Library exhibition traces the story of Wythenshawe


An exhibition tracing the story of Wythenshawe during the twentieth century as it developed from a humble collection of small villages to a garden city will be held at Manchester Central Library this August. 

“Who Built Wythenshawe” tells the story of the tens of thousands of families previously forced to live in Manchester’s inner-city slums as they moved into well-built and spacious neighbourhoods amidst green surroundings. The exhibition also reveals the captivating lives of Ernest and Shena Simon who played a critical role in Wythenshawe’s development. 

Wythenshawe, as it is today, would not have existed without the great energy and inspiring altruism of the Simons. They paved the way for the creation of Wythenshawe in 1926 by purchasing and donating Wythenshawe Hall and its surrounding parkland for the people of Manchester. 

Lead member for Libraries, Deputy Executive member, Councillor Adele Douglas said: The Simon’s role in pushing for a garden city, their wider work in improving the social conditions of working people across Manchester and their fascinating personal lives are largely forgotten. There is little in the way of memorials to the Simons, but their legacy runs deep as we hope this exhibition will reveal.” 

Drawing on historical research, documentary photographs, old maps and original records from the archives, this exhibition illustrates many notable moments in the history of Wythenshawe as Manchester’s Garden city. 

The exhibition runs from August 9th to September 3rd on the Ground Floor of Central Library.