Newton Heath

Newton Heath is an area of Manchester, England, 2.8 miles (4.5 km) north-east of Manchester city centre and with a population of 9,883.[1]

Newton Heath

A view over Newton Heath
Newton Heath
Location within Greater Manchester
OS grid referenceSD878004
 London163 mi (262 km) SSE
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtM40
Dialling code0161
PoliceGreater Manchester
FireGreater Manchester
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament

Historically part of Lancashire, Newton Heath was formerly a farming area, but adopted the factory system following the Industrial Revolution. The principal industry in the area was engineering, although many were employed in the mining and textiles industries in the thriving areas of Clayton Vale and Bradford.

Newton Heath takes its name from Old English and means the "new town on the heath". The heath in question formerly stretched from Miles Platting to Failsworth, and is bounded by brooks and rivers on all four sides — the River Medlock, Moston Brook, Newton Brook and Shooters Brook.

Manchester United F.C. has strong links with the area, having been formed from the Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Football Club.


French Huguenots settled in the area in the 16th century to avoid continental persecution, and brought cotton and linen weaving and bleaching skills with them. The arrival of textile mills saw Newton Heath's cottage industry change forever into a fully mechanised mass production system – in 1825 Newton Silk Mill (which exists to this day) was built and the Monsall Silk Dye Works followed soon afterwards.

The Rochdale Canal made movement of raw materials and finished products a practical reality. Later came other industries, including a soap works, Elijah Dixon's match manufacturing factory, and rope works as well as engineering and glass making works. Many small back-to-back low cost houses were built to house the new migrant work force. Thus was Newton changed irrevocably from a farming area into an industrial one.

The 18th century saw Oldham Road (A62) turnpiked and a toll bar installed at Lambs Lane; this road still forms the main artery through the district. With the Industrial Revolution, by the beginning of the 19th century the Rochdale Canal had been constructed and this brought industry and creeping urbanisation to the district. During the 19th century the local population increased nearly 20 fold.

From 10 February 1883 until the slum clearances of the 1970s there was a Salvation Army corps on Thorp Road.

Industrial history

Newton Heath was home to a number of famous companies such as Mather & Platt, who established a vast engineering works producing pumps, electrical machinery and fire sprinkler systems. The aircraft manufacturer Avro was also based in Newton Heath before relocating to sites at Chadderton and Woodford. Another local engineering company was Heenan & Froude, who designed and manufactured the structural steelwork for Blackpool Tower.

The Wilson's & Co brewery on Monsall Road was founded in 1834. The company merged with rival brewer Walker & Homfrays in 1949. Wilson's and its estate of tied houses were acquired by Watney Mann in 1960. Wilson's brewery closed in 1987 when production was moved to Webster's Brewery, Halifax.

Manchester United

The parish was the birthplace of the Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Football Club which was established in 1878 and later became Manchester United. It began life as a football team formed by Frederick Attock a Liverpudlian, who was a superintendent engineer of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR). The team played on a pitch at North Road, and were initially outfitted in green and gold jerseys. By 1892, they had been admitted to the Football League. The club remained in the area until 1893, when it moved to new premises at Bank Street in nearby Clayton. The name was changed to Manchester United Football Club in 1902.

Newton Heath FC's biggest successes were its election to the First Division on its expansion in 1892 and winning the Lancashire Cup in 1898.

FC United of Manchester

Ten Acres Lane was the proposed site of a new five thousand capacity stadium for F.C. United of Manchester which the club intended to move into in time for the start of the 2012–13 season.[2]

Manchester City Council gave planning permission for the stadium on 25 November 2010. However, due to local government funding cuts, the project was halted at the planning stage.[3] Manchester City Council were forced to review their offer and the existing Ten Acres Lane site is now to be developed for other purposes. F.C. United instead moved into a partnership arrangement with Moston Juniors Football Club, building a new stadium, Broadhurst Park, in nearby Moston in 2015.[4]


An exclave known as Kirkmanshulme was part of the district. Belle Vue stands on that land, which is now only remembered in Kirkmanshulme Lane which borders it. The district was incorporated into the city of Manchester in 1890.

Newton Heath is in the parliamentary constituency of Manchester Central alongside Manchester city centre, Hulme, Beswick, Clayton, Openshaw and Moss Side. As of 2012, the seat is held by the Labour Party Member of Parliament, Lucy Powell. As of 2016, the local councillors are June Hitchen, John Flanagan and Carmine Grimshaw who are Labour Party members.[5]


Newton Heath is an urban area and is surrounded by Monsall, Moston, Failsworth, Miles Platting, Bradford and Ancoats. It lies along the south as the A62 (Oldham Road), the main road between Oldham and Manchester city centre.

The district of Clayton also neighbours Newton Heath. The area between the two districts is called Clayton Vale; although it was a former centre of industry, the land has since become a rural wilderness.


The town has several well-known businesses, although a number of companies have since relocated to other areas or disbanded. Princes Food & Drink Group has a soft drinks factory on Grimshaw Lane. Manchester Abattoir, on Riverpark Road, was the primary source of meat produce for the city but has gradually downsized over recent years. The 50,000 sq ft (4,500 m²) central bakery of Martins Bakery is on Holyoak Street.[6]

The town's main shopping area is on Church Street, where alongside small family run stores you can find Iceland, Asda and a Lidl store. The local market, once a local attraction, is now closed after a doomed attempt to upgrade the facilities led to the regular clientele finding other pitches.


Two prominent landmarks are Philips Park and cemetery and Brookdale Park. Brookdale Park was formed in 1904 and spans over 44 acres (18 hectares). The park has two bowling greens, tennis courts, and a children's play centre. Philips Park was opened on 22 August 1846 at a cost of £6,200 and was the first public park opened in Manchester. The park, covering 31 acres (12 hectares), was named after Mark Philips MP who was committed to creating parks for the use of the working people of the city.

All Saints church is the oldest remaining structure in the area and can trace its history back to 1556.[7]

Culcheth Hall, which stood alongside the River Medlock in Newton, was owned by the Byron family (of which the poet Lord Byron was a member). Other great houses once lay within the district, including Clayton Hall (owned by the Greaves family), Whitworth Hall and Hulme Hall.


Railways arrived in Newton Heath during the 1840s and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) laid two main lines across the district. Steam locomotive repair sheds were opened in 1877 at the Newton Heath Motive Power Depot (now Traction Maintenance Depot), coded 26A by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. These grew to become a major local employer which, by the 1860s, had been expanded to a 40-acre (16 hectare) site with over 2,000 workers.

Both Newton Heath (closed on 3 January 1966) and Park railway stations (closed on 27 May 1995) were deemed by British Rail to be surplus to requirements following the decline of the local engineering industry.

Newton Heath is served by Newton Heath and Moston Metrolink station. It is located adjacent to the Newton Heath depot, which maintains diesel unit trains for Northern. Metrolink trams have served the area since 2012 using the Manchester-bound platform of the previous Dean Lane railway station. The line was converted from heavy rail to light rail operation as part of the Metrolink expansion project. A £35.6 million Metrolink station was built in 2005 at Central Park south of Newton Heath in anticipation of the network extension, but the project was cancelled by the Government due to funding problems until confirmation of the Metrolink conversion in 2007.[8]

The majority of bus routes are operated by stagecoach manchester. Buses from the city centre include 74, 76, 76A. Bus route 77 offers two early morning journeys from Moston via Newton heath. Bus route 52 from eccles interchange also passes by Newton heath. Other bus routes include 151 171 and 396


There are four primary schools, catering for children aged between 3 and 11. There are no secondary schools or facilities for further education in the area.

SchoolType/StatusOfSTED ReportLocationReference
All Saints School Primary School10550553.499476°N 2.177171°W / 53.499476; -2.177171[9]
Briscoe Lane Academy Primary School10539853.497950°N 2.185946°W / 53.497950; -2.185946[10]
Christ The King RC School Primary School10551453.497949°N 2.177078°W / 53.497949; -2.177078[11]
St Wilfrid's CofE School Primary & Infant School10549653.497121°N 2.172560°W / 53.497121; -2.172560[12]
there is also newton house adult education centre on Droylsden road

Religious sites


Newton Heath Cricket club, which was established in 1859, is located on Mabel Street and affiliated with the Manchester & District and the Lancashire Cricket Associations.

Ten Acres Astro Centre is a council-run sport centre with a full-size outdoor AstroTurf pitch (marked for football and hockey) and an indoor sports hall (marked out for netball, basketball, volleyball, five-a-side football and badminton).[20]

A speedway training track operated in Newton Heath in the early 1950s.

Public services

Policing in Newton Heath is provided by Greater Manchester Police, with a part-time station on Silk Street under the command of North Manchester (A) Division.[21]

Newton Heath Library is on Old Church Street. It lends books and DVDs, and offers public computing facilities. The building is also used for a regular Councillors' Surgery and children's group.[22]

Waste management is co-ordinated by the local authority via the North Manchester Household Waste and Recycling Centre which is the primary refuse depot for north Manchester.[23]

Notable people

Notable people of note who were either born and raised in the town include:

The area has produced a number of notable footballers who has distinguished careers in both the national and international game. Jimmy Collinson playing for Newton Heath F.C.; George Lydon, Nobby Lawton, Cyril Barlow, Harold Hardman, played for Manchester United; Charlie Harrison with Bolton Wanderers. Ron Staniforth, who played in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, was born in the town and went on to play 107 games for Sheffield Wednesday.[24]

More recently, former Manchester United footballer, Ronnie Wallwork, and Blackpool F.C. Nathan Eccleston all came from Newton Heath.

Long serving Coronation Street actor, Michael Le Vell was born in the area and attended Briscoe Lane school.

Artist John Houghton Hague, was a principal member of The (Victorian) Manchester School of Painters in the 1870s.

Former England and Lancashire cricket captain, Mike Atherton OBE was born in the town and attended Briscoe Lane school before moving to Failsworth and going on to Manchester Grammar School.[25][26]

Television talkshow host and journalist Judy Finnigan was born in the parish and raised in the family home on Amos Avenue and also attended Briscoe Lane.

Journalist, writer and former editor of The Sunday Times, Sir Harold Matthew Evans and Alfred Morris, Baron Morris of Manchester attended the now closed Brookdale Park High School, although Morris was originally from Ancoats.

Buried in Philips Park cemetery is George Stringer. Stringer was a recipient a number of awards for valour including the Victoria Cross and the Serbian Milosh Obilich Gold Medal for Bravery, and was Mentioned in Despatches. The Newton Heath born soldier earned his awards at the Battle of Es Sinn during the Mesopotamian campaign of World War I.[27]

Cultural references

In 1942, L. S. Lowry painted a picture of workers walking to the Mather & Platt's stainless steel foundry entitled Going to Work. Commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee, the picture is now owned by the Imperial War Museum.[28]

See also


  1. "Newton Heath". Sustainable Regeneration in East Manchester. New East Manchester. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  2. "» FC United gets thumbs up for Newton Heath stadium - MULE". 27 November 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  3. "FC United of Manchester - Ten Acres Lane Council Statement & Update". 9 June 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  4. "Building work finally begins on FC United's new stadium". Manchester Evening News. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  5. "Your councillors (Newton Heath & Miles Platting)". Manchester Information. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  6. "Our Story". Martins Bakery. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  7. "All Saints, Newton Heath – Church of England". GENUKI. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  8. "The next tram will be the 2011". Manchester Evening News. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  9. "All Saints CofE Primary School". School Finder. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  10. "Briscoe Lane Primary School". School Finder. Manchester City Council. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  11. "Christ the King RC Primary School". School Finder. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  12. "St Wilfrid's CofE Primary School". School Finder. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  13. Cooke, Fr. Michael; Fr. Francis Parkinson (2008). Salford Diocesan Almanac 2009. Salford: Gemini Print (Wigan). p. 232. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.
  14. "The Roman Catholic Parish of Holy Souls". Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  15. "North Manchester Deanery - The Church of England Diocese of Manchester". Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  16. Archived 2016-01-09 at the Wayback Machine
  17. "Culcheth Lane Evangelical Church, Newton Heath, Lancashire genealogy". GENUKI. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  18. "Culcheth Methodist New Connexion, Newton Heath, Lancashire genealogy". GENUKI. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  19. Archived May 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  20. "Ten Acres Astro Centre". Manchester City Information. Manchester City Council. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  21. "Newton Heath Police station". Neighbourhood Communities and Police Stations. Greater Manchester Police. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  22. "Newton Heath Library". Manchester City Information. Manchester City Council. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  23. "North Manchester". Recycling for Manchester. GMWDA. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  24. "Ron Staniforth". Player Report. England Stats. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  25. Bull, Andrew (7 August 2005). "Heroes and villains: Mike Atherton". The Guardian. pp. website,
  26. "Ronnie Wallwork". Player Report. Huddersfield Town FC website. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  27. "Manchester Section". THE VICTORIA CROSS. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  28. Imperial War Museum. "Going to Work". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
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