Sports, leisure and the Arts Sand Street and Sandhills

Sand Street and Sandhills - The Journey So Far

Irk River Valley, Sandhills clean up

The historical journey

The name Collyhurst originally meant "wooded hill". The hill is actually largely made up of red sandstone, hence the area is known as Red Bank. Stone quarried at Red bank was used to construct the Roman fort at Castlefield, as well as several bridges over the River Irwell and the Collegiate Church at Manchester, later to become Manchester Cathedral. Collyhurst existed as a grazing or pasture land at the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and remained largely rural up to the early 19th century. A burial ground for plague victims was also located at Collyhurst Clough. The district was incorporated into Manchester in 1885.

By the mid-19th century, Collyhurst had begun to expand rapidly as coal was discovered nearby and houses were constructed to house the coal workers at the newly created St George's Colliery. A chemical works had also come into being on Collyhurst Clough. Both air and water were resultantly poisoned by dust and chemical effluent, it was a most unhealthy place to live and work and life expectancy was very low for working people. Ironically, the worst squalor was to be found at Angel Meadow, which had been a pleasant leafy suburb in earlier times.

Corn Mills, Brick Making Works, a Paper Mill, Rope Works and several Dye Factories also existed alongside the River Tib so that by the late 19th century Collyhurst was very heavily industrialised. Later, the railways came and several new blue brick viaducts cut swathes across the Irk Valley - most still stand today, largely derelict except for one main line to Yorkshire

The journey so far

1999 - 2000.
Funds successfully secured to environmentally regenerate Sandhills and Sand Street from the Millennium Commission.

Clear management plan for the site was established and the meadow cutting regime implemented

22,000 square metres of wildflower seeds sown on site by the local community.

Step replacement works undertaken.

2000 - 2010.
A number of Community events have taken place including: woodland thinning, clean up days and bird box making

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