Whitefield, Greater Manchester

Whitefield, Greater Manchester

infobox UK place
map_type= Greater Manchester
country = England
latitude= 53.5521
longitude= -2.2992
official_name= Whitefield
population= 23,284
metropolitan_borough= Bury
metropolitan_county= Greater Manchester
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Bury South
post_town= MANCHESTER
postcode_district = M45
postcode_area= M
dial_code= 0161
os_grid_reference= SD8106

Whitefield is a town and residential suburb of Manchester within the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, in Greater Manchester, England.Along with the neighbouring suburb of Prestwich it has a large jewish population. Most are less orthodox than the communities found further south in Broughton Park or Higher Broughton.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Whitefield was created a town in 1866, having previously been a part of the Manor of Pilkington and parish of Bury.


There are at least three theories for the origin of the placename. One is that the name comes from the Flemish weavers who used to lay out their fabrics to bleach in the sun; another relies on the fact that historically Whitefield has been a farming community of open fields and that the name is a corruption of "Wheat-fields". Another explanation can be seen to originate from the area's founder, Lord Whitefie, who was regarded by many to be one of the 'elders' of the borough of Bury. The name started as Whitefie t' Elder, but this was shortened over time, from Whitefielder, to just Whitefield.

Whitefield was anciently part of the Earl of Wilton's estate which cut a swathe across north Manchester from his home at Heaton Hall. The original village was dominated by the Stand Church, (All Saints CofE Church), which was a so-called 'Waterloo Church', having been built to celebrate Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.


The town of Whitefield was created in 1866, having previously been a part of the Manor of Pilkington. [cite web | title= Whitefield & Unsworth Area Board | publisher= Bury Metropolitan Borough Council | url= http://www.bury.gov.uk/AreaBoards/WhitefieldUnsworth/default | accessdate= 2007-06-21]

In 1974 Whitefield was incorporated into Greater Manchester having previously been an urban district in the administrative county of Lancashire.


Whitefield is still very green in parts, although in recent years it has seen an increase in built up housing estates. Most of the rolling acres are private golf courses (Whitefield and Stand Golf Clubs). From Park Lane there is access to Philips Park which includes a play park, playing fields, and the remains of an ornamental garden, including orangery. The original house occupied by the Philips family was demolished in the mid 20th century, even Philips Park Hall which was used for private functions and public events until 2006 no-longer stands, having been demolished/ returned to its original state early in 2008. It also includes a large local nature reserve.

In the late 1960s a large swathe of land on the southern perimeter which was open fields (the area between the former Prestwich Hospital and Whitefield Golf Course) plus a good number of homes further to the east were acquired for the creation of the M62 motorway.

Whitefield has been in the main a residential town and is one of the few places in Manchester where you will find £2m mansions and council houses within half a mile of each other. It is an area of great socio-economic contrasts. The area is home to three fair-sized council estates; Hillock Estate, Elms Estate and Victoria (known locally as "Vicky") Estate. The Hillock estate was created in the late 1960s as a council estate "overspill" area for mainly people rehoused from the areas of Bradford and Beswick in Manchester as old housing was demolished (and large areas of which were not really redeveloped until "Eastlands", the Commonwealth Games and the City of Manchester Stadium). The area also encompasses the affluent community of Ringley Road. In recent years there has been a fair amount of new building on in-fill sites. There used to be sweet factory on Moss Lane and there still is a fairly large flooring company in the Radclife New Road area, otherwise now just small businesses. There is a strong local community, but nearby Prestwich is where most shop.

Whitefield is home to part of the Jewish community who have a large settlement in the district.

Localities in Whitefield include Lily Hill, Park Lane, Hillock and Besses o' th' Barn. The old district of Stand is also located in Whitefield, and used to be evidenced not only by All Saints, but by Stand Grammar School for Boys (which was briefly part of Bury College; the buildings have now been demolished), Stand Grammar School for Girls (now Philips High School), Stand Cricket Club and Stand Lane.


Whitefield's proximity to the M60 orbital motorway and city of Manchester has ensured that there are many flourishing industries as well as retail parks located locally. Whitefield has experienced several new commercial developments in 2005 with the old Elms shopping precinct demolished, making way for a new gym and several new outlets.

A new Morrisons supermarket has been built on land previously occupied by the now demolished Brand Centre, formerly Safeway. Thurday night in the cafe is Whitefield Singles Night.

Culture, media and sport

One local newspaper that covers the area of Whitefield (as well as neighbouring Prestwich and Radcliffe) is The Advertiser, (one of the GWN Greater Manchester Weekly News newspapers) a weekly freesheet based in Salford. The other local paper (not distributed freely, door to door) is the Prestwich and Whitefield Guide.

Sedgley Park R.U.F.C. play their home matches at their Park Lane ground, and are in National Division One.

Places of interest

* The Nature Trail
* Red Rose Forest - the second largest community forest in England.
* Irwell Valley Way - the old railway track from Radcliffe to Clifton. Includes Clifton Viaduct, still often referred to locally as "Thirteen Arches".
* Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.

Notable people

David Lee, former professional footballer, was born in Whitefield in 1967.

Dodie Smith, author of "The One Hundred and One Dalmatians"


External links

* [http://www.prestwichandwhitefieldguide.co.uk/ Prestwich and Whitefield Guide]
* [http://www.geocities.com/whitefieldudc/a_brief_history.html Whitefield a brief history]

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