Eccles, Greater Manchester

Eccles, Greater Manchester

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Eccles, Greater Manchester

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Eccles (pop. 36,600) is a town in the City of Salford, a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England, west of Salford and west of Manchester city centre. Historically a part of Lancashire, Eccles lies on sloping ground between the M602 motorway (to the north), and the Manchester Ship Canal (to the south).

Evidence of pre-historic human settlement has been discovered locally, but the present town grew up around the 13th-century Parish Church of St Mary. The area was predominantly agricultural until the Industrial Revolution, when a textile industry was established in the town. The arrival of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first passenger railway, led to the town's expansion along the route of the track linking those two cities; as of 2009 Salford City Council is bidding for the railway to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Eccles was not immune to the general 20th-century decline of the United Kingdom's textile industry. Parts of the town are among the worst 20% in the UK for child poverty, and the unemployment rate is slightly above the national average. The town's present-day landscape is dominated by residential tower blocks, forming a stark contrast with the surrounding Victorian terraced housing.

Eccles cakes, made from flaky pastry, butter, nutmeg, candied peel, sugar and currants, were first produced and sold in the town in 1793, and are now exported across the world. Eccles' other...
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