Manchester’s New Heavenly Garden | mikeosbornphoto

Take a railway viaduct that sat idle for decades and turn it into a whole new green space. Does that sound like a good idea to you?

Well it happened here in Manchester, right in the heart of my neighborhood of Castlefield. This raised platform has been transformed into a space for all to enjoy.

Take a look at the pictures and I’ll tell you more below. Please share your thoughts!

Tap/click on the first image to view the gallery

Castlefield Viaduct was built in 1892 to carry rail traffic to and from the powerful industrial city of Manchester and was finally closed in 1969. Fast forward to 2022 and this lofty structure has been given a new lease of life with a smooth sidewalk to carry many pairs of feet.

Elegant gardens with a multitude of plants line the walkway – even silver birches nestle among the weathered power of the viaduct.

It is a pleasure to explore the gardens with expert input from guides from the National Trust, an organization more associated with country estates than the heart of the city.

But as a local who has been observing and photographing the local skyline for six years, I was really struck by the new perspective the overpass offers. New High-rise developments like Deansgate Square struggle with the frame of the structure, and you really feel how old and new Manchester come together.

The “sky garden” is being tested for a year and visitors are asked which direction this slice of nature in the city should take in the future. For starters, there’s another stretch that hasn’t been picked up yet – the possibilities are endless!

Castlefield Viaduct tours can be booked in advance here.


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