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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester's Hidden History revealed, 3 Jan 2012
This review is from: Manchester: The Hidden History (Paperback)
Mike Nevell has been writing books on Manchester's history for over twenty years. An Industrial Archaeologist at heart, in this book he looks at Manchester's history from prehistoric to present day, in many cases using sites in which he himself was involved in the excavation of. This in fact lies at the heart of the 'hidden' in the title, as many of the sites lay undisturbed and undiscovered until excavation. Others, such as mills, cellar dwellings, weavers cottages and other buildings used during the cities growth from small township to being in essence the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, are hidden only in as much as passers by do not understand their original purpose, or recognise them for the use they once held. With Mills being re-used as apartment blocks or hotels, Georgian dwellings into office space, and even Medieval houses, of which there are still a number in existence in Manchester, not being understood in the context in which they were built and used, this book is a timely reminder of what was, amongst what now is. The book does not however, merely look at archaeology. The author is at pains to explain not just when innovations occurred, but how and why. For example, while medieval Manchester grew from the wool trade, it was coal that the Duke of Bridgewater was interested in when he caused the famous canal to be built, which indirectly caused the growth of trade around Manchester, and led to the opening of the world's first railway station. Here, in a book of almost 200 pages, filled with maps, site plans, drawings and photographs to assist the text, can be found the history of one of the world's greatest and most influential cities, and is a 'must have' for not only Mancunians, but for anyone interested in the development of trade, industry and culture.
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