Dalton's Entry - Atlas Obscura

Dalton's Entry

An obscure walkway dedicated to a scientist who helped pave the way for the world to sit up and take notice of Manchester. 

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Manchester, like all British cities, is filled with mysterious alleyways and back passages that hold plenty of secrets. Mulberry Passage is one such narrow lane that also goes by the moniker “Dalton’s Entry.” (It also has another name that is rarely used, “Five Parts Alley.”) These are all thoroughfares that are dedicated to the 19th-century chemist, physicist, and meteorologist John Dalton.

Five Parts Alley refers to the five principles of Dalton’s atomic theory: 1) Matter is made up of atoms, small and indivisible particles; 2) All atoms of the same element are identical and have the same mass; 3) Atoms of different elements vary in size, mass, and chemical behavior; 4) Chemical compounds are made up of at least 2 atoms of different elements. The resulting particle is called a molecule; and 5) In a chemical reaction, atoms are rearranged, separated, or recombined to form new compounds but no atom is created or destroyed.

It is because of this revolutionary theory that many speculate Dalton is responsible for putting Manchester on the map. His radical thinking got the world to take notice that this northern metropolis was more than just an industrial town. He was also influential in discoveries related to colorblindness (being afflicted himself) and forecasting weather.

2016 marked the 250th anniversary of Dalton’s birth, the city celebrated with honoring this man of science with a blue plaque. In 1988, several artists from Artist Partnership Art Ltd. created an installation in his honor. Though Boardman’s Entry is now dismantled. One can still witness the crafty handiwork of chemical apparatus hidden in the metalwork of Dalton’s Passage.

Know Before You Go

Located not far from John Ryland's Library, the passage way runs parallel to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. The walkway can be entered off either Mulberry Street or John Dalton Street.

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