Pioneer Quay At Castlefield - Manchester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 28.481 W 002° 15.118
30U E 549647 N 5925338
Quick Description: This stand alone information board has information about a quay on the Rochdale Canal in the Castlefield area of Manchester. The Castlefield area became the first Urban Heritage Park in 1982.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/23/2017 5:05:37 PM
Waymark Code: WMVAGP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member MeerRescue
Views: 1

Long Description:
The sign has information on both sides of the board.

Front of sign
CASTLEFIELD
Preserving, Improving, Living in the heart of our city

Pioneer Quay

PIONEER QUAY IS NAMED AFTER THE ROCHDALE PIONEERS WHO FOUNDED THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT LOCALLY. IT WAS NAMED IN 1987 AS PART OF A RADIO SHOW COMPETITION. THE NAME ALSO REFLECTS THE PIONEERING SPIRIT IN MANCHESTER, WHICH HAS LED TO ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM ROMAN TIMES, THROUGH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND ONWARDS.

Many technological advances of the Industrial Revolution were pioneered in Castlefield, including some by engineer James Brindley. In 1765 he engineered a system for transporting coal from the canal boats at water level up to street level. Castlefield sits on an approximately five metre sandstone cliff and there was a large drop between the canal and street level. To overcome this, Brindley drove a tunnel into the sandstone cliff at Castle Quay, where it was connected to a water-wheel, powered by River Medlock water. This water-wheel worked a hoist system which lifted coal from boats in the tunnel up shafts to the top of the cliff. From there, the coal was carted into Manchester. Grocers' Warehouse was later built over the tunnel and it became known as the GROCERS' COMPANY WAREHOUSE TUNNEL.

Brindley's tunnel was also to be accompanied by a larger coal wharf, reached by an extension of the Grocers' tunnel through to the area now known as Pioneer Quay behind you.

This area was once part of the sandstone cliff, but was excavated to accommodate the Rochdale Canal in the early 19TH CENTURY. The Rochdale Canal was carried under Deansgate and into Castlefield by the Gaythorn tunnel. This tunnel was built in 1794-1804 and would have cut off the Grocers' tunnel. The Gaythorn tunnel was later opened out to reveal the remnants of the extended Grocers' tunnel, which can now be seen behind you. A plaque on Century Street, under the Metrolink viaduct commemorates the rebuilding of the tunnel by the MANCHESTER CORPORATION in 1902, when a long girder bridge was installed.

The canals were eventually superseded by the railways. The railway viaduct above you is a listed structure and stands to illustrate the sheer amount of transport routes which travelled through Castlefield during the Industrial Revolution.

The Railway Hotel used to stand over the Gaythorn tunnel where the pedestrian steps to the Metrolink station are now located just across Deansgate. Before it was demolished in the 196os it was one of the oldest railway hotels in the world.

Deansgate Station, just across the road and to your right, was previously known as Knott Mill Station. A large manufacturing site known as Knott Mill stood close to the station. During the 19TH CENTURY this was home to W & J GALLOWAY & SONS engineering works. Their steam engines were exported all over the world and examples can be seen today at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Large areas of Castlefield fell into dereliction as the industry moved away from the city centre during the early 20TH CENTURY. However, following the designation of Castlefield as a Conservation Area in 1979, the pioneering spirit returned to the area and in 1982 Castlefield was designated the first Urban Heritage Park in Britain.
Rear of sign
Welcome to Castlefield

CASTLEFIELD IS ONE OF THE MOST DISTINCTIVE AND HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT URBAN LANDSCAPES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

Castlefield, the birthplace of Manchester, holds the city's Roman origins, the world's oldest surviving railway station and canals that drove the Industrial Revolution.

There are mills, waterways. Roman ruins, gardens, eighteenth century houses. twentv-first century flats, restaurants, bars, pubs, an outdoor arena and one of the biggest of the Science and Industry museums in Europe.

Castlefield is pure drama: where steel, iron, glass and brick are softened by flower beds, lawns and water. Every year the area hosts regular events both large and small.

These signboards were produced by Castlefield Forum to help visitors and locals understand the area. The Forum is made up of residents and local businesses committed to caring for Castlefield.

For more details, more history and a contemporary view of the area visit: www.ourcastlefield.co.uk
Type of Historic Marker: Stand alone information board

Historical Marker Issuing Authority: Manchester City Council

Related Website: [Web Link]

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Age/Event Date: Not listed

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