'Dreadnowt' - Atlas Obscura

The Irk River immediately north of Manchester traverses through a broad swath of unkempt woodlands and small industrial areas left over from when Manchester was a major manufacturing center. It therefore seems like the least likely place to find a submarine partially buried in the ground with its prow pointed upwards.

The submarine is actually a sculpture called the Dreadnowt. It was created by Manchester artist Jonathan Woolfenden and was paid for and installed outside HMG Paints. The statue derives its name from the Dreadnaught-class battleships, with the spelling changes slightly to reflect the local pronunciation of the word.

The Dreadnowt was installed in 1992. Originally, the statue was unpainted metal, but it was later painted with various designs (such as the St. George Cross for the England football team, a red poppy for Remembrance Sunday, and the NHS logo during the COVID-19 pandemic). Today, Dreadnowt is an odd, out-of-the-way landmark within the Irk Valley that always surprises unlikely visitors who happen to stumble into the area.

Know Before You Go

The Dreadnowt is located outside the HMG Paints factory north of Manchester on Collyhurst Road, which runs along the River Irk. Although the Dreadnowt is fenced off, the statue is easily visible from the street. Driving to the site is straightforward, with parking available on the street. For people without cars, buses travel to nearby Rochdale Road, although it takes only 20 minutes to walk from Manchester City Centre.

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