Similarly, the chemical industry started by producing bleaches and dyes, but expanded into other areas.
Commerce was supported by financial service industries such as banking and insurance.
On the canal's banks, just outside the borough, the world's first industrial estate was created at Trafford Park.
Large quantities of machinery, including cotton processing plant, were exported around the world.
For the larger conurbation, see Greater Manchester Built-up Area.The canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776.The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved the cost of coal and halved the transport cost of raw cotton.The church is now Manchester Cathedral; the domestic premises of the college house Chetham's School of Music and Chetham's Library.Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, and by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded, quickest, and most populous town of all Lancashire." During the English Civil War Manchester strongly favoured the Parliamentary interest.