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'.
Sources of Information
-  Manchester City Council Archives Local Image Collection, Image m05139
- Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Thursday 2 December 1897