Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester

Ref: C3842644

This course will look at the physical remains of the industrial archaeology and heritage of Greater Manchester, covering the period from 1700 to 1945. It will use some of the latest archaeological fieldwork in the region to study the remains of the following industries: textile, engineering, coal, glass and pottery industries. It will also look at key transport infrastructure such as canals, railways and turnpikes. This will be done through a review of the remains still visible, and some below-ground excavations, in each of the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester. There will be a chance to undertake a small student presentation on a subject inspired by the course on a subject of the student's own choosing.

Course aim

This course provides an introduction to the industrial archaeology and heritage of Greater Manchester and where to see these remains in the region.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name three types of industrial monument in Greater Manchester
  • Undertake basic research on an industrial archaeology topic
  • Identify some of the sources for studying industrial archaeology and heritage

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • A short individual presentation on a subject inspired by the course (optional).

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Suggested reading: McNeil R & Nevell M, 2000, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester. Nevell M, 2008, Manchester: the Hidden History. History Press 2008 Nevell M, 2018, Manchester at Work. Amberley Publishing

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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