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Around 1200–1230 it was known as Bexwic and it is believed to be a combination of a personal name and a settlement or dwelling place. At the height of the Industrial Revolution there was less industry here than in Bradford and it was primarily a residential area of terraced houses.

In 2002, east Manchester was the focus of the XVII Commonwealth Games, which brought new development to the area including the City of Manchester Stadium, National Cycling Centre (Manchester Velodrome), English Institute of Sport, National Squash Centre, Regional Athletics Arena and Indoor Tennis Centre.


Beswick was the biggest township of the ancient parish of Manchester in the Salford Hundred of the county of Lancashire. It became part of the Township of Manchester in 1838, being joined with Ardwick to form a Municipal Ward in the new township. For Poor Law purposes it was added to the Prestwich Poor Law Union, which was constituted by order of the Poor Law Board in 1850. In 1896, it was among the townships consolidated to form the Township of North Manchester for Poor Law purposes.