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Manchester’s Top 5 Historical Landmarks

Image © The John Rylands Library via Facebook

Explore Manchesters beautiful old buildings and historical landmarks…

Anyone who’s been in Manchester’s town centre over the last few years will have no doubt witnessed the number of new buildings being thrown up at a rapid rate. But, as the tide of time flows forward and the skyline becomes cluttered with yet more glass and steel, the area still has its fair share of architecturally admirable old buildings and historical haunts. From Neo-Gothic libraries to humungous telescopes. Here are a few old classics that are worth a visit.

Victoria Baths

Image © Victoria Baths via Facebook

Hathersgate Road, Manchester, M13 0FE

First on our list of beautiful historical places in Manchester is the renowned Victoria Baths- a Grade II listed swimming pool and Turkish Baths which first opened its doors in 1906. This historical landmark is a direct insight into what sports and leisure looked like over 100 years ago and was considered a modern luxury for its time.

The Victoria Baths host a manner of events throughout the year from craft beer festivals to vintage fairs, art installations and unique cinema screenings. Of course, there are also regular tours for those that wish to indulge in the history of this old building.

Entry begins at £4 although some areas are freely accessible with donations encouraged.

For more information click here.


John Rylands Library

Image © The John Rylands Library via Facebook

150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH

Considered one of the finest Neo-Gothic historical buildings in Europe, John Rylands Library is a must-see if you happen to find yourself in Manchester City centre.

Erected in honour of her later husband, John Rylands, Enriqueta Rylands commissioned architect Basil Champney’s to design this masterpiece and she herself was heavily involved in the design and simultaneous development of collections that are housed there today.

As you might expect, this place is full of books (over 250,000 of them, last time we counted), but the real star of the show is the old building itself. With its ornate design, the sandstone construction looks more like a church or cathedral than anywhere you’d go to pick up a plastic-backed copy of the latest Clive Cussler. A most dignified spot to snoop around on a rainy afternoon in the city. Entry: Free

Click here for more information.


St Mary’s Church AKA the Hidden Gem

Image © James Hall via Flickr

17 Mulberry Street, Manchester, M2 6LN

Just a stone’s through away from John Rylands Library on a quiet back street lies the church known to most as the “Hidden Gem”.

Officially titled St Mary’s Catholic Church, this spot (rebuilt in 1848 after some dodgy builders caused the roof to cave in) is the perfect sanctuary from Saturday shoppers. Thanks to the demolition of a nearby building, this spot isn’t half as hidden as its nickname suggests. It’s probably worth mentioning that this isn’t exactly the sort of place you could spend hours inside (unless you forget where the door is), but if you’re already in the area it’s definitely worth a look.

Click here for more information.


Jodrell Bank Observatory

Image © Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre via Facebook

The University of Manchester, Macclesfield, SK11 9DL

Not necessarily an old building, but definitely a historical landmark we recommend visiting. Here we have the “youngest” spot on our list, Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire. Established in 1945 as a site for astronomer: Bernard Lovell to pursue his passion for investigating cosmic rays, this place is home to what was once the largest steerable radio telescope in the world, the Lovell Telescope.

Voted Britain’s greatest ‘Unsung Landmark’, this 250ft behemoth was used to track both Russian and American spacecrafts in the space race, and received the first photographs from the 1966 Soviet moon landing.

There’s more to this UNESCO World Heritage site than just massive telescopes. You can educate yourself further at the visitors centre and also pop into the on sight café for some tasty treats.

For more information, click here.


Ordsall Hall

Image © Ordsall Hall via Facebook

322 Ordsall Lane, Salford, M5 3AN

Last but most certainly not least, we have Ordsall Hall- an immaculate Grade I listed Tudor hall in Salford. Dating back over 750 years this beautiful, historical place is one of the oldest buildings in Greater Manchester.

Originally built as the home of Sir John Radclyffe, this place was reportedly used as a hiding place by Guy Fawkes where he allegedly escaped Bia secret tunnel (not a confirmed case but certainly a fun story nonetheless) . It has also been home to medieval gentry, Tudor nobility and allegedly a few ghosts!

Alongside this beautifully restored and preserved hall, visitors have the opportunity to meet live- action Victorian characters and attend talks and exhibitions. The gardens are beautifully kept and entry is free so why not take a plunge into the wonder of this historical landmark.

Click here for more information.


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