Facts about Greater Manchester
Although Greater Manchester was not created until 1974, the history of its constituent settlements goes back centuries. There is evidence of Iron Age habitation, particularly at Mellor, and Celtic activity in a settlement named Chochion, believed to have been an area of Wigan settled by the Brigantes. Stretford was also part of the land believed to have been occupied by the Celtic Brigantes tribe, and lay on their border with the Cornovii on the southern side of the River Mersey.
During the Middle Ages, much of what became Greater Manchester lay within the hundred of Salfordshire – an ancient division of the county of Lancashire. Salfordshire encompassed several parishes and townships. Some of which, like Rochdale, were important market towns and centres of England’s woollen trade. The development of what became Greater Manchester is attributed to a shared tradition of domestic flannel and fustian cloth production, which encouraged a system of cross-regional trade.
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England. With a population of 2.8 million; the third largest in England after Greater London and the West Midlands. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs; Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford.
Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles. Which roughly covers the territory of the Greater Manchester Built-up Area, the second-most populous urban area in the UK. Though geographically landlocked, it is connected to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which is still open to shipping in Salford and Trafford. Greater Manchester sits within the historic counties of; Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire and borders the ceremonial counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Merseyside.