New Cross – one of Manchester’s lost locations.

New Cross

New Cross was a centre of production for penny broadsides in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, with several printers based around Swan Street.   Some of the building around Chadderton Street and Cable Street date from this time, but none of the printers businesses survive. However, ask most Mancunians aged under 60 where the area of New Cross is, and the only reaction you are likely to get is a blank stare.

Until the 1960’s, the area around the junction of Tib Street, Swan Street and Oldham Street was a well known, and quite distinct, district of Manchester called New Cross. The original Victorian trams stopped here on the way out of the city centre towards Oldham, and the name would have been as familiar s Ancoats, Beswick or Ardwick. Historic maps of the area show that Swan Street was originally named New Cross Street, and that there was a physical cross, perhaps even an old market cross – although this is unclear – located in the centre of the junction opposite the Frog and Bucket and the Historic Crown and Kettle pub. The records show that there was a pub on the corner as early as 1734.

The New Cross name is perhaps best associated nowadays with the shop on Tib Street that sells ex-army gear, a ‘destination shop’ for several generations of Mancunians looking to buy their first pair of docs, or maybe some waterproof clothing for a festival. There is also the nearby New Cross Dental Surgery, and it is often the case that when place names that have otherwise fallen out of use, they live on in the names of nearby buildings or businesses.

Although the area is currently overshadowed by its better known neighbours Ancoats, Shudehill and Collyhurst, New Cross may yet see a revival, both as an area of commerce and as a name. Manchester City Council has announced plans to develop the area north of Swan Street, between Rochdale Road and Oldham Street, referring to it as the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ in the redevelopment of the city centre ( M.E.N. 2015)

David Jennings

fig6-newcross

Sources

http://bandonthewall.org/archive/19th-century-history/more-seriously/

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol4/pp222-230

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/New+Cross+Manchester/@53.4858996,-2.2326152,18z

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/revealed-massive-plans-develop-last-8859943

http://pubs-of-manchester.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/5-crown-and-kettle-great-ancoats-st.html

7 thoughts on “New Cross – one of Manchester’s lost locations.”

  1. Didn’t know that the area to north of swan street was up for development so that should be interesting to see. Really liked background to new cross

  2. Many thanks for this interesting page. I am trying to find information on a Victorian music shop, Howard’s, which was at 2-4, Swan St. I saw that there was a bank on this site by 1888 but wonder whether you have any information about the buildings before this date?
    Many thanks,
    Neil

    1. Hi Neil. I don’t know of it at the moment, but I will look into it and see if maybe David Jennings, who is the Social Archeologist who has worked on the project with us, can unearth anything.

  3. I was brought up in New Cross from the 1940s and loved it.

    Outside of the Crown and kettle was a horsetrough and public toilets that you went underneath to use.

  4. Hi guys, my family owns the last pet shop on Tib St cornering with Swan St. I have had numerous customers come in saying 50 years back it was all petshops etc.. Im trying to track down the history of us, but also Tib St with a focus on the petshops…any ideas?

    1. Hi Yigit. I am over at Band on the Wall so will check with the researchers and pop in and let you know what we have. Best Gavin

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