Having evolved from a Roman castrum in Celtic Britain. In the Victorian era, Manchester was the site of one of the world's first passenger railway station and many scientific achievements of great importance. Manchester also led the political and economic reform of 19th century Britain as the vanguard of free trade. The mid-20th century saw a decline in Manchester's industrial importance, prompting a depression in social and economic conditions. Subsequent investment, gentrification and rebranding from the 1990s onwards changed its fortunes, and reinvigorated Manchester as a post-industrial city with multiple sporting, broadcasting and educational institutions.
Manchester has been on a provisional list for UNESCO World Heritage City on numerous occasions. However, since the 1996 bombing, local authorities have persisted on a course of economic evolution rather than prioritising the past. This economic evolution is perhaps best illustrated with the 558 foot (170 metres) Beetham Tower which instantly "torpedoed" any possibility of World Heritage City status according to one author. Despite this, areas perceived as internationally important in the Industrial Revolution such as Castlefield and Ancoats have been sympathetically redeveloped.
According to Oxford University Press, Manchester derived its name from Mamucium, the Roman name for the 1st century-settlement and fort. Mamucium itself is a Latinised form of the Celtic meaning "breast-shaped hill".
The Latin name for Manchester is often given as Mancuniun. This is most likely a neologism coined in Victorian times, similar to the widespread Latin name Cantabrigia for Cambridge (whose actual name in Roman times was Duroliponte).