Exchange Station, Greengate, Salford


The history and archaeology of a transformed urban landscape

Rebecca Haslam, Jennifer Proctor and Victoria Ridgeway, 2019.

Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed No. 18

ISBN 978-0992667290



The historic core of Salford, centred upon the ancient thoroughfares of Greengate and Chapel Street, has a long and complex history. An important agricultural market town during medieval times, the settlement would gradually transform itself into a vital manufacturing and trading hub with a focus upon textile production. The area’s importance to the textile trade would grow as the centuries passed, however it was the technological innovations that characterised the Industrial Revolution that would provide new impetus. The 18th and 19th centuries were therefore characterised by an explosion of factories, mills and foundries as preexisting industries were mechanised and new ones moved in. It was also an era of profound social change as increased employment opportunities led to rapid population increase and a boom in the construction of low-grade housing. However these developments were dwarfed by the coming of Exchange Station in the early 1880s, which forever changed the topography and function of Salford’s historic centre.

An extensive redevelopment in the Greengate and Chapel Street area provided Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) with a unique opportunity to investigate these developments via archaeological and historical study. This booklet presents and interprets the results whilst placing them in context within Salford’s wider history and cityscape.

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