The Story of Oxford Road

1814 Jordan’s School of Anatomy opens and eventually becomes Victoria University of Manchester.
1824 The Manchester Mechanics Institution opens as part of a national movement for the education of working men, eventually becoming The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).
1835 Elizabeth Gaskell’s house is built. In recent years there has been £2.5M in project funding to allow visitors to experience the house as it was in the 1860’s when Elizabeth occupied the home (pictured).
1838 Manchester School of Design opens for the first time in the basement of Manchester Art Gallery.
1845 Engels publishes, ‘The condition of the Working Class in England’; which references the slums of Oxford Street. A statue of Engels can now be found outside HOME (pictured).
1845 Karl Marx outlines his earliest communist theory in his tract Das Kapital, in Engels’ apartment on Cecil Street just off Oxford Road.
1858 The Hallé Orchestra is founded with their first concert in the city’s Free Trade Hall. Sir Charles Hallé later founded the Royal Manchester College of Music which merged with the Northern School of Music to become the RNCM.
1889 Whitworth Art Gallery (pictured), originally known as the Whitworth Institute and Park opened as a gallery for people of all social classes.
1890 Manchester Museum opened to the public.
1891 The Palace Theatre, originally known as the Grand Old Lady of Oxford Street opened for the first time.
1903 Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and on Friday 14 December 2018, a new statue of the iconic Mancunian suffragette was unveiled in St Peter’s Square following a march down Oxford Road (pictured).
1904 A plan to move Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to Oxford Road is agreed. The hospital later opens in 1908.
1904 Fredrick Henry Royce built the first ever Rolls Royce from a factory in Hulme.
1906 Joseph John Thomson was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Manchester in Physics.
1908 Ernest Rutherford was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and went on to split the atom in 1917 (pictured).
1927 The Ritz is built.
1934 Central Library opens.
1935 All Saints park opens as a children’s playground.
1946 Manchester Metropolitan University opens as The Manchester Library School.
1948 University of Manchester Professors, Tom Kilburn & Fred Williams developed the words first electronic stored-program computer; ‘The Manchester Baby’ (pictured). A working replica can be viewed at the Science and Industry Museum.
1973 David Bowie performs at the Lesser Free Trade Hall.
1975 The BBC’s North West headquarters on Oxford Road opens for the first time before being demolished in 2012. This is now home to the Circle Square development.
1976 Sex Pistols play Lesser Free Trade Hall gig with Morrissey, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, The Buzzcocks, Anthony Wilson & Mark E Smith in attendance.
1983 The Smiths (pictured) race back from performing This Charming Man on TOTP to play at the Hacienda.
1984 Manchester Science Park is established.
2000 Transitive, a University of Manchester spin-out company created software that was used in approximately 25 million mac computers between 2006 & 2009.
2001 The Alan Turing Memorial (pictured) is revealed in Sackville Gardens. The life size bronze figure was created by artist Glyn Hughes.
2004 The University of Manchester officially opens as a redbrick university after merging with UMIST & Victoria University of Manchester.
2004 Professor Andre Geim & Kostya Novoselov isolate Graphene (pictured), the world’s first 2D material, leading to the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.
2005 The University of Manchester create the first 3D printer of human tissue
2013 The £34M investment into Manchester Metropolitan University’s Art & Design faculty is completed, including the opening of the Benzie building (pictured).
2014 Prince plays a 2 ½ hour set at Manchester Academy for free.
2014 Citylabs 1.0 opens.
2015 The Whitworth is awarded the UK’s 2015 Museum of Year.
2015 The Cornerhouse merges with the Library Theatre Company and opens its new £25M site on First Street, HOME.
2015 The National Graphene Institute opens (pictured).
2016 The first UK city to be awarded the European City of Science.
2017 Dutch-Style cycle lanes are introduced along Oxford Road.
2017 The Bright Building officially opens and wins a number of awards in its first year (pictured).
2018 Hatch, the award winning food, drink and retail destination opens for the first time (pictured). The pop-up has since trebled in size and is now home to over 30 independent traders.
2019 The University of Manchester’s, Alliance Manchester Business School reopens. The school is ranked 2nd in the UK for research, providing education to undergraduates, postgraduates and executives from across the world.