Manchester is known for its cotton mills, the Town Hall and its imposing commercial architecture, but it is textile warehouses that provide the distinctive element in its streetscape and make it unlike any other town in England. These warehouses were only built during the century following 1825 - a relatively short time in the history of Manchester - and were never found throughout the city. However they are intimately connected with Manchester's past position as the centre for the manufacturing and selling of cotton goods within England and to other parts of the world. Their monumental scale and sometimes exuberant architectural style dominate the areas of the town in which they are clustered. Nowhere else in Britain has there ever been such a concentration of buildings of this kind: the streets of the commercial quarter of Manchester are as distinctive as are those of governmental London.