Withington history

Withington area history

History of the area

The Withington area of south Manchester has a rich and fascinating history going back at least as far as medieval times, with enormous growth in the Victorian period, and a wealth of modern history.

These pages provide an account of this history, covering Withington, Ladybarn and Old Moat. Individual articles describe aspects of this history, including old maps, old photographs, oral history memoirs, famous people of Withington, the story of existing and lost buildings and the role of Withington in the history of popular music.

Books in the Withington Civic Society History Series are available below.

We also provide a guide to other history resources for the area.


Withington Civic Society publications

Withington Civic Society publishes a series of books on the history of the Withington area:
  • A walk through the history of Withington: A guided walk through the historical centre of Withington in Manchester.
  • Wartime Withington: Memories of World War II.
  • A legacy of love: The story of the Harrison organ in St. Chad's Church, Ladybarn (by Robert Nicholls).
  • Ladybarn in the 1970s - a time of conflict: A story of urban renewal and protest in south Manchester (by Ruth Shepherd).

These publications are available from Withington Library and other outlets in the Withington area. They may also be purchased online at £6.00 each (inc. p&p) by emailing your request to the Civic Society at contact@withingtoncivicsociety.org.uk. Payment is by bank transfer.

Other history resources

A book covering aspects of Withington's history is:  "A history of  Withington" by Kenneth Whittaker (1957, EJ Morten Publishers; Rev Ed edition, October 1969 )
An attractive booklet of old photographs of the area and interesting historical notes is  "Looking Back at Withington and Didsbury" by Gay Sussex and Peter Helm (Willow Publishing, 1988. Reprinted 1993).

Covering Manchester suburbs in general is:  "Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs"  by Glynis Cooper (Breedon Books, in association with Manchester Libraries, 2002. ISBN: 1-85983-292-X. Website: www.breedonbooks.co.uk). This has several pages on each of the larger suburbs, including Withington (but with a few errors).

For an extensive collection of old and recent pictures of the area and of Manchester, see the  Manchester Local Image Collection.
Maps from the 19th century and early 20th century  record the development of Withington, Old Moat and Ladybarn. See the   Old Maps page  for a guide to available maps.

Watercourses through the area are described in  "The Lost Rivers of Manchester" by Geoffrey Ashworth (Willow Publishing, 1987). See the  Watercourses page.

An online summary of some aspects of the history of the area (especially ancient and manorial history)  is  Victoria County History: 'Townships: Withington',  A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 288-293 (William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)).
Extract from   an historical archive  of a wider area (1282)  [ Remains, historical & literary, connected with the palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester  (1844-86)]

Other sources of historical information may be found on the City Council's website.
The place names of Lancashire, E. Ekwall, Manchester University Press, 1922 . Available online at  http://archive.org/details/placenamesoflanc00ekwauoft.

The  Wikipedia page for Withington includes some history and has useful links to other resources.

"Withington that was" by Kenneth Whittaker (193, Lumb Lane, Audenshow, Manchester) is an interesting booklet reflecting on Withington's past, as is
 "Withington worthies" by the same author.

Use of the website: If you wish to use the material of the website, please clearly acknowledge the source of the materials: "Information/Photographs is/are by kind permission of Withington Civic Society" and include our website address: " www.withingtoncivicsociety.org.uk". If the purposes for which you wish to use the material are commercial or commercially-related, please contact the Civic Society at: contact@withingtoncivicsociety.org.uk to get permission before you use any material either in print or for any other commercial purposes.