THE site of a major new development in Salford might look like just any derelict industrial wasteland, but for archaeologists it is a tantalising glimpse into the history of the city.
The site forms the ‘blank space’ where ForLiving’s £48 million Dock 5 development in Ordsall, Salford, is set to take shape in the coming years – and it’s proved something of a trove for relics of the past.
Some of those archaeological findings, dating back to the Peterloo Massacre, were put on display at the nearby Ordsall Hall for curious onlookers to gain a glimpse of the past.
The Dock 5 development will see the construction of 394 flats for private rent. It will also feature onsite cinema rooms and a gym.
The site where all this will be built originally hosted a former printworks that dated back to the early 1800s – to the period just after the Napoleonic Wars.
An archaeological study of the site was carried out in partnership with Salford University, turning up a fair few interesting finds. These include a bark mill and boiling house believed to have been used to make dye and gum. There was also evidence of filter beds and tanks and wells used as part of the dyeing process.
The remains of a chemical factory were also discovered, which is said to be remarkable as little is known about Manchester and Salford’s historical chemical industry.
“Dock 5 is an incredibly unique development, with luxury communal facilities rarely seen in Greater Manchester,” said Paul Gerrard, director of ForLiving, which is part of the ForViva Group. “Ordsall is fast becoming a prime location for both commuters and young people. We wanted to reflect that youthful vibrancy by providing the ultimate in urban living.
“It has also been really interesting to look back on the history of the site and how it has been used over many years. It really does have a diverse and significant past. It’s exciting to now be looking at the future of the site and providing quality homes which exceed the expectations of today.”
Dock 5 is located less than 10 minutes’ drive from MediaCityUK. The eight-storey scheme on Fairbrother Street sits next to the Irwell and has been designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall. The scheme is due to be completed in 2023.
Main Image: (Left to right) Paul Gerrard, director of ForLiving; Nigel Sedman, group director of homes, ForViva; Mark Edwards, strategic lead for ForLiving; Norman Redhead, Salford University; and Mark Adams, RSK.