poor sanitation, along with a smokey environment caused by the chimneys of houses, mills and railway, led to very poor health for the residents. By 1844, the situation had grown so serious that Manchester Borough Council had to pass a law banning further building.

By necessity, families had to continue living in an unhealthy environment, and social deprivation led to many instances of crime, drug dealing and drug addiction.

By the start of the 1960s most of the slum areas of Hulme had been demolished.

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