Manchester evolved from the civilian
vicus associated with the
Roman fort of
Mamucium, which was established c. AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers
Irwell, in a position defensible from the
Brigantes. Once the Romans had abandoned Britain, the focus of settlement shifted to the
confluence of the rivers
 During the
Dark Ages which followed – and persisted until the
Norman Conquest – the settlement was in the territory of several different petty kingdoms.
 In the
Middle Ages, what is now the city centre was the
township of Manchester.
Manchester Castle – a medieval fortification, probably taking the form of a
ringwork – was located on a bluff where the rivers Irk and Irwell meet.
 The castle was first mentioned in 1184 and recorded in 1215 as belonging to the
barons of Manchester, the Grelley family.
 It has been described as "of no political or military importance".
 The Grelleys replaced the castle with a fortified
manor house, which in turn was replaced by a college of priests (founded in 1421).
 In 1547 the college was dissolved and the property acquired by the
Earl of Derby and early in the reign of King Charles II it was sold to the governors who had been appointed in the will of
Humphrey Chetham. By royal charter in 1665
Chetham's Hospital was established and this became
Chetham's School of Music.
Manchester city centre is the commercial and cultural hub for 2.7 million people in the
Greater Manchester region and new developments are forthcoming.
St Peters Square regeneration – St Peter's Square, home of
Manchester Central Library, is set to undergo massive multimillion-pound redevelopment which will include pedestrianising the square, redeveloping Elizabeth House (the current empty building opposite the Central Library), creation of a contemporary memorial to the 1819
Peterloo Massacre and refurbishing the Library.
 A competition has been held to decide upon the new design of the square.
 It has recently been suggested that the
Cenotaph should be moved to make room for a further tram line.
One St Peter's Square – a new high-rise office building in St Peter's Square. The building will offer 14 floors of Grade A office space in a prime city centre location opposite the
Central Library and 1930s
Manchester Town Hall Extension.
Manchester Victoria station – Manchester's second station after Piccadilly – it has been rated as one of the worst stations in the United Kingdom and known for its damaged roof since 1996. The station has been undergoing a modernisation program since 2013. A new ETFE roof covering the whole station is being constructed at a cost of £20 million while historical elements of the interior such as the tiled wall are being cleaned and preserved.
NOMA – The Co-op has embarked on one of its most challenging projects to date, as it aims to transform a 20-acre (81,000 m2) section of Manchester into a new retail, office and residential quarter, where its own new headquarters will be housed. The site will be branded "NOMA 53" in reference to "NOrth MAnchester" and the locations co-ordinates. The City Building will become the luxurious Hotel Indigo, which will include a Marco Pierre White restaurant and is set to open in autumn 2012. Two buildings on the corner of Corporation Street and Balloon Street to be converted into 106,000 sq ft (9,800 m2) of grade A office accommodation. Completion by second half of 2013.
River Street Tower – a new 125 metre skyscraper, approved in October 2012 and designed by
Ian Simpson. Construction is expected to start in 2013 and will become the second tallest building outside London after the
Beetham Tower – also in Manchester.
As of 2013, there are proposals to develop and extend the city centre northwards in an arc between