infobox UK place
country = England
latitude = 53.447
longitude = -2.187
official_name = Levenshulme
population = 12,691 (2001 Census)
City of Manchester
region = North West England
constituency_westminster = Manchester Gorton
post_town = MANCHESTER
postcode_area = M
postcode_district = M19
dial_code = 0161 22x
os_grid_reference = SJ875945
Levenshulme is an
urban areaof the City of Manchester, in North West England. It borders Longsight, Gorton, Burnageand Stockport, convert|4|mi|km|1 from Manchester City Centreon the A6 road. Levenshulme is also situated on the main Manchester Piccadillyto London Eustonrailway line. Levenshulme railway stationis bypassed by inter-city train services but is served by local commuter trains.
Historically a part of
Lancashire, Levenshulme, a former township, is predominantly residential with minimal industrial presence. The majority of its economy is generated via small retail establishments with a predominance of fast food shops, public houses and antique stores. It has a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population and in the 2001 census it was determined that the population was 12,691.cite web |url=http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=3&b=5941639&c=levenshulme&d=14&e=15&g=351661&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1193189446093&enc=1 |title=Neighbourhood Statistics: Levenshulme (Ward): Key Statistics |accessdate=2007-10-23 |publisher=National Statistics ] cite web |url=http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/NeighbourhoodSummary.do?width=1360&a=3&i=1001&m=0&s=1195133905421&enc=1&profileSearchText=m193bx&searchProfiles= |title=Neighbourhood Statistics: Levenshulme |accessdate=2007-11-15 |publisher=The Office for National Statistics ]
Levenshulme is referred to locally as 'Levy' (pronounced Leh-vee).
The very early history is so obscure as to be virtually non-existent. Many of the surrounding suburbs, such as
Withington, Didsbury, Gortonetc, had a history of developing as villages, but for some reason Levenshulme didn't. It has had several names over the millennia (according to East Lancashire expert Eilert Ekwall), including: in 1246 it was called "de Lewyneshulm", in 1322 "Levensholme" and in 1587 it was called "Lensom". The name itself is derived from a possessive version of a person's name, "Leofwine's" and "holm", a Vikingterm meaning island (usually in a lake or river).. "Lywenshulme" also is referred to in the 1322 survey of Manchester and Collegiate Church charters refer to "Leysholme" (1556), "Lensholme" (1578) and "Lentsholme" (1635) ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 4.] . The "Hulme" element is common in Manchester, and was pronounced "Oom", hence Levenshulme was traditionally "Levenzoom" to the residents. ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 4.]
The main A6 Stockport Rd dates from 1724 when a turnpike was built between Manchester and Stockport. ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 5/6.]
The district of East Levenshulme used to be known as Talleyrand. It included Talleyrand House (later renamed as Barlow House) and a street, Talleyrand Row [ [http://www.old-maps.co.uk/ 1848 maps] ] . It was said the French Statesman
Talleyrandonce stayed there during his exile from France, presumably during 1792-1794. ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 29.]
Legend has it that the famous Highwayman Dick Turpin regularly visited the Blue Bell Inn on Barlow Road which shares the name of his birthplace. There has been an inn on this site for 700 years. ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 31.] The typical housing of Levenshulme consists of terraced houses the majority of whom were built circa 1880-1890. The style of houses are what are known colloquially as "two up-two downs". With a bedroom above each lower room, the house is bisected by a steep, narrow staircase. A kitchen was to the rear. Right up to the 1980s it wasn't uncommon for the original outside toilet (to the rear of the kitchen) to still be present.
The layout of the streets which contain these terraces are typical of the area and consist of grid layouts intersected with wide back entries which run the length of the terrace blocks at the rear and at each end of the block. This alley/back-entry layout is supposed to be because of an old bylaw of the Levenshulme local authority that every terraced house had to have a front garden and allow access to the back door by a horse and cart to enable rubbish to be removed without the need enter the house. ["Looking back at Levenshulme and Burnage" Willow Publishing 1987 ISBN 0 946361 22 3, page 6.]
These back entries are now generally considered to be a threat to home security. Accordingly Manchester City Council has, over recent years, helped residents by funding a "Gated Alley" response to the threat. When all affected residents of a particular entry are in agreement the entries have iron gates set up at all ingress and egress points with all affected residents being issued a key. [ [http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1154 Manchester City Council: Alleys and alleygating] ]
Manchester and its districts had developed into what were referred to as the "Thirty Townships". Levenshulme was one of them and in 1865 got its own 'board' which shortly thereafter developed into an
urban district council. Prior to the turn of the century West Levenshulme was considered to be a "dormitory" for Manchester. This description eventually changed to one of "residential suburb" a decade or so later, but East Levenshulme was still primarily industrial in nature comprising mostly of print works, bleach works, dye works, and mattress works. In spite of the preponderance of industrial works there were also several farms, and the area around what is now Levenshulme High Schoolwas considered to be semi-rural right up until the 1920s.Levenshulme Local History: Levenshulme High School Diamond Jubilee publication, 1989 ISBN E000043855]
Up until the late 19th century Manchester's outlying townships had to supply their own amenities. This was becoming increasingly difficult for the urban councils to do and as a result there was a considerable difference in prices charged to the residents compared to the prices charged by Manchester itself. Manchester refused to alleviate these difficulties unless townships agreed to come under their control. As a result the townships slowly began to amalgamate into Manchester's rule. Along with
Withington, Levenshulme protested at the discrepancy of prices for gas in the city and for the outlying townships that were already supplied by Manchester. Nevertheless many of those townships arranged to get their electricity from Manchester, possibly in the hope that they would benefit from the city's plans to electrify the tram system when the existing lease with the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company was due to end in 1901. Along with Gorton, Levenshulme joined Manchester in 1909. The tramways were extended to serve Levenshulme before the start of WW1in 1914.
The Levenshulme ward is represented in
Manchester City Councilby John Commons, Alec Cowanand Keith Whitmore.
Levenshulme forms part of the wider Manchester Gorton UK Parliamentary constituency and is represented by Gerald Kaufman (Labour), who has held the seat since 1983.
Although there is some commercial expansion and increasing numbers of entertainment establishments, in some ways Levenshulme is still declining, an example being the reduction of publicly funded leisure facilities. As of September 2007, other than three parks (Greenbank Fields, Chapel Street Park and Highfield Country Park) there is only a library and swimming pool that is council run.
Levenshulme also houses the
Consulateof the Netherlandslocated at Apex House, 266 Moseley Road.
In 1830 Levenshulme had a population of 768. [ [http://www.mancuniensis.info/LevenshulmeFP.htm Historical and Genealogical Information for the Region Anciently Known as the Salford Hundred] ]
Levenshulme has an Irish population of approximately 7.0% which is twice the Manchester average, [http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=5941639&c=levenshulme&d=14&e=16&g=351661&i=1x3x4&m=0&enc=1&dsFamilyId=890 National Statistics - Neighbourhood Statistics for Levenshulme ward] ] and as a consequence it is sometimes called 'County Levenshulme' in reference to the County structure in Ireland. Irish produce, including
soda bread, red lemonadeand Irish newspapers, can be bought in Levenshulme's shops, whilst local cafes serve up boiled bacon and cabbage, a traditional Irish dish. The demographics within the district are changing with increasing numbers of (mostly Muslim) people of South Asianorigin and a growing number of Africans, settling in Levenshulme. Over a third of the population belong to an ethnic minority. In recent times Levenshulme has also seen an influx of eastern europeans moving into the area, bringing about Polish confectionary shops and the development of a Czech bar in the place of the Wheatsheaf on Stockport Road. Many students also rent accommodation in the area.
In the 2001 Census, the ethnic make up of Levenshulme was:cite web |url=http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=5941639&c=levenshulme&d=14&e=15&g=351661&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1193134415564&enc=1&dsFamilyId=47 |title=Neighbourhood Statistics: Levenshulme (Ward) by Ethnicity |accessdate=2007-10-23 |publisher=National Statistics ]
Ethnic Group Person count Percentage White: British 8625 65.12 Asian/Asian-British: Pakistani 1714 13.51 White: Irish 884 6.97 White: Other 301 2.37 Black/Black-British: Caribbean 300 2.36 Asian/Asian-British: Indian 185 1.46 Asian/Asian-British: Other Asian 161 1.27 Mixed: White & Black Caribbean 149 1.17 Asian/Asian-British: Bangladeshi 139 1.10 Black/Black-British: African 135 1.06 Chinese 110 0.87 Mixed: White & Asian 94 0.74 Mixed: White & Black African 77 0.61 Other Ethnic Groups 77 0.61 Mixed: Other 61 0.48 Black/Black-British: Other Black 39 0.31
Levenshulme is evolving into an area typical of South Manchester, i.e. a mix of pubs, bars, restaurants, takeaways, cybercafés and terraced housing. In fact, Levy's
cybercultureis rapidly growing and demonstrates that the area is embracing a 21st century lifestyle in a thriving mixed-culture environment. Despite these traits, the modern Levenshulme is still considered to be one of the most deprived areas of Manchester, and regeneration efforts are underway to address this problem. Local residents have recently formed the "Friends of Levenshulme" association in order to highlight some of the more acute socio-economicand environmental concerns that Levenshulme faces including the lack of a basic supermarket due to the nationwide closure campaign of late by discount supermarket, Kwik Save. [cite web| year = 2006| url = http://www.gmp.police.uk/mainsite/pages/BA51690B8E18B4038025718B002E8BB5.htm| title = New Inspector for community policing in Gorton and Levenshulme| publisher = Greater Manchester Police| accessmonthday = July 8 | accessyear = 2006]
There is a well organised, annual "Levenshulme Festival" which usually features 120+ multi-cultural events from firework displays to music concerts. The festival has been running since 1998. [ [http://www.levenshulmefestival.co.uk/2007/index.html Levenshulme Festival 2007 web page] ]
The community radio station
All FMis based in Levenshulme.
Levenshulme has a varied ethnic mix. According to the 2001 Census the break down by religion is:cite web |url=http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=5941639&c=levenshulme&d=14&e=15&g=351661&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1193134415579&enc=1&dsFamilyId=17 |title=Neighbourhood Statistics: Levenshulme (Ward) by Religion |accessdate=2007-10-23 |publisher=National Statistics ]
Religion Person count Percentage Christian719656.7 Muslim212616.74 No religion206116.24 Religion not stated10518.28 Hindu1010.80 Other religions490.39 Buddhist440.35 Sikh370.29 Jewish260.20 Total12691100
Places of worship
Name Address Religion Year built/Established St Aidan's Orthodox Church Clare Road English Language Orthodox St Andrew's Church Broom Avenue Church of England Levenshulme Baptist Church Elmsworth Avenue Baptist Levenshulme Methodist Church Stockport Road Methodist 13 May 1865 Methodism in Levenshulme has a history dating back to 1766 (based on financial records of The Methodist Society). In that time there have been five Methodist churches. Levenshulme Methodist Church (formerly Levenshulme New Wesleyan Chapel) is the only one to survive.cite book | last = Armitage | first = Rita | title = Methodism in Levenshulme: The first 200 years | publisher = John Malam& Hilary Malam | year = 1997 | pages = p20] Levenshulme United Reform Church Grange Avenue URC Currently Levenshulme United Reform Church is closed and virtually derelict. As of September 2007 there are plans to convert the building into shops. Madina Mosque & UK Islamic Mission Barlow Road Muslim Islamic Centre opened c.1986 The Islamic Centre is housed in the building which was originally St Peter's School built in 1854 and closed in 1982.cite book | last = Sussex | first = Gay | coauthors = Peter Helm, Andrew Brown | title = Looking Back at Levenshulme & Burnage | publisher = Willow Publishing | series = Looking Back at... | year = 1987 | isbn = 0946361223 ] St Mark's Church Barlow Road Church of England Built 1908 St Mark's was declared a Grade II listed building on 6 June 1994. St Mary of the Angels & St. Clare RC Church Elbow Street Roman Catholic St Peters Church Stockport Road Church of England Consecrated in 1860 In 1852 a donation of 1445 square yards of land and £500 was made to Levenshulme to build a church. The donation came from a member of a family known for generous donations for churches, Charles Carill-Worsley. St Peter's School (directly behind the church) was built in 1854 and was used initially as a temporary place for the congregation to worship.
Recreation and leisure
Levenshulme doesn't have much by way of publicly funded recreation facilities. But what it does have:
Green Bank Fields
This park is a green area stretching between Manor Road in the north, Mount Road in the east and Barlow Road in the south and west. It is primarily open grass land but also houses an open-air, enclosed 5-a-side football pitch adjacent to the Mount Road exit.
Up until c.1920 the land that Green Bank Fields was on held a dairy farm called Green Bank Farm (Wolfenden's) and a small house called Botany Bay cottage. The entrance to the farm was originally where the main entrance to the park is now on Barlow Road adjacent to Byrom Parade shops.
Manchester City Council fomented a local controversy by selling off part of Mellands (
GMPTE) Playing Fields, Gortonto Dappa Homesto build 149 houses. Dappa is obliged to replace the land they are using to build the homes. In May 2004 Dappa Homes submitted plans to build 3 football pitches, a clubhouse and surround the park with a 3 metre fence on Green Bank Fields. This would have had the effect of reducing the versatile open-space into a restricted use site. The plans were later withdrawn by Dappa. [cite web |url=http://www.publicaccess.manchester.gov.uk/publicaccess/tdc/DcApplication/application_detailview.aspx?keyval=JGDXHRBC30000 |title=Planning application for Green Bank Fields revised layout |accessdate=2007-10-22 |date=2006-04-12 |work= |publisher=GMC Public Access website]
Highfield Country Park
Highfield Country Park is a 70 acre area of open land that stretches to the east of Broom Avenue across to the back of Reddish Golf Course and over to the junction of Longford Road and Nelstrop Road.
In the 1970s it was designated as a country park by the council, but at the time it wasn't much more than a
landfillsite that was formerly the site of a tripefactory, Jackson's brickworks, Levenshulme Dye and Bleach works and High Field Farm. The claypit formed by the extracted clay for the brickworks was much used by local children as a play area, known as "The Brickie".
Up until 2004 the park was jointly maintained by
Manchester City Counciland a group of volunteers called The Friends of Highfield Park. In July 2004 the park came to the attention of the Prudential Grass Roots campaign (run by the BTCVconservation charity). Over a 12 month period the park was transformed from a dreary, vandalised wasteland into a pleasant country park with a picnic area and mapped out country walks. [cite web |url=http://www2.btcv.org.uk/manchester.pdf |title=Case Study: Highfield Country Park, Manchester |accessdate=2007-10-22 |date=2005-09-07 |format=PDF |publisher=BTCV Grass Roots]
Levenshulme Swimming Baths was built in the late 1800s and was formerly called "Levenshulme Public Baths and Washhouse" as it also housed the public washhouse at the side.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s Levenshulme Baths was used as a training pool for Longsight resident
Sunny Lowry, who, in 1933, was the first British woman to swim the English Channel(from France to England).cite news | author = Kate Stirrup | title = Bath to the future | url = http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/s/367101_bath_to_the_future | work = column | publisher = South Manchester Reporter | date = 2003-01-16 | accessdate = 2007-10-22 ]
In April 2008 the Manchester Evening News reported an 'outrage' by local mothers, over Levenshulme Baths hiring one of their two pools to a private naturist group Naked Swim one night a week. The criticism, with homophobic undertones, created an unprecedented amount of discussion on the [http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1043430_outrage_over_naked_swimming MEN website] much of it in support of the male-only naturist group.
Levenshulme library is what is known as a "
Carnegie library" as it was gifted to the people of Levenshulme by industrialistand philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The ceremonial laying of the first brick (in reality an engraved stone plaque) took place on 5 December 1903. The stone was laid by George Paulson in his role as Chairman of The Free Library Committee. The library actually opened its doors to the public in 1904. At the time the money was gifted there was a minor local furore as some Levenshulme residents expressed the opinion that it was "immoral" for the then Urban District Council to accept the money from Carnegie as they believed the money to be "tainted". This was allegedly due to Carnegie's suppression of trade unions in the United States.
Name Address Info Primary Schools Alma Park Primary School Errwood Road Chapel Street Primary School Chapel Street St Andrew's CofE Primary School Broom Avenue St Mary's RC Primary School Clare Road Secondary Schools Levenshulme High School Crossley Road
"The street with no name"
Levenshulme is not the place one would regard as a centre of tourism but due to several reports in both local and national newspapers and on several internet blogs there now seems to be a trickle of tourists making visits to
Levenshulme railway stationsince the 'news' broke of "The Street with No Name". [cite web |url=http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/s/527908_move_over_clint_its_the_street_with_no_name |title= Move over Clint, it’s... The Street With No Name|accessdate=2008-01-24 |author=Nick Towle |date=2007-05-17 |work= column |publisher= South Manchester Reporter]
The street the railway station is located on is 160 years old and 70 metres long yet has no official name and never has had one. In May 2007 as a benefit of a £5000 grant awarded to 'The Friends of Levenshulme Station' by the
Awards For Alllottery grants scheme, an unofficial road sign was erected at the entrance to the street. The sign gave the name of the street as "The Street With No Name". According to local residents the street had been informally called this for years and it seemed appropriate that it now had a sign so people could find it. The first sign was fitted approximately three feet from the floor and was stolen a short time later. The replacement was refitted twelve feet above the road so as to discourage would-be thieves.
Manchester City Councilwere reported to be investigating the option of the council adopting the street and giving it official status.
*The architect Norman Foster was brought up in Levenshulme. [cite web| year = 2005| url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/news/gla/cityhall_foster.shtml| title = Norman Foster - the man behind the 'glass egg'| publisher = BBC| accessmonthday = July 8 | accessyear = 2006]
*Dad's Army's "Captain Mainwaring",
Arthur Loweattended Chapel Street School. Fact|date=September 2007
* [http://www3.telus.net/public/nixonkg/ Levenshulme then and now: A personal view]
* [http://www.levenshulmefestival.co.uk/ Levenshulme Festival website]
* [http://www.levenshulmecommunity.org.uk/ Levenshulme Community Association]
* [http://levenshulme.wetpaint.com/page/Home Friends of Levenshulme]
* [http://www.images.manchester.gov.uk/ Manchester City Council: Image library] , containing 1420 images of Levenshulme (as of September 2007)
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