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Church of St Peter Blackley 7.jpg
The Grade II* listed Church of St. Peter
Blackley is located in Greater Manchester
Blackley shown within Greater Manchester
Population 10,196 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SD853028
• London 186 m
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M9
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
List of places
Greater Manchester
53°31′21″N 2°13′22″W / 53.52246°N 2.22282°W / 53.52246; -2.22282Coordinates: 53°31′21″N 2°13′22″W / 53.52246°N 2.22282°W / 53.52246; -2.22282

Blackley /ˈblkli/ (About this soundlisten) is a suburban area of Manchester, England, in the county of Greater Manchester. Historically in Lancashire, it is approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north of Manchester city centre by meander of the River Irk, flowing through the area.


The hamlet of Blackley was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Blæclēah = "dark wood" or "dark clearing". In the 13th and 14th centuries Blackley was referred to as Blakeley or Blakelegh'.[1]

By the Middle Ages, Blackley had become a park belonging to the lords of Manchester. Its value in 1282 was recorded as £6 13s 4d (£6.67 approx.), a sum approximately equivalent in buying power to £333,500 today.[1][2] The lords of Manchester leased the land from time to time. In 1473, John Byron held the leases on Blackley village, Blackley field and Pillingworth fields at an annual rent of £33 6s 8d (£33.33 approx.).

The Byron family continued to hold the land until the beginning of the 17th century when Blackley was sold in parcels to a number of landowners.[1] By the middle of the 17th century, Blackley was a rural village of just 107 inhabitants. This lasted until the start of gradual residential development in the 1930s-1960s, where most farmland and open spaces were built upon. Today, only pockets of the suburb, are undeveloped green space, with farmland remaining close to the M60 motorway.

Crab lane in 1908


Blackley is a part of the parliamentary constituency of Blackley and Broughton, The current Member of Parliament is Graham Stringer (Labour).

The main opposition in the constituency is the Conservative Party, whose candidate came second in the 2017 General Election with 21.6% of the vote , a 7% increase from 2015.

The suburb is between the local government wards of Higher Blackley and Charlestown on Manchester City Council. The Three councillors for both wards are members of the Labour Party.


During the 1930s, residential development started to take place in the township to provide more homes for Manchester's growing population. This is an area with a mixture of housing which is mainly privately owned homes: owner occupied and privately rented. In 2014, Blackley appeared on a list of Top 10 Places to live in Greater Manchester.

The church of Saint Peter

The Church of St Peter on Old Market Street is a Gothic Revival church, which was built in 1844 by E. H. Shellard. It was erected at a cost of £3162. The church is particularly notable for an almost completely intact interior. It was designated a Grade II* listed building on 20 June 1988. The interior is aisled and particularly impressive for its complete 170 year old interior, with the extremely unusual survival of all the fine boxes and pews.

The churchyard contains the war graves of ten service personnel of World War I, and seven of World War II.

Green spaces

Blackley is extremely well served in terms of green space:

Boggart Hole Clough

Boggart Hole Clough is a country park where many walks can be undertaken, guided or otherwise. Thanks to recent funding the park now has many leisure facilities; a bowling green, tennis and basketball courts, a boating lake and a children's play area. It has its own permanent orienteering course and an athletics track. Visitors can enjoy family fun days in the summer and an annual firework display. There is a considerably old stone bridge across the brook running through the clough.

Blackley Forest

A Site of Biological Importance and an example of one of the country's first Community Woodlands. Planted to commemorate the Queen's coronation and also the local people who gave their lives in the Second World War. The area has had woodland on it since the Norman Conquest in 1066, when wild boar and deer roamed and eagles flew above.[3]

The forest is a diverse mix of woodland, grassland and wetlands, dissected by a well established network of paths and steps. The River Irk can be seen in its most natural state, fringed by birch trees with some colonies of autumn crocus.

Heaton Park

Heaton Park, at around 650 acres (2.63 km2), is the biggest park in Greater Manchester, and one of the largest municipal parks in Western Europe, providing some 25% of Manchester's total green space. It is the grounds of Heaton Hall, a Grade I listed, neoclassical 18th century country mansion. The hall was remodelled to a design by James Wyatt in 1772,[4] and is now open to the public as a museum and events venue. Although the park is officially part of the City of Manchester, two of a number of entrances are accessed from Blackley, on Middleton Road.[5]


Blackley is well served by buses primarily along the main arterial routes of Rochdale Road (A664), and Cheetham Hill Road/Bury Old Road (A665) directly to and from Manchester city centre. Initially these would have been provided by the precursors to, and Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company, and currently by First Greater Manchester.

Other journeys are provided by Stagecoach Manchester, which took over JPT in April 2014. There are frequent Metrolink trams from Bowker Vale to and from Manchester city centre and as far south as Altrincham and as far north as Bury. Manchester's M60 orbital motorway is the northern boundary of Blackley.


Primary schools

Blackley has a number of primary schools which include:

  • St. Clare's Primary School
  • Crab Lane Primary School
  • E-ACT Blackley Academy
  • Bowker Vale Primary School
  • Mount Carmel RC Primary School
  • Crosslee Community Primary School
  • St John Bosco's RC Primary School
  • Pike Fold Primary School
  • Holy Trinity Primary School

Secondary schools

Secondary schools in Blackley include: The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, Manchester Creative and Media Academy and Our Lady's RC High School.


Blackley Golf Club

The course at Blackley

The award winning Blackley Golf Club has occupied its present site close to the M60 since 1937. The club celebrated its centenary in 2007, and a new clubhouse opened in 2009. The Clubhouse offers use for wedding receptions and private hire. The course is sponsored by Williams BMW, a local dealership.

Blackley Cricket Club

Crab lane cricket ground in Blackley

Blackley Cricket Club currently play in the Greater Manchester Cricket League. The club is located on Crab Lane. In 2009, they won the cricket league title for Greater Manchester.

Notable people

(either born in Blackley, or born in Manchester and a resident of Blackley)

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Townships: Blackley" (HTTP). A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 255–59. British History Online. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
  2. ^ "Currency converter" (HTTP). The National Archives. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
  3. ^ "History of Blackley Forest". Friends of Blackley Forest. Archived from the original (HTTP) on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  4. ^ "Heaton Hall & Orangery". Manchester City Council. Archived from the original (HTTP) on 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  5. ^ "History & Architecture". Manchester City Council. Archived from the original (HTTP) on 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
  6. ^ Introduction, retrieved 2 July 2012
  7. ^ Roger Byrne on
  8. ^ Greer, Stuart (2 July 2010). "Factory Records fanatic vows to give it all to Manchester". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Who is Crocodile Joe?". BBC Manchester. BBC. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  10. ^ "'Crocodile Joe' earns his corn by snaring snake at North Manchester General hospital". Manchester Evening News. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2013.

External links

  • Blackley - Districts & Suburbs of Manchester
  • Friends of Blackley Forest
  • Genealogy, history and memories of Blackley
  • St. Peter's & St. Paul's Churches
  • St. Andrew's Church, Higher Blackley
  • Heaton Park
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