Saturday, 25 March 2017

Lost and forgotten streets of Salford nu 5 ............ what you find on Blackfriars Road

I am always fascinated by those narrow little passageways which hold the promise of all sorts of dark stories.

Passageway, 2016
Now this one has no name, and leads to Harding Street which today just gives access to a car park under the railway arches from Salford Approach.

So our little passageway seems hardly worth a second glance, but not so.

Go back to 1849 and it led to a closed court called Nightingale Square which in turn took you on to Harding’s Buildings which was the original Harding Street.

Here could be found 23 properties some of which were back to back and a whole warren of alleys on either side.

All were lost with the construction of the new railway viaduct and Exchange Station in 1884.

All of which just leaves me to go looking for the two buildings that stood on either side of our passage.

These were the Salford Library and Mechanic’s Institution to the left and The Royal Archer Public House to the right.

Now I am pretty sure there will be someone who can point me towards pictures of the Library and offer up rich stories of its contribution to Salford life.

In the same way I am also confident that The Royal Archer will reveal something of its past/

This I suspect will start with the names of some of the landords and if we are lucky a date for its opening.

It was there by 1849 and may well be much older than that.  In 1851 it was run by Margaret Horton and with a name we may be able to find out more.

Sadly Harding's Buildiings and Nightingale Square were not considered important enough for inclusion in the directories.

But Margaret Horton should be on the 1851 census and by following the streets from her pub it might be possible to come across both Harding's Buildings and Nightingale Square and in turn uncover the people who lived there.

We shall see.

Location; Salford

Pictures; passageway on Blackfriars Road, 2016 from the collection of Andrew Simpson, and the area in 1849, from the OS for Manchester and Salford, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

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