Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,806 pages of information and 210,387 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
The Irk is one of the rivers which was vital to the development of Manchester as 'the world's first Industrial city'. The largest of these modestly-sized rivers was the Irwell, followed by the Irk and the River Medlock. A remarkable number of factories and property owners freely used and badly abused these waterways.
1897: 'Its present loathsome condition in the heart of Cottonopolis is a standing reproach to those in whom the authority is vested to abate what is at the present time an most unmitigated nuisance'.