11th May 2011: Cottonopolis; Building the first industrial city by Ken Moth


On Wednesday 11th May 2011 at 7.30 pm Ken Moth gave a talk on the history of industrial Manchester at the Bay Horse in the Northern Quarter…

Name of speaker and subject:

Ken Moth

Title of talk:

Cottonopolis – Building the first industrial city

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • Manchester’s building styles and types and what they tell us
  • The development of Manchester from medieval times
  • The Georgian shock city of the Industrial Revolution
  • The city of Victorian commerce
  • Turn of the century municipal excellence


Suggested you-tube links, websites and / or texts where further information may be found:

  • Manchester by Clare Hartwell (Pevsner Architectural Guides)
  • A History of Manchester by Stuart Hylton
  • Manchester Centre for Regional History http://www.mcrh.mmu.ac.uk/


A few words about you and your passion:

Born and bred within 4 miles of Piccadilly, I am an architect specialising in the conservation and re-use of historic buildings. For 40 years I have been campaigning against the unnecessary mutilation or demolition of historic buildings (and am a great fan of excellent modern buildings). I am fascinated by all aspects of history (especially social, local, technological, architectural and maritime) which teach us what it is to be human.

A few lines about the history of your subject:

Fifty years ago there was almost nothing published about the architecture of Manchester, which one prominent commentator described as ‘irredeemably ugly’. The historic built environment tells us much about the social, cultural and technological development of a place and its citizens. Manchester has a long and notable history in which spans the misery of urban poverty and exploitation, the striving for emancipation and equity, the improvement of individual well-being and the application of technology to increase material plenty. So much has been achieved and so much remains to be achieved.

Anything else you may want to say:

Reading the historic environment, both here and elsewhere, is a very enjoyable pursuit.