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City of Salford
A view over Salford, Greater Manchester
Official logo of City of Salford
Coat of Arms of the city council
"Salus Populi Suprema Lex"
"The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law"
Salford shown within Greater Manchester
Salford shown within Greater Manchester
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Greater Manchester
Admin HQ Swinton
City status (Salford) 1926
Metropolitan borough status 1 April 1974
City status 1 April 1974
 • Type Metropolitan borough, City
 • Total 37.53 sq mi (97.19 km2)
223 ft (68 m)
 (2005 est.)
 • Total (Ranked )
 • Density 5,810/sq mi (2,243/km2)
 • Ethnicity
(2005 estimate)
93.3% White
3.9% S.Asian and mixed
1.5% Black and mixed
1.0% Chinese and other
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
Area code(s) 0161
ISO 3166-2 GB-SLF
ONS code 00BR (ONS)
E08000006 (GSS)

The City of Salford is a city and metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England. It is named after its largest settlement, Salford, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Eccles, Swinton and Pendlebury, Walkden, and Irlam which apart from Irlam each have a population of over 35,000. The city has a population of 218,000, and is administered from the Salford Civic Centre in Swinton.

The current city boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, and cover an amalgamation of five former local government districts. It is bounded on the south east by the River Irwell, which forms its boundary with the city of Manchester and by the Manchester Ship Canal to the south, which forms its boundary with Trafford. The metropolitan boroughs of Wigan, Bolton and Bury lie to the west, northwest and north respectively. Some parts of the city, which lies directly west of Manchester, are highly industrialised and densely populated, but around one third of the city consists of rural open space. This is because the western half of the city stretches across an ancient peat bog known as Chat Moss.

Salford has a history of human activity stretching back to the Neolithic age. There are over 250 listed buildings in the city, including Salford Cathedral, and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments. With the Industrial Revolution, Salford and its neighbours grew along with its textile industry. The former County Borough of Salford was granted city status in 1926. The city and its industries experienced decline throughout much of the 20th century. Since the 1990s, parts of Salford have undergone regeneration, especially Salford Quays, home of BBC North and Granada Television, and the area around the University of Salford.

Salford Red Devils are a professional rugby league club in Super League.


Kersal Cell
Kersal Cell, built in the 16th century, was a manor house built on the site of a Cluniac priory.
Former Town Hall, Salford - - 1415163
Former Salford Town Hall, Bexley Square

Although the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford was a 20th-century creation, the area has a long history of human activity, extending back to the Stone Age. Neolithic flint arrow-heads and tools, and evidence of Bronze Age activity has been discovered in Salford. The Roman road from Manchester (Mamucium) to Bury passes through the city; a hoard of over 550 bronze Roman coins dating between 259 AD and 278 AD was discovered in Boothstown; and a Romano-British bog body, Worsley Man, was discovered in the Chat Moss peat bog.

In 1142, a cell and priory dedicated to St. Leonard was established in Kersal. The 12th century hundred of Salford was created as Salfordshire in the historic county of Lancashire and survived until the 19th century, when it was replaced by one of the first county boroughs in the country. Salford became a free borough in about 1230, when it was granted a charter as a free borough by the Earl Ranulph of Chester. The cell in Kersal was sold in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A 16th-century manor house, called Kersal Cell, was built on the site of the priory. In the English Civil War between King Charles I and parliament, Salford was Royalist. Salford was also noted as Jacobite territory; its inhabitants supported Charles Edward Stuart's claim to the Kingdom of Great Britain and hosted him when he rode through the area during the Second Jacobite Rebellion.

Barton Swing Aqueduct
The Barton Swing Aqueduct in the closed position.

During the Industrial Revolution, Salford grew as a result of the textile industry. Although Salford experienced an increase in population, it was overshadowed by the dominance of Manchester and did not evolve as a commercial centre in the same way. On 15 September 1830, Eccles was site of the world's first railway accident. During a stop in Eccles to take on water, William Huskisson, Member of Parliament for Liverpool, had his leg crushed by Stephenson's Rocket; at the time he was in conversation with the Duke of Wellington, who was opening the railway, and did not get out of the way of the train in time. Although Huskisson was taken to Eccles for treatment he died of his injuries. The six-foot-tall Oglala Sioux tribesman, "Surrounded By the Enemy", died here from a bronchial infection at age twenty-two in 1887 during a tour of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and was buried at Brompton Cemetery. In 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal was opened, running from the River Mersey to Salford Quays; when it was complete it was the largest navigation canal in the world. Along the route of the canal, it was necessary to create an aqueduct carrying the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal. The Barton Swing Aqueduct, designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams, is 100 metres (330 ft) long and weighs 1,450 metric tons (1,427 long tons; 1,598 short tons).

At the start of the 20th century, Salford began to decline due to competition from outside the UK. A survey in 1931 concluded that parts of Salford were amongst the worst slums in the country. Salford was granted city status in 1926. During World War II, Salford Docks were regularly bombed.

In the decades following the Second World War there was a significant economic and population decline in Salford. In 1961 a small part of Eccles was added to the city. On 1 April 1974, the City and County Borough of Salford was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972, and was replaced by the metropolitan borough of City of Salford, one of ten local government districts in the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester. The city status of the new district was confirmed by additional letters patent issued on the same day. Since the early 1990s, the decline has slowed.

Prior to the metropolitan borough's creation, the name Salford for the new local government district courted controversy. Salford was "thought second-class by those in Eccles", who preferred the new name "Irwell" for the district (with reference to the River Irwell). A councillor for the then City and County Borough of Salford objected to this suggestion, stating this label was nothing but "a dirty stinking river". The name Irwell won 8 votes to Salford's 7, but a private protest and deliberation favoured Salford as the name for the new city, citing that the River Irwell would pass through two other Greater Manchester districts, and that it "doesn't touch Worsley".


River irwell on border of salford and manchester
The River Irwell marks the border between Salford & Manchester

The City of Salford is bounded to the north by the boroughs of Bolton and Bury, to the south by Trafford, to the west by Wigan and to the east by Manchester. The natural mossland of Chat Moss lies in the south western corner of the city; it covers an area of about 10.6 square miles (27.5 km2), accounting for about 30% of the city's area, and lies 75 feet (23 m) above sea level. The moss makes up the largest area of prime farmland in Greater Manchester. Kersal Moor is an area of moorland spanning 8 hectares (20 acres) in Kersal; it is a local nature reserve and a Site of Biological Importance. Greenspace accounts for 55.7% of the City of Salford's total area, domestic buildings and gardens comprise 20.0%, and the rest is made up of roads and non-domestic buildings.

To the south of Salford are the docks of Salford Quays, now home to the iconic Media City UK - the home of BBC. Media City UK is a large area that crosses the boundary into Trafford Park,Trafford. Although Salford Quays is in the City of Salford new M50 postcodes were distributed to the area to separate and create new boundaries in the early 2000s. Arguably the most affluent area in Salford, The Quays (as it is locally known) has seen regeneration and a growth in job opportunities and available housing in the 2010s.

The River Irwell runs south east through Kearsley, Clifton and Agecroft then meanders around Lower Broughton and Kersal, Salford Crescent and the centre of Manchester, joining the rivers Irk and Medlock. Turning west, it meets the Mersey south of Irlam, where the route of the river was altered in the late 19th century to form part of the course of the Manchester Ship Canal. The Ship Canal, opened in 1894, forms part of Salford's southern boundaries with Trafford. The city's climate is generally temperate, like the rest of Greater Manchester. The nearest weather station is 10 miles (16 km) away at Ringway, in Manchester; the mean highest and lowest temperatures (13.2 °C (55.8 °F) and 6.4 °C (43.5 °F)) are slightly above the national average, while the annual rainfall (806.6 millimetres (31.76 in)) and average hours of sunshine (1394.5 hours) are respectively above and below the national averages.


Salford Compared
2001 UK Census Salford Greater Manchester England
Total population 216,103 2,514,757 49,138,831
White 96.1% 91.2% 90.9%
Asian 1.4% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.6% 1.2% 2.3%

At the 2001 UK census, the City of Salford had a total population of 216,103. Of the 94,238 households in Salford, 29.3% were married couples living together, 36.7% were one-person households, 8.5% were co-habiting couples and 12.5% were lone parents. The figures for lone parent households were above the national average of 9.5%, and the percentage of married couples was also below the national average of 36.5%; the proportion of one person households was higher than the national average of 30.1%.

The population density was 2,223/km2 (5,760/sq mi) and for every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Salford, 35.5% had no academic qualifications, significantly higher than 28.9% in all of England. 5.3% of Salford's residents were born outside the United Kingdom, significantly lower than the national average of 9.2%. The largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.4% of the population.

Population change

Salford B1
Salford tower blocks in 2001. Tower blocks were mostly built between the 1950s and 1970s.

The table below details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the City of Salford has existed as a metropolitan borough since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the city.

Population growth in City of Salford since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
Population 29,495 38,460 49,114 68,744 91,361 108,699 148,740 188,781 228,822 265,000 296,210 331,098 333,031 334,989 318,152 302,160 291,240 280,739 241,532 230,726 216,103 233,900
 % change +30.4 +27.7 +40.0 +32.9 +19.0 +36.9 +26.9 +21.2 +15.8 +11.8 +11.8 +0.6 +0.6 −5.0 −5.0 −3.6 −3.6 −14.0 −4.5 −6.3 +8.2
Source: Vision of Britain


See also: List of churches in Greater Manchester
Religion in the City of Salford
2011 UK Census City of Salford North West England England
Population 233,933 6,729,764 49,138,831
Christian 64.2% 67.3% 59.4%
Jewish 3.3% 0.4% 0.5%
Muslim 2.6% 5.1% 5.0%
Hindu 0.6% 0.5% 1.5%

At the 2001 UK census, 76.5% of Salford's residents were Christian, 2.4% Jewish, 1.2% Muslim, 0.3% Hindu, 0.2% Buddhist, and 0.1% Sikh. 11.0% had no religion, 0.2% had an alternative religion and 8.1% did not state their religion. Salford is covered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, and the Church of England Diocese of Manchester. During the mid-19th century, there was an influx of Irish people into the Salford area, partly due to The Great Hunger in Ireland. In 1848, Salford Roman Catholic Cathedral was consecrated, reflecting Salford's large Irish-born community at the time.

Of Salford's six Grade I listed buildings, three are churches. St Augustine's Church, in Pendlebury, was built in 1874 by George Frederick Bodley. The Church of St Mary the Virgin, in Eccles, was originally built in the 13th century but was expanded in the 15th. A church has been on the site since at least the Norman period. St Mark's Church, in Worsley, was built in 1846 by George Gilbert Scott. The six Grade II* listed churches are the Church of St Andrew in Eccles, the Cathedral Church of St John, the Church of St Luke in Pendleton, Monton Unitarian Church in Monton, the Church of St Philip in Salford, and the United Reformed Church.



See also: List of tallest buildings and structures in Salford, List of Scheduled Monuments in Greater Manchester, Grade I listed buildings in Greater Manchester, Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, and List of public art in Greater Manchester

As of September 2003, the City of Salford has 6 Grade I, 14 Grade II*, and 253 Grade II listed buildings. The city has the equal second highest number of Grade I listed buildings out of the districts of Greater Manchester, behind Manchester. The Grade I listed buildings are the Church of St Augustine, the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, St Mark's Church, Ordsall Hall, Wardley Hall, and a bridge over the River Irwell. Salford Cathedral, built in 1845, is the seat of the Diocese of Salford and a Grade II* listed building. Most of the Salford's tallest buildings are mid-20th century residential tower blocks or 21st century high rise apartments. A study by Professor Christopher Collier of the University of Salford suggested that Manchester's drizzly climate is largely due to the multitude of high-rise blocks in Salford. Collier has proposed that they have a "dramatic influence on the region's weather patterns", and may contribute to the 8 °C (14 °F) temperature difference between Salford and its surrounding countryside.

There are three Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the city. The oldest is an Iron Age promontory fort occupied from 500 BC–200 AD. Also scheduled is Hanging Bridge on the border with Manchester, dating to the 14th century, and an underground section of the Bridgewater Canal in Swinton built in 1759.


Salford is home to a number of past and present rugby league teams. Founded in 1873, Salford Red Devils play in the Super League at the AJ Bell Stadium, in Barton, Salford. They are 6 times Champions and they won the Challenge Cup in 1938, and have experienced two previous stretches in the Super League, 1997–2002 and 2004–2007. In 2008 they won the Northern Rail Cup beating Doncaster 60-0 in the Final at Blackpool. They previously won the same trophy in 2003. They also won the National League 1 Grand Final in 2008, beating Celtic Crusaders after extra time in Warrington. Construction on a new 20,000 seat £35 million pound stadium was complete in 2012. Now named the AJ Bell stadium it is home to Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks rugby union team.

Swinton Lions were founded in 1866 and play in the Championship at Park Lane, Whitefield. They won the Rugby Football League Championship six times between 1927 and 1964, before it was superseded by Super League. They have also won the Challenge Cup three times between 1900 and 1928.

Broughton Rangers were founded in 1877 and won the Rugby League Challenge Cup in the 1901–02 and 1910–11 seasons. The club folded in 1955, but were reformed as a local amateur club in 2007 with the support of Salford Red Devils.

At amateur level, the city is represented in rugby league by the Salford City Roosters.

Also in Salford are several football and cricket teams. Irlam F.C. is an amateur football team that has played in the Manchester Football League since 1989. They were founded in 1969 as Mitchell Shackleton Football Club and changed their name in 2006. Salford City F.C. was founded in 1940 and play in the National League North. Monton & Weaste C.C. and Clifton C.C. have played in the Central Lancashire Cricket League since 2005 and 2006 respectively. Walkden play in the Bolton Cricket League. Little Hulton play in the Bolton and District Cricket Association. Winton and Worsley play in the Manchester and District Cricket Association.


Eccles Tram Station - - 1801441
Eccles Metrolink station

The city of Salford is served by nine railway stations on four routes. Eccles and Patricroft are on the northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, while Irlam, in the southwest of the borough, is on the southern route. Clifton is on the line to Bolton and Preston; Swinton, Moorside and Walkden are on the Manchester to Southport Line via Wigan; and Salford Central and Salford Crescent are served by both routes. A station at Pendleton was closed in 1998 after suffering fire damage and a loss of patronage in favour of nearby Salford Crescent, opened a few years earlier. All train services are provided by Northern,

The Eccles line of the Manchester Metrolink runs through the City of Salford, with stations at Exchange Quay, Salford Quays, Anchorage, Harbour City, Broadway, Langworthy, Weaste, Ladywell and Eccles. The line was opened in two stages, in 1999 and 2000, as Phase 2 of the system's development.

There are bus stations at Pendleton and Eccles. Buses run to destinations throughout the city, across Greater Manchester and further afield: Pendleton is served by a route to Preston, Eccles Interchange is next to the Metrolink stop.

The council is responsible for the administration and maintenance of public roads and footpaths in the city.

Twin towns

The City of Salford has formal twinning arrangements with four European places. Each was originally twinned with a place within the city prior to its creation in 1974.

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