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Historically, Bradford was a rural township that lay beyond the eastern fringe of Manchester. Settlement probably comprised little more than a few cottages scattered around Bradford Old Hall, a moated monor house that was built in the mid-fourteenth century. It was largely an agricultural area, although some coal was being mined from shallow workings by the late sixteenth century. This rich natural resource was the principal reason for the nineteenth century transformation of Bradford into a key industrial area, know locally as the 'engine room' for Manchester. This booklet rediscovers the history of Bradford, and summarises the findings from archaeological excavations of two important industrial sites: Bradford Colliery; and the famous ironworks of Richard Johnson & Nephew.
The cotton-spinning mill of A & G Murray is one of the most important surviving steam-powered cotton mills in the world. It was established in the Ancoats area of Manchester during the final years of the 18th century, and was amongst the first cotton mills ever to have been designed specifically to house steam-powered spinning mules, providing a new and powerful dimension to factory-based textile manufacture. This book details the comprehensive survey of the mill and the remarkable, but little studied, industrial townscape of Ancoats, and is presented for both specialists and general readers.