Cheetham is bounded by Crumpsall and Broughton (the latter being in the City of Salford). Bury Old Road/Cheetham Hill Road both run directly through the centre of the district and end up on the outer edge of Manchester City Centre.
Located on a hillside between Manchester and Prestwich, Cheetham emerged as a popular place for wealthy industrialists to build their homes, looking down upon, but quite separate from the grimy Victorian city below – thus it avoided encroaching industrialisation. The hillside for Cheetham Hill provides Manchester with its only viewpoint with which to look down and reflect on the city below.
By the 1860s Cheetham had become a thriving and busy township with its own Town Hall, Library, Swimming Baths, Assembly Rooms and the Northern Hospital (closed in the mid-1990s). It was considered an elegant and desirable place to live in Victorian times.
Today the shops and cultural life of Cheetham Hill is still extremely vibrant with representation from many ethnic diverse groups present on the high street. There is a Polish Deli, a shops for the Afro Carribbean community, fresh produce shops for the Muslim Asian community, plus restaurants for Afghani and African cuisines. Over 22 languages are spoken within its 1 and a half radius and there are over 40 different places to worship.
The former elegant library now stands derelict, having been through several transformations; the old town hall is currently an Indian Restaurant. Some of its finer churches are abandoned and the cemeteries lie overgrown and neglected.
Until recently, Cheetham boasted “the Cream of Manchester” in the original Boddington’s Brewery at Strangeways, but even that has been demolished in 2007.
The lower part of Cheetham Hill Road is now occupied by innumerable small retail and wholesale businesses, including clothing, jewellery and furnishing traders, some of which are housed in the old original warehouses and mills of this area.
Cheetham Hill is home to the Manchester Jewish Museum, Manchester Transport Museum and a number of key community centres such as the Irish World Heritage Centre (due for a major redevelopment) and the Manchester Polish Centre.
An annual Cheetham Hill Festival is held in early September led by the four leading faiths in the area Christianity, Islam, Shikism and Judaism to mark the September 11th attacks and promote tolerance.