Charles Dickens opened "A Christmas Carol" with these words, "Marley was dead, to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that ... Old Marley was as dead as a doornail".  So let me begin by saying that Belle Vue Zoological Gardens are no more.  Just like Marley they are as dead as a doornail.  I say this because I have received a number of requests for information about visiting Belle Vue and on a couple of occasions resumés from prospective zoo keepers.  Belle Vue Zoological Gardens operated in Manchester for 145 years but the doors closed for good in 1981.  Very little remains to suggest that Manchester's "Showground of the World" ever existed.

My motivation for creating this web site was a desire to tell the history of the Belle Vue I remember fondly from my childhood. In the process I have learned a great deal about the history of this amazing place.  Like Marley's ghost, a little of the spirit of Belle Vue clings on here for you to experience.

 In telling the story I have relied heavily on the generosity of others. These people have given me information and shared their photographs.  Much of the material displayed on this site is shown with their consent, but it remains their property. Therefore, none of the text or images on this site should be copied in any way without first contacting me.

I would not have been able to create this site without the help of these people and I would like to think that I would be as supportive of people attempting to do the same thing. However, I have a responsibility to protect the intellectual property of my contributors, so please ASK FOR PERMISSION before taking material from this site.


All the material on this web site is © David Boardman, unless otherwise stated, and may not be copied, downloaded or otherwise reproduced or retransmitted without the written permission of the webmaster.

Any contravention of the copyright of others is unintentional and will be corrected immediately when brought to the attention of the webmaster.