The sticky-up thing in the background is the Beetham Tower (2007)- Manchester's tallest building.
In the 18th century it was still possible to see the remains of the Roman fort that gave the area its name. Campfield, Castlefield. The Industrial revolutionaries levelled them and covered them over with railways and warehouses. More recently the archaeologists gave the site a good digging over and found all sorts of interesting stuff- including a fragment of the famous "magic square" which may or may not be early Christian and which looks like this
The Roman name for the town- a military settlement at a meeting of rivers- is Mamucium- Mammary Hill. Presumably the gently rolling landscape reminded some lonely soldier of the delights of home. The things in this picture that look like sandpits are the reconstructed footings of a set of buildings- a shop and and workshop- in the Roman vicus.
The Museum houses a shed full of planes and cars and early technology- including a working replica of one of Stevenson's steam engines. When the little old puffer is hauling itself backwards and forwards along its track you can actually smell the industrial revolution.