Wythenshawe (/ˈwɪðənʃɔː/; pop. 110,000) is an
area of south Manchester, England.
Historically in Cheshire, in 1931
Wythenshawe was transferred to
the City of Manchester, which had begun building a massive housing
estate there in the 1920s. With an area of approximately 11 square
miles (28 km2), at one time
Wythenshawe was the largest council
housing estate in Europe, although private home ownership in the
area has grown.
Wythenshawe comprises nine areas: Baguley, Benchill, Peel Hall, Newall
Green, Woodhouse Park, Moss Nook, Northern Moor, Northenden, and
Sharston. The boundaries of these areas have changed throughout
history, and previously known areas such as Brownley Green and
Crossacres have since been assimilated into one of the areas listed,
though many residents still refer to them by name.
2 Housing and social history
6 Public services
9 In the media
10 Notable people
11 See also
13 External links
Wythenshawe Hall, a former stately home and local landmark in
The name of
Wythenshawe seems to come from the Old English wiðign =
"withy tree" and sceaga = "wood" (compare dialectal word shaw). The
three ancient townships of Northenden, Baguley, and Northen Etchells
formally became the present-day
Wythenshawe when they were merged with
Manchester in 1931. Until then, the name had referred only to
Wythenshawe Hall and its grounds.
For many centuries the Tatton family owned
Wythenshawe Hall and much
land in what is now Wythenshawe.
Manchester Corporation, which was in
desperate need of land to house the city's rapidly increasing
population, pressured Mr Tatton to part with the land in 1926. What
was once farmland was transformed into one of the largest housing
estates in Europe. Due to spending cuts the hall was temporarily
closed to the public in 2010. One proposition was that Manchester
City Council could sell the building to the National Trust. A
Friends Group was formed to support monthly open days and events at
the hall. In March 2016 the roof of the hall and an upper floor
were severely damaged by a fire, in an arson attack, with the clock
tower also damaged.
Immediately south of
Manchester Airport, formerly
called Ringway Airport. Before the Ringway Airport was laid out, three
farm fields between Rackhouse Road and
Wythenshawe Road in Northern
Moor, in what is now the north edge of
Wythenshawe were used as
Manchester (Wythenshawe) Aerodrome. This was the UK's first municipal
airfield, and operated between April 1929 and early 1930. A barn was
converted to act as the hangar and a farmhouse as the administration
building. Temporary fuel pumps were installed. The last recorded
Wythenshawe Airport took place on 19 June 1930.
Manchester Airport and
Wythenshawe are now, as around 1925
Housing and social history
Wythenshawe is Manchester's largest district, a massive housing estate
that was started in the 1920s intended as a "garden city" where people
could be rehoused away from industrial Manchester.
Benchill (not the area southwest of Gladeside Road) and some
areas in the north were built before
World War II
World War II and called the
Wythenshawe Ward of the City of Manchester. The rest was built after
the Second World War, starting in the late 1940s as wartime building
restrictions were relaxed. Parts of
Baguley were still semi-rural in
the 1960s, but now there is very little open country left.
The estate was built initially without many shops, amenities or
services, and there was very little employment directly to hand.
Northenden already had a shopping area on Palatine Road, the
earliest new shops were built in the 1930s and included parades on
Hollyhedge Road, and on
Altrincham Road in
Sharston (the latter was
demolished in 1973 to make way for the M56
Sharston bypass). However,
it took decades for some areas of
Wythenshawe to get their own
neighbourhood shops, which meant residents had to travel or visit a
mobile shop van when it visited their area. Various residents'
associations were set up to address those problems, but progress was
After the Second World War,
Wythenshawe eventually expanded, with
several further shops being built (such as Haveley Circle, built in
the early 1950s but demolished in the 1990s) and businesses were
attracted to the area with the expansion of the
Estate and, later, the Moss Nook and Roundthorn industrial complexes.
Wythenshawe gradually acquired all the amenities and facilities that
the original planners had neglected to include with the building of
several new schools, shops, pubs and churches. The area also got its
own hospital, and
Wythenshawe Hospital grew out of the earlier Baguley
Hospital in 1948. The largest shopping area was built in the 1960s in
the town centre, known as the
Wythenshawe Civic Centre, which has been
expanded further since it was first built. In 1971, the Wythenshawe
Forum was opened there, which included a library, a swimming pool, a
restaurant, a bar and a theatre.
From the 1990s to the 2000s, the houses that were built and owned by
the council were transferred to the control of local housing
associations, such as
Willow Park in east
Wythenshawe and Parkway
Green in west Wythenshawe. Both associations merged in 2013 to form
Wythenshawe Community Housing Group which is now responsible for
around 14,000 homes in Wythenshawe.
The New York Times
The New York Times described the housing estates in
Wythenshawe as representing an "extreme pocket of social deprivation
Most of the farm buildings in the
Wythenshawe area were demolished
when the estate was built. Some of them, like Hollyhedge Farm and
Floats Hall, were left among the houses but suffered from vandalism
and had to be demolished later. Some of the present housing estates
were named after former farms.
Peel Hall Farm (which had a moat) survived for over 20 years
[clarification needed] as its occupant lived on the proceeds of
selling his land, but soon after he left, the property was vandalised
and had to be demolished.
Newall Green Farm survived on the edge of the
Newall Green housing
estate area and was still occupied and run as a farm until the early
21st century when its last occupant died, when it was abandoned and
fenced off. The buildings are listed. In 2006, a firm bought Newall
Green Farm's buildings from
Manchester Corporation. On 21 June 2014,
vandals set fire to
Newall Green Farm, and its roof was destroyed, but
there are plans to turn the buildings into a care home for adults with
learning disabilities, a working farm and a horse-riding centre.
Wythenshawe has 12 parks and 18 woodland areas including Wythenshawe
Park, which was designated a
Local Nature Reserve in 2011. It
covers over 270 acres (110 ha) of green space and is home to
Manchester's only community farm,
Wythenshawe community farm. At the
centre of the park is the historic
Wythenshawe Hall with its Civil War
and Tatton heritage. The park also has riding stables, a horticulture
centre, children's play area, athletics track, football pitches,
tennis courts, bowls and golfing facilities.
Other parks include Hollyhedge Park, Peel Hall Park, Painswick Park
Baguley Park. Northenden's Riverside Park is the first new park to
be established in the city in the 21st century.
The district is under the authority of
Manchester City Council.
Wythenshawe was a parliamentary constituency created in
1950 and represented by
Alf Morris of the Labour Party between 1964
and 1997. Before the 1997 election, the boundaries were redrawn and
part of the neighbouring area of Sale included in the seat. The
constituency is now called
Wythenshawe and Sale East. In the same
Alf Morris stepped down and was replaced by Paul Goggins. It is
still considered a safe Labour seat, with Labour securing over 50% of
the vote (and more than twice as many votes as its nearest rival) in
the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections. Labour kept the seat in the 2010
elections, though their share of the vote was decreased to 44.1%. In
early 2014, following the death of Paul Goggins, a by-election was
held. Labour candidate
Mike Kane (a former
Northenden councillor until
2008) won the seat with 55.3% of the vote, though voter turnout was
low (28%). The 2017 general election saw the largest vote share for
Labour in the history of both the current and former
with 62.2% of the vote and a 15,000 majority.
At the time of the 2001 UK Census,
Wythenshawe was divided into six
local government wards: Baguley, Benchill, Northenden, Sharston,
Woodhouse Park and Brooklands (the latter being an area divided with
the neighbouring borough of Trafford). Each ward was represented by
three local councillors, giving
Wythenshawe 21 of the 99 seats on
Manchester City Council. Following a review by the Boundary Committee
England published in 2003, the ward of
Benchill was abolished, and
its former territory was divided between the wards of Northenden,
Sharston, and Woodhouse Park.
Wythenshawe typically returns all Labour councillors in local
elections, although in the 2008 elections the Liberal Democrats gained
a seat in
Northenden and a second seat (in the same area) in the 2010
elections. Labour regained these seats in the 2012 and 2014 elections.
Wythenshawe is 8 miles (13 km) south of the city centre and is
the southernmost district of Manchester. It is surrounded by some of
the most affluent areas in the UK.
Altrincham and Hale lie to the
south-west, Sale to the north-west and Cheadle to the east. Manchester
Airport, the third largest in the UK, is immediately to the south.
Shadow Moss is an area south of Ringway Road in the southeast corner
of Wythenshawe. On this old map of
Wythenshawe it is roughly the
rectangular area between three country lanes with Heyhead at its
northwest corner. On modern maps, its north edge is the southern
branch of Ringway Road. It was partly in
Northen Etchells township and
Styal parish. For many centuries it was a peat bog which was
dug for peat fuel, locally called "turf"; local manorial law said that
after digging peat the top living plant layer had to be lodged back to
let more peat form afterwards. Each man's allocated part of the Moss
was called his "moss room".
In the 19th century, manorial control was lost over what people used
their moss rooms for, and an 1839 tithe map of
Northen Etchells shows
Northen Etchells's part of Shadow Moss as about 2/3 arable, about 1/3
meadow, one field as pasture, and one field as "uncultivated
Later, the fertile lowland peat soil led to the area being much used
for market gardening, with large areas under greenhouses. Of the
people who worked there, many lived in Heyhead.
As of around 1970, Heyhead was a small settlement at the south end of
Woodhouse Lane and the nearby part of Ringway Road. It comprised
several terrace houses, a small shop, two or more old cottages, a
chapel, and the Ringway Haulage Company.
Manchester Airport's ground
level car parking has been displaced from other areas and car parks
have been formed to the north and south of the runways and under the
approach path. The Heyhead area has been progressively replaced by
level car parks, and by 2011 all of Heyhead's buildings had vanished
(see History of
Some greenhouses remain at the far east of the Shadow Moss area as of
June 2012, but are used by private car parking operators (not
associated with the airport company) and not for growing any crop. The
last market gardener there, who grew tomatoes, closed his business in
2011 due to competition from highly mechanized enormous greenhouse
Wythenshawe is policed by the South
Manchester Division of Greater
Manchester Police. Wythenshawe's fire and rescue services are the
responsibility of the
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and
are based at a fire station on Brownley Road.
The M56 motorway, constructed in the 1970s as a continuation of the
A5103 road (Princess Parkway), bisects east and west Wythenshawe. A
bypass connecting it to the nearby
M60 motorway was built through
Sharston and opened in 1974.
The nearest railway station to
Wythenshawe was located adjacent to
Longley Lane at the edge of
Sharston on the
Cheshire Lines Railway
Stockport to Liverpool. Named
Northenden for Wythenshawe,
Northenden railway station was closed on 30 November 1964.
Wythenshawe did not then have a public railway service for several
decades, with the nearest stations being located in the neighbouring
areas of Gatley,
Heald Green and Altrincham. A station at Manchester
Airport was opened in 1993.
The Airport Line branch of the
Manchester Metrolink tram service
includes twelve stops throughout Wythenshawe. The line opened on 3
November 2014, a year ahead of schedule. In addition to the
building of the new Metrolink lines and stations, a new public
transport hub was built in
Wythenshawe Town Centre which opened in
June 2015 and includes a new bus station and tram stop.
The Civic Centre in Wythenshawe. The Park Court multi-storey flats at
the far end were demolished in 2007, replaced by new retail and office
Approximately 43,000 people work in Wythenshawe. There are four areas
of industrial activity (estates) - Moss Nook, Ringway (Airport Cargo
Centre), Roundthorn and Sharston. It is home to
Manchester Airport and
Wythenshawe Hospital which are two of the largest employers in
the area. Many National and International companies have premises or
main offices in Wythenshawe, including Timpson Ltd, HellermannTyton,
Vodafone and F. Duerr & Sons.
In 1934, George Hamer Scholes built the Wylex Works to produce
electrical accessories. The company was later acquired by
Electrium (now under Siemens ownership).
Several greenfield and greyfield sites have been opened up to
developers and there are several new housing developments within the
The town centre (known as the Civic Centre) was originally built in
the 1960s. It expanded over the years and was renovated between 1999
and 2002 to include new stores and other new features, when the city
council relinquished ownership and transferred it to St. Modwen
Properties. The main shopping area now includes gates that are locked
at night to prevent the vandalism that was seen in previous years. The
Forum centre, which opened in 1971, houses a library, leisure centre,
swimming pool, cafe and other amenities, has also been renovated in a
more modern style. For thirty years it also housed the Forum Theatre,
but this closed in 2002 and a health clinic and an adult education
facility now occupy its space. In 2007,
Asda opened a new superstore
on the site of the old Co-operative store (originally built by Woolco
in the mid-1970s, which also features a multi-storey car park). A
walkway going between the multi-storey car park and the large
supermarket building now features a wall mosaic depicting various
aspects of the town. After the demolition of two 1960s blocks of
multi-storey flats in 2007, new buildings were constructed on the site
including a new Wilko shop, office premises, and a local authority
services hub that provides a new frontage for the town centre from its
In the media
Wythenshawe is the outdoor filming location for the Channel 4 series
Shameless, which shows various shots of the local tower-blocks,
housing estates and other architecture unique to this area.
Wythenshawe also housed the outdoor sets for the show, which were
built on private property. Production moved from West
Gorton (in East
Manchester) in early 2007, following disruption to filming caused by
In 2009, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (former wife of Prince
Andrew) went to
Wythenshawe to make a television documentary for ITV1
entitled The Duchess On The Estate. In it, she visited the
Northern Moor area of
Wythenshawe to meet locals and discuss their way
of life, and to open a new local community centre. Both before and
after its transmission, the documentary was widely criticised for
being a self-serving publicity stunt by Ferguson, and she was also
criticised for her patronising attitude towards the local
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
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Harry H. Corbett
Harry H. Corbett best known for his co-starring role in the popular
and long-running BBC Television sitcom Steptoe and Son, attended Ross
Benchill Primary Schools and
Sharston Secondary School in
In 1972, English musician Johnny Marr, who was nine years old at the
time, and his family moved to Wythenshawe, where he attended a local
Tyson Fury was born and raised in Wythenshawe.
Jason Orange from
Take That lived in
Wythenshawe as a
Caroline Aherne comedienne and actress grew up in
Wythenshawe from the age of 2
Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson
was born in Wythenshawe.
Manchester City, Shrewsbury Town, Milwall, Middlesbrough,
Hull City, Walsall and Stafford Rangers footballer lived in Newall
Green and attended Oldwood Junior School.
Manchester United footballer
Marcus Rashford was born in Wythenshawe.
Duncan Hallas, Trotskyist leader, grew up in Wythenshawe.
Manchester United footballer
Ravel Morrison was born in
Paul Stewart lived in Northern Moor, Wythenshawe. He played football
Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and England.
John Bradley-West grew up and attended school in
Paul Young lead singer of
Mike and the Mechanics
Mike and the Mechanics Sad Café was born in
Benchill area of Wythenshawe.
Greater Manchester portal
Listed buildings in Manchester-M22
Listed buildings in Manchester-M23
List of large council estates in the UK
^ "Wythenshawe". Vision of Britain Through Time. Retrieved 26 November
^ "All About Wythenshawe".
Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 March
^ Deakin, Derick. "History of the Estate". Wythit. Retrieved 30
Manchester City Council -
Wythenshawe Strategic Regeneration
Framework". Manchester.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
^ Deakin 1989, pp. 1–2
Wythenshawe Park: The Hall".
^ Linton, Deborah (1 June 2011). "Budget crisis could lead Manchester
council to give away Heaton Hall and
Wythenshawe Hall". Manchester
Evening News. M.E.N. Media.
^ "Friends of Wythenshaw Hall". Friends of Wythenshaw Hall. Retrieved
10 November 2013.
^ "Fire destroys roof of historic
Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester". BBC
News. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
^ "Fire at
Wythenshawe Hall in
Manchester was 'arson'". 16 March 2016
– via www.bbc.co.uk.
^ Scholefield 2004, pp. 222–223
^ Lyall, Sarah (10 March 2007). "How the Young Poor Measure Poverty in
Britain: Drink, Drugs and Their Time in Jail". The New York
Manchester Evening News, page 21, 27 June 2014
Wythenshawe Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Draft recommendations on the future electoral arrangements for
Manchester" (PDF). The Electoral Commission. February 2003. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 16 September
^ Wythenshawe, A History of the townships of Northenden, Northen
Etchells and Baguley, Volume 1: 10 1926, edited by W.H.Shercliff,
ISBN 0-85972-008-X, published by
Northenden Civic Society 1974
^ W.H.Shercliff, 1974, page 3
^ Butt, p.173
^ Britton, Paul (13 October 2014). "New Metrolink line to Wythenshawe
Manchester Airport to open on 3 November – a year ahead of
Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
^ "IEEE Xplore Full-Text PDF:". Ieeexplore.ieee.org. Retrieved 14
^ Leeming, Ciara (24 October 2006). "Shameless on the move".
Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media.
ITV1 (The Duchess On The Estate - press release) Archived 20 August
2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ English, Rebecca (10 August 2009). "The Duchess On The Estate".
Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
^ Carter, Helen (18 August 2009). "Duchess of York's TV documentary
Manchester estate". Guardian. London: Guardian News and
^ Richman, Simmy (23 August 2009). "The Duchess on the Estate, ITV1:
The X Factor, ITV1". The Independent. London.
^ "Tyson Fury: Fists of fury". The Independent. 11 November 2011.
Retrieved 2 December 2012.
^ Bourne, Dianne (20 August 2013). "
Take That star Jason Orange
watches brother's new theatre production - set in his house".
^ Higgins, Jim (30 September 2002). "Obituary: Duncan Hallas" – via
Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Patrick
Stephens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-508-1.
Deakin, Derick (1989). Wythenshawe: The Story of a Garden City.
Phillimore & Co. ISBN 0-85033-699-6.
Scholefield, R. A. (2004). "Manchester's Early Airfields, an extended
chapter in Moving Manchester". Lancashire &
Society. ISSN 0950-4699.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wythenshawe.
Timeline of events in Wythenshawe's history
1927 air view of Wythenshawe
1927 air view of Hall Lane and Blackcarr Road area: note farm workers'
cottages and farm buildings west of
Baguley Hall, which was then
called Maher's Farm and used for market gardening.
The City of Manchester
Grade I buildings
This constituency also contains Broughton and
Kersal in neighbouring
Salford City Council.
Ancoats and Clayton
Ancoats and Clayton ward
City Centre ward
Miles Platting and Newton Heath
Miles Platting and Newton Heath ward
Moss Side ward
and Sale East
This constituency also contains Brooklands (Trafford), Priory and Sale
Moor in neighbouring