Bury is situated on the northern edge of the Greater Manchester conurbation and lies broadly in the Irwell Valley, enclosed by the West Pennine Moors. Much of the Borough’s present day character and appearance derives from the industrial expansion of the late 18th Century and early 19th Century. However, the origins of the settlement stretch back to pre-history, strongly related to the topography of the area which continues to play an important part in both the visual character, the culture and economy of the Borough.
The towns Heritage Resource is continually evolving and expanding. It boasts Scheduled Ancient Monuments, sites of archaeological merit and monuments of national importance.
There are nine Conservation Areas in the borough; these are areas of architectural and historic interest and range in form from Pennine moorland at Holcombe through industrial villages and Bury Town Centre. The Borough includes a substantial number of 19th Century parks and open spaces of some considerable quality both as a heritage and recreational resource and the remnants of a medieval deer park and private estate at Philips Park, Prestwich.
The town has four museums these include Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, the Lancashire Fusiliers Museum, Bury Transport Museum, and East Lancashire Railway (a ‘living’ museum and tourist attraction).
The Borough also features the Irwell Sculpture Trail. This is a major public art project which runs throughout the length of the Borough. It is both a reflection and celebration of the varied character of the Irwell Valley and an example of the evolution of the heritage resource.
The town also has a vibrant commercial scene, which include the traditional Bury outdoor market which is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The Rock shopping complex has shops, cinema complex, bowling alley and restaurants.