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Tim Edensor

Numerous cobbles, or setts, burst through the asphalt-covered streets of Manchester. Of Roman and medieval origin, they were produced in their millions in the nineteenth century. The discussion turns to their material construction, and to their origins in nearby quarries, including mention of some rare wooden setts and the divergent patterns in which they were laid down across the city. The vanished world signified by cobbles is conjured: the workers who laid them, and the horses that once proliferated, with numerous stables, the smell of horse manure and the sounds of hooves on cobbles. The chapter concludes by underpinning how cobbles continue to feature in cultural representations of Manchester and the industrial North

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

This chapter draws on a visit to a large, sprawling industrial ruin, subsequently demolished. It details the wealthy industrialist who founded the factory, and its evolution as a large production facility for chain making. The discussion draws a contrast between the formerly busy production line and the quiet dereliction of its ruinous state. Description is supplemented by an incident in which fear surged, later to be dispelled, and by an account of some of the enigmatic vestiges that remained. The chapter concludes by contextualising this ruin as part of an economic process of producing abundant ruins across Greater Manchester, and their subsequent erasure and replacement in recent years.

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

This chapter investigates Manchester City Football Club’s now demolished former stadium, Maine Road, Moss Side. A discussion of the economic and social processes that influenced the club’s relocation to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, part of the broader transformation of Britain’s sporting landscape, is followed by a description of the stadium and its surroundings. The densely packed terraced housing, the numerous eateries and pubs and manifold modes of access, made this a richly atmospheric, sensual setting on match days, saturated with numerous social activities. The second part of the chapter focuses on the residues of this stadium that remain: sites of naming and commemoration, and the material and topographical traces.

in Manchester
Abstract only
Tim Edensor

This chapter explores how Manchester has been continuously recomposed from distinctive forms of stone, brought from elsewhere to reproduce the city. The discussion identifies the local medieval quarry that supplied stone to the city’s grandest structures before explaining how the development of canals and railways made available much better, more varied stone supplies from the North and Midlands, transforming Manchester’s built environment. Key quarries are identified as well as notable buildings that exemplify particular stone use. The conclusion highlights how, contemporaneously, most stone is imported in the form of thin veneers from various foreign sources, and that concrete, which includes stone, has replaced stone as the dominant building material.

in Manchester