|St Catherines Articles|
Visitors To Manchester
Over the coming months we intend to publish copies of documents written by various visitors to Manchester England covering the years 1540 to 1870 and beyond. The first is published below.
"Mancestre on the south side of lrwel river stondith in Salfordshiret, (1) and is the fairest, best buildid, quikkest and most populus tounne of al Lancastreshire; yet is in hit but one paroch chirch, but is a college and almost thoroughowt doble ilyd equadrato lapide durissimo, whereof a goodly quarre (2) is hard by the towne. Ther be divers stone bridgis in the toune, but the best of it arches is over Irwel, cawllid Salford bridge. (3) This bridge devidith Manchestre from Salford, the wich is as a large suburbe to Manchestre. On this bridge is a praty litle chapel. (4) The next is the bridge that is over Hirke river, on the wich the fair builded (college) standith as in the veri point of the mouth of hit. For hard therby it renneth into Wyver. (5) On Hirk river be divers fair milles that serve the toune.(6)In the towne be it fair marketplacys. (7) And almost ii flyte shottes withowt the towne (8) beneth on the same side of Irwel yet be seene the dikes and fundations of Old Man Castel 9) yn a ground now inclosid. The stones of the ruines castel wer translatid toward making of bridgges for the tounne. (10) It is no long season sins the chirch of Manchestre was collegiatid. (11) The toun of Manchestre stondith on a hard rokke of stone, (12) els liwel, as wel apperith in the west ripe, had been notful to the toune. Irwel is not navigable but in sum places for vady(13) and rokkes. "
Leland echoed an old local tradition that "Edward the Sunne of Alfred (14)repaired Manchestre defaced by the Danes Warre." This continued to fuel the legend that Manchester had been laid waste by a raid in pre-Norman Viking times.
John Leland died in 1552,allegedly after a period of insanity induced by the labours of his long studies, and was buried at St Michael Ie Querne Church in London. This church was destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
1) "Salfordshiret" refers to the administrative area of the Salford
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