The Angel in the not so heavenly Angel Meadows

Ragged School

Most of the buildings from the industrial era have been lost to gentrification, development and demolition, but where they remain they provide evocative indicators of the way social identities were played out.   Domestic housing was usually cramped, damp and with few, if any, creature comforts.   As a result, many people socialised in communal buildings and in public spaces. This was often done via the demarcation of clear – and often clearly labelled – social spaces such as markets and licensed premises. The Angel Inn, on the edges of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, is a perfect example. Although much altered and rebuilt since the Angel Inn of the eighteenth century, this is the site of the pub that is mentioned in the 1859 version of ‘The Soldiers Farewell to Manchester’, the first broadside in the Manchester Ballad collection.   Today, the Angel Inn stands in the middle of the area dominated by the new ‘Noma’ development by the Co-operative group, with apartments and plush office blocks now surrounding the pub.

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