Photograph courtesy of Edward Smith
Salford is a constantly changing city and is moving into the future as a thriving cultural, economic and residential location. Neglected areas are being transformed and attractions like the Lowry, with its large collection of L S Lowry’s work, hotels, theatres, galleries, designer shopping,river cruises, museums, modern architecture, watersports and executive apartments make the Quays the centrepiece of Salford’s regeneration.
The city of Salford covers 37 square miles and five metropolitan districts, Eccles, Worsley, Irlam & Cadishead, Swinton & Pendlebury and Salford itself. It lies in a meander of the River Irwell, which forms its boundary with the city of Manchester to the east.
Originally a village, Salford grew through industrialisation. It eventually grew to be one of the greatest cotton towns. The opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 and the construction of Salford Docks also brought employment to the area. Salford became one of the first county boroughs in the country, but City status was not conferred until 1926.
As one of the world's first industrial cities, Salford is flooded with historic achievements, including the world’s first free public library. In 1806, Chapel Street became the first street in the world to be lit by gas.
Salford's early history was marked by the granting of a charter by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, about 1230 A.D. The parchment, which made Salford a free borough, was written just 15 years after the Magna Carta. In the days of Edward the Confessor, Manchester formed part of the Royal Manor of Salford, which was also called Salfordshire. During Tudor times its most famous family was the Radclyffs of Ordsall Hall. Legend has it that Guy Fawkes was a friend of the family and the Gunpowder Plot hatched during a visit to the hall.