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Manchester is a city and metropolitan area in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 530,300 in 2015. It is the second largest populated urban area in the UK with a population of 2.8 million. Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire plain to the south, the pennines to the north and east, and an arc of cities with which it forms a continuous metropolitan area. The local authority is the city council of Manchester. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was founded around 79 AD on a sandstone cliff near the confluence of the Medlock and Irwell Rivers. It was historically part of Lancashire, though areas of Cheshire were merged south of the River Mersey in the 20th century.