Bury (pronounced /bɛrɪ/ or
/bɛri/) is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Irwell, east of Bolton,
west-southwest of Rochdale, and
north-northwest of the city of Manchester. Bury is surrounded by several smaller
settlements which together form the Metropolitan
Borough of Bury, of which Bury is the largest settlement and
Bury has a total population of
Historically a part of Lancashire, Bury emerged during the Industrial Revolution as a mill town centred on textile
regionally notable for its open-air market - Bury Market - and its popularity has been increased since the
introduction of the Manchester
Metrolink tram system, which terminates in the town.
market is known for its supply of a local traditional dish -
, served hot or cold and
can be eaten either as a takeaway snack, or more commonly as an
accompaniment or main ingredient of a meal starter or main
One of Bury's most famous residents was Sir Robert Peel
, Prime Minister of the
and founder of the Metropolitan Police Service
to Peel is outside Bury parish church and another, the austere
Monument, stands on a
hill overlooking the locality.
The name Bury, (also earlier known as "Buri" and "Byri") comes from
an Old English
word, meaning "castle",
"stronghold" or "fort", an early form of modern English
. See List of generic
forms in British place names
Bury was formed around the ancient market
but even prior to this there is evidence of a activity
dating back to the period of Roman occupation. Bury Museum has a
Roman Urn containing a number of small bronze coins dated for AD
253-282 and found north of what is now the town centre.
Agricola the road building
programme included a route from the fort at
Manchester (Mamucium) to the fort
at Ribchester (Bremetennacum) that ran through Radcliffe and Affetside. The modern Watling Street, that serves the Seddons Farm estate on the west
side of town, follows the approximate line of the
imposing early building in the town would have been Bury Castle, a medieval fortified manor
The castle was built in 1469 by Sir Thomas
Pilkington, lord of the manors
Pilkington and Bury and a powerful member of Lancashire's gentry.
It sat in a good defensive position on high ground over looking the
Irwell Valley. At that time the Pilkingtons had been lords of Bury
for nearly a century, having inherited the manor from a family
named de Bury.
Bury Parish Church
The Pilkington family suffered badly in the Wars of the Roses
when, despite the
geography they supported the House of
. When Richard III was killed in the
Bosworth, in 1485, Thomas Pilkington was captured and later
The outcome of the battle was that the Duke of
Richmond, representing the House of
was crowned Henry
. As a reward for the support of his family
created Earl of Derby
other land the confiscated Pilkington estate in Bury was presented
ancestral home of the Earls of Derby is Knowsley Hall on the outskirts of Liverpool. The family maintain a connection with Bury
in various ways - the Derby High
School is named after them.
When the school opened
in 1959 the Earl of Derby
and the school's badge is based on the Earl's coat of arms.
For many years the castle remains were buried beneath the streets
outside the Castle Armoury. From time to time it was the subject of
archaeological excavations. These established that there was an
earlier manor house on the site. In 2000 the castle site was
properly excavated as a focal point in the town centre. The remains
of the old walls are now displayed in Castle Square.
Between 1801 and 1830 the population of the town more than doubled
from 7072 to 15086. This was the time when the factories, mines and
foundries began to dominate the landscape with their spinning
machines and steam engines.
Probate evidence from the 17th century and the remains of 18th
century weavers' cottages in Elton, on the west side of Bury,
indicate that domestic textile production was an important factor
of the local economy at a time when Bury's textile industry was
dominated by woollens and based upon the domestic production of
yarn and cloth as well as water-powered fulling mills.
Development was swift in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
establishment of Brooksbottom Mill, in Summerseat north of the town, as a calico printing works in
1773 by the family of Sir Robert
Peel marked the beginning of the cotton industry in
By the early 19th century cotton was the predominant
textile industry with the River Roch
River Irwell providing power for spinning mills and processing
water for the finishing trades. Development was further promoted
when the town was linked to the national canal network by the
& Bury Canal
, fully opened in 1808. The canal is provided
with water from Elton
Reservoir, fed by
aqueducts from a weir on the River Irwell, north of what is now the
The Burrs is also the site of another mill
developed by the Peel family, first founded in 1790. The remains
are displayed for the public. There were seven cotton mills in Bury
by 1818 and the population grew from 9,152 in 1801 to 58,029 in
this, railways opened, linking the town from Bury Bolton
Street railway station to Manchester, Radcliffe, Rawtenstall and Accrington, and from the old Knowsley
Street railway station to the neighbouring mill towns of Bolton, Heywood and Rochdale.
As well as the many cotton
mills other industries which thrived included paper–making,
printing and some light
engineering. The town expanded to incorporate the former
townships of Elton, Walmersley and Heap and rows of
terraced housing encircled the town centre by the turn of the 19th
century. Districts such as Freetown, Fishpool and Pimhole were transformed from farmers' fields
to rows of terraced housing, beside the factories and
The houses were of the most limited kind without basic facilities,
sewers or proper streets. The result was the rapid spread of
disease and high mortality rates in crowded areas. In 1838 out of
1058 working class houses in Bury investigated by the Manchester
Statistical Society 733 had 3-4 people in each bed, 207 had 4-5 and
76 had 5-6. Social reformers locally and nationally were concerned
about such issues, including Edwin
. One report that prepared the ground for the reform of
public health matters, commissioned by Sir Robert Peel
, Prime Minister, asked local
doctors for information. King Street, Bury was highlighted. It had
10 houses, each with one bedroom, and a population of 69. The
average age of death in Bury was 13.8 years. Towns like Bury were
likened to 'camps' where newcomers sought work in mill, mine or
forge. Many, often from Ireland found shelter in lodging houses. 38
in Bury were surveyed. 73% had men and women sharing beds
indiscriminately, 81% were filthy and the average was 5.5 persons
to a bed.
Although Bury had few of the classic late 19th century spinning
mills that were such a feature of other Lancashire towns a group,
known as Peel Mills, are still in use at Castlecroft Road,
immediately north of the town centre, their name another reminder
of the link with the Peel family.
A history of Bury is not complete without reference to its role as
regimental town of the Lancashire
Prince William of Orange
(later King William III) landed at Brixham, Devon.
was met by a number of noblemen who were then commissioned to raise
to help him oppose James II
. Colonel Sir Robert Peyton
raised a Regiment containing six independent companies in the
Exeter area. In 1782 the title was changed to the XX or East Devon
Regiment of Foot and from 1 July 1881 became the XX The Lancashire
Fusiliers. The link with Bury and the Fusiliers started
at this time when, following successful recruiting in Lancashire a Regimental Depot was established in Bury,
Wellington Barracks, in 1881.
Wellington Barracks became XX
The Lancashire Fusiliers Regimental Headquarters in 1961.
The Regiment has been involved in many campaigns and peace keeping
duties including the Jacobite uprising, the American War of
Independence, the Napoleonic Wars, the Indian Mutiny and both World
Wars. Since moving to Bury the Lancashire
Fusiliers were part, in 1898, of the force that relieved Khartoum and fought in the Battle of Omdurman and in 1899 - 1902
during the Boer War took part in the
battles of Spion
Kop and the Relief of
In 1914 the regiment was 4th Battalion of the British Expeditionary
, the first force to enter France against the Germans. On
24 April 1915 the taking of W beach at Gallipoli
six men were awarded the Victoria Cross
. The six were chosen by their
comrades for the 'action before Breakfast’.
The losses in the Dardanelles had a sharp impact on the town. They
were all the more pronounced because many of those killed and
wounded were from the regiments Territorial Battalion based in the
town. Like the Pals battalions, it recruited from a small area. It
also comprised largely of part-time soldiers who had volunteered
for regular service at the outbreak of war and who therefore had
strong community ties. They were literally, the local butcher,
baker and candlestick maker - who had wives and children resident
in the town.
As a consequence, for many years afterwards Gallipoli Day was as
much a part of the town's mourning for the Great War dead as
or latterly Remembrance
World war II the regiment fought at the
Monte Cassino, where Fusilier Jefferson won a VC in July
1943. They were also involved in the D-Day landings, with a successful attack on
Villers-Bocage in July 1944. Subsequently they
were involved in Burma, at the
canal and Kenya at the time
of the Mau Mau rebellion.
In 1968 four regiments, the Lancashire, Northumberland and Warwick
Fusiliers and the Royal Fusiliers were amalgamated to create the
Royal Regiment of
. The bringing together of the various regiments saw
the demise of the Lancashire regiment's distinctive primrose
- the yellow feathers worn above the
cap badge. In its place all the battalions adopted the red and
white emblem of the Northumberland Fusiliers who were the senior
(oldest) regiment to be absorbed into the newly created Royal
Regiment of Fusiliers.
After the end of national service, with less need to recruit and
train soldiers most of Wellington Barracks was redeveloped for
housing and playing fields. Parts of the perimeter wall are still
visible but the only part of the site still in military use is the
Regimental Headquarters, museum building and social club.
There is a memorial to the Lancashire Fusiliers who died in the
First World War
at the front of the
former Barracks. Designed by Lutyens,
architect of the Whitehall cenotaph, the memorial is a grade
2 listed monument.
Because his father and great uncle
had been officers in the regiment Lutyens declined a fee for his
work. The monument, 5.88 m high and built of Portland stone, was
unveiled in April 1922.
Sited in Elton on the west side of Bury the barracks fronted Bolton
Road, the A58 at the corner with Haig Road. This and other local
streets in the estate opposite, including Kitchener, Connaught,
White, Buller and Powell Streets were named after prominent Army
figures. Work is currently underway to relocate the Regimental
Museum to a town centre location.
There is already a connection between the regiment and the town
centre. In 1859, the 8th Lancashire (Bury) Rifle Volunteer Corps
was formed and a new Drill Hall was proposed. In 1868 the Drill
Hall, or Castle Armoury, was built on the historical site of
To reflect the 'castle' the Drill Hall has
a fortified style with castellations, gargoyles, turrets, towers,
arrow slits and other Norman architectural features on the façade.
Above the main gate, with a large semi-circular arch, is a large
Coat of Arms incorporating the Lancashire Fusiliers badge and motto
“Omnia Audax”, translating to “Dare Anything”. Three plaques on the
East wall of the Drill Hall commemorate those who fell in two World
Wars and the Boer War.
A platoon of Fusiliers still resides at Castle Armoury. It is also
HQ East Lancashire Wing of the Air
and the Bury Detachment of the Manchester
Army Cadet Force
and accommodates G
Squadron of 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital (Volunteers).
Terraced housing in Bury, 1958
In the post-war period, there was a major decline in the cotton
industry, and in common with many neighbouring towns, Bury's
skyline was soon very different, with countless factory chimneys
being pulled down and the associated mills closing their doors
forever. The old shopping area around Princess Street and Union
Square was demolished in the late 1960s, and a concrete precinct
emerged to replace it. This charmless development was mercifully
replaced by the Millgate Centre in the late 1990s.
However, outside of the Millgate is a large shopping area known as
The Rock, populated mainly by pound shops and charity shops. Work
is now underway to redevelop these areas into a modern shopping
centre with plans for completion in 2010. They will bring a large
department store and a multi screen cinema to the town centre,
together with other facilities including a large new medical
centre. Other areas of the town centre, near the Town Hall and
Interchange are also to be developed. Overall, the town centre will
become a more attractive proposition to visit and competitive as a
destination with Bolton and Rochdale. A recent decision by Marks and Spencer
to vacate their present
store and move into a large new one in The Rock scheme emphasises
the changes that are on their way. The owners of Millgate have
objected to this latest development and it remains to be seen how
their malls will fare against the competition on The Rock.
The town centre is still famous for its traditional market, with
its "world famous" Black Pudding stalls. Bury Market was also once famous for its tripe, although this
has declined in the past few decades.
The last 30 years has
seen the town developing into an important commuter town for
neighbouring Manchester. Large scale housing development has taken
place around Unsworth, Redvales, Sunnybank, Brandlesholme, Limefield, Chesham and Elton. The old railway line to Manchester
Victoria closed in 1990, and was replaced by the light rapid
transit system Metrolink in
The town was also linked to the M66 motorway
network, opening in 1978, accessed
from the east side of the town.
In terms of local administration the town was originally a parish,
then a Select Vestry, first with a Board of Guardians for the Poor.
Improvement Commissioners were added before full Borough status was
granted. The Borough Charter was received in 1876 and by 1889 this
was raised to that of a County
The Coat of Arms was granted in 1877 and the symbols represent
local industry. In the quarters are representations of the Anvil,
for forging, the Golden Fleece, for wool, a pair of Crossed
Shuttles, for the cotton industry and a Papyrus plant for the paper
trade. Above them is a closed visor capped by a mayfly and two red
roses. The Motto 'Vincit Omnia Industria' means 'Work conquers
passage of the Local
Government Act 1972, Bury merged with the neighbouring
municipal boroughs of Radcliffe and Prestwich, together with the urban districts of Whitefield, Tottington and Ramsbottom to become the Metropolitan Borough of Bury in
1974. This borough is part of the Metropolitan county of Greater
On the 3 July 2008 there was a referendum in
Bury MBC to decide whether the borough should be ruled by a
directly elected Mayor. The proposal was rejected by the
located in the foothills of the western Pennines in North West England in the northern part
of the Greater Manchester Urban Area.
The River Irwell flows through the town and
this position has proved important in its history and development.
Flowing from north to south the river effectively divides the town
into two parts on the east and west sides of the valley
respectively. The town centre sits close to and above the river on
the east side. Bury Bridge is a key bridging point linking the east
side of town and the town centre to the western suburbs and Bolton
beyond. Other bridges across the river are limited - there is one
at Radcliffe Road to the south and at Summerseat to the north.
There is also a bridge at the Burrs but this serves a cul-de-sac
and does not allow full east–west access. To the south the main
tributary, the River Roch, flowing from the east, joins the Irwell
close to another significant bridging point, Blackford bridge. This
carries the main route south, now the A56, towards
The market town was first mentioned as a parish in AD
purposes of the Office
for National Statistics, Bury is part of the Greater
Manchester Urban Area.
Attractions in Bury include:
Bury railway station at the East
Lancashire Railway, a heritage railway which runs from the town to
Heywood, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. Based at Bury Bolton
Street railway station.
- Bury Museum and Art
Gallery, containing the Wrigley collection of paintings
including works by Turner, Cox, and De Wint.
- Bury Castle is a fortified manor
house built in the mid 13th century by Sir Thomas Pilkington and is now protected as
a Scheduled Ancient
Monument; the foundations have been excavated and have been
open to the public since 2000.
- Bury's 'World Famous' Market, which has been on the same site for nearly 600
years; the original licence for a market was granted in
1444. In 2006, out of 1150 markets in the UK, Bury Market
was voted the best 'British Market of the Year' by the National
Association of British Market Authorities.
- Castlesteads, Greater
Manchester is an ancient promontory fort and scheduled
- The Regimental Museum of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
- Peel Tower, Harcles Hill, above Holcombe village, Ramsbottom. The Peel Tower was built in remembrance of
Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister of
the United Kingdom and founder of the police force, who was born in
Bury. Hundreds of people climb to the tower each year on Good Friday. Historically this gathering had a
principally religious purpose since the hill is said to be
strikingly similar to the hill that Jesus is said to have climbed
before he was crucified on Good Friday (Calvary).
- Bury Parish
Church on the Market Place in the centre of the town is a
Grade I listed building.
- Silver Street and environs contain many examples of
mid-Victorian architecture, using York stone, from the pre-Gothic
connected to other settlements via Bus, Metrolink and Train.
Bolton Street railway station, is home to the East
Lancashire Railway, a railway which serves Heywood, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall.
The station is the original railway station
of Bury, and was its a mainline station until 1980. Bury
Interchange was the replacement for Bolton Street and
incorporated a railway station, with services to Manchester
This was provided by Class 504
units, which were
third-rail operated. When the Metrolink
took over services of the
line, the third rail was lost, and trams replaced trains in
First Manchester and Easyride Buses operate most bus services
around Bury, connecting with destinations within Greater
Manchester and Rossendale respectively. The bus station is
connected to the Bury
Interchange Metrolink station, to provide a vast complex of
There is also a free car park
at the rear of the complex. The station is
located in the centre of Bury, right next to Bury Market, the Mill Gate
Shopping Centre, and the main square.
Manchester Metrolink operates trams to
Manchester, Altrincham and Eccles.
There is generally a 6 minute service from
Bury to Manchester city centre, with every other tram continuing to
Altrincham. Trams to Eccles are provided from Manchester
Trams usually run in singular formations,
however when the new trams arrive in 2009, trams will be coupled
together at peak periods to work in a double formation.
- High schools located in the area include:
Along with that, there is an Islamic madrassa
there called Darul Uloom Bury
a football club, Bury F.C., which plays at Gigg Lane.
The club was formed in 1885 and in 1889
they finished runners up in the inaugural season of the Lancashire
League. They were elected to the Football League Second
in 1894, at the same time as Manchester City
. They were promoted to
Division One at the end of their first
season, beating Liverpool in a play-off.
More success came in 1900
when they won the FA Cup
followed by a
further win in 1903. On the second occasion they beat Derby County
6-0 - a record victory for a Cup
Final that still stands. The most recent run of success was in 1996
and 1997 when they won promotion from Football League Division
League Division Two
, being Champions in that Division, in
The club plays in League Two, with a thriving Youth and Centre of
Excellence department which has recently produced players such as
, Simon Whaley
and Colin Kazim-Richards
. Former legends
include free scoring Craig Madden
timers Norman Bullock
and Henry Cockburn
, Neville Southall
, Dean Kiely
, Lee Dixon
, Terry McDermott
, Alec Lindsay
Gigg Lane is also used by FC United Of Manchester of the
Unibond Northern Premier Division. FC
is a breakaway group of former Manchester United
fans adhering to the
anti Malcolm Glazer
outright commercialism in modern football. F.C. United's
attendances are extremely competitive with those of Bury F.C.
themselves. Until 2002 Manchester United Reserves were
also hosted by Gigg
Lane in Bury.
Met arts centre, based in the Derby
Hall on Market Street, is a small performing arts venue
promoting a programme of theatre, music and comedy events.
The Met has hosted famous comedy acts such as Steve Coogan
in their days before fame.
Bury Art Gallery and
on Moss Street is home to a fine collection of Victorian
and 20th century art, including
works by Turner
. In 2005 a £1.2 million refurbishment was
carried out, designed to provide a brand new museum, art gallery
and library all under one roof. This includes a combined Museum
& Archives Centre which, based on a radical re-think, uses
artefacts, documentation and art to tell the story of the town. The
most recent renovation includes modern artefacts such as iPods and
electric iRobit hoovers.
The council decided in 2006 to sell Lowry
's "The Riverbank" at auction in order to
fund part of its Social Services budget shortfall. This has
resulted in the government's Museums, Libraries and Archives
Council (MLA) removing Bury Council's accredited museum status. The
authority will now have limited funding options and will be
ineligible for some grants. The Lowry sale raised more than
anticipated and some of the money will be used to develop of a new
town centre museum for the Lancashire Fusiliers
. This will move
into the old School of Arts and Crafts on Broad Street opposite the
town's Museum, Art Gallery and Library, from the existing,
inadequate building on Bolton Road. .
Bury is also at the heart of the largest public art scheme in the
UK -the Irwell Sculpture
. Works in Bury include ones by Ulrich
Ruckriem, at Radcliffe and Edward
Allington, at Ramsbottom with his "Tilted Vase".
Ulrich Ruckriem is
one of Germany's most eminent artists best known for his monumental
stone sculptures. His sculpture in Radcliffe, on the site of
the former Outwood
Colliery, is one of his largest stone settings to
Edward Allington's Tilted Vase sits in the Market
Place in the centre of Ramsbottom and has become a distinctive
feature of interest.
The 2008 Mercury Music Prize winning group Elbow, fronted by Guy
Garvey, also hail from Bury. Their 2008 classic album "Seldom Seen
Kid" won the accolade.
Bury is known for its black puddings
so much so, that it is not uncommon to see it as "Bury Black
Pudding" on a menu. Bury simnel cake
also a variant of the cake originating in Bury. Bury is also
notable for tripe
, though there is little
demand for this in modern times.
- Victoria Wood, BAFTA award
winning comedienne. She went to Bury
- John Kay, the inventor
of the Flying Shuttle, one of the key
inventions of the Industrial
Revolution. He was born to a yeoman farming family at Park, a
tiny hamlet just North of Bury, on 16 June 1704. A memorial to John
Kay stands in the heart of Bury - in Kay Gardens. He also features as
one of twelve subjects portrayed in the epic Manchester Murals, by Ford Madox Brown, that decorate the Great
Town Hall and depict the history of the city. The
piece shows John Kay being smuggled to safety as rioters, who
feared their jobs were in danger, sought to destroy looms whose
invention he had made possible. This was a key moment in the
struggle between labour and new technology. He eventually fled to
France and died in poverty.
Wood, Dean of Ely
Cathedral and Master
of St John's
College, Oxford was born Bury in 1760. A pupil at Bury Grammar
School, he won an exhibition to St John's College and
was a College tutor from 1789 to 1814. During this time he
published the 'Principles of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy'.
He was appointed Dean of Ely in 1820. He served as Master of St
John's from 1815 and left his library to the College upon his death
- Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), the
19th century British Prime Minister
best known today for the repeal of the Corn
Laws and his introduction of the modern police force (hence the
terms "Bobbies" and "Peelers"), was born in Bury. He is also
notable for forming the famous British Police division, 'Scotland
Yard' in London. A monument, Peel Tower, now exists to his memory. As this is
situated nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, it is easily
recognisable for miles around. The tower itself was not built for
Sir Robert, but to provide work for local workers and was later
dedicated to him. A statue of Sir Robert Peel stands in Market
Place, outside the Robert Peel public house. You will notice that
Sir Robert has his waistcoat fastened the wrong way round!
- Professor Sir John Charnley, born,
son of a Bury pharmacist, in Bury in 1911. He wrote 'The Closed
Treatment of Common Fractures', first published in 1950 which
became a standard text for the subject. His subsequent achievement
in developing hip replacement surgery, in 1962, is acknowledged as
a ground breaking development that changed the approach to
orthopaedic surgery. He established a centre for hip surgery at
Wrightington Hospital, near
Wigan where he worked. He was knighted for his
work in 1977. The John Charnley Research Institute,
Wrightington Hospital, near Wigan was named
in his honour.
- Kelly, Barrie, sprinter who competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City,
the 1966 and 1970 Commonwealth
Games in Jamaica and Edinburgh and two European championships,
Budapest in 1966 and Athens in 1969. He was British Champion,
indoors and outdoors at 60 m and 100 m several times during this
- Parry, Gareth (Gaz), Rock
Climbing. One of Britain's most successful rock climbers. A
former British champion in 1996 and 2002. Competed for Great
Britain at the highest level for many years. Current British
bouldering team coach.
- Smith, Lawrie, yachtsman, arguably Britain's most successful
racing sailor. Learnt to sail at Elton Sailing Club, Bury. Won
bronze medal at Barcelona
Olympics in 1992, and the Fastnet
Race. Skippered British Challenger in America's Cup and
finished fourth in Whitbread Round the World
Race in 1989/90.
- Crompton, Richmal, author was
born on Manchester Road, Bury (A plaque marks the house).
- Shaw, Suzanne. Suzanne first appeared on screens on the ITV
series Popstars where she won the chance to be a member of the band
Hearsay. Suzanne later went on to win Dancing On Ice.
- Gary Neville, current Manchester United captain, and his younger
brother former United player Phil
Neville, Everton midfielder and
- Elbow, the band, achieved the Mercury
Music Prize in 2009, for their album 'The Seldom Seen Kid'.
- Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning film
director of 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
- Andy Goram, Scottish international
- John Partridge,
performer notably for playing the role of Christian in Eastenders
Members of Parliament
Spinning the Web
- Health of Towns Commission, 1844
- Fusilier's Museum, Lancashire
- Ordnance Survey Map showing Harcles Hill and Bull
Hill on Holcombe Moor to the north-east
F.C. Youth and Centre of Excellence Official Web Site
- Lancashire Fusiliers, Museum Appeal
- Ulrich Ruckriem