Community Initiatives,  Heritage Under Threat,  Listed Building Spotlight

Manchester’s Interesting Listed Buildings

This Northern city has some truly impressive heritage!

Manchester’s Central Library is one of many listed buildings in the city. Credit: G-Man [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:G-Man]
The city of Manchester is home to hundreds of listed buildings, ranging from charming little cottages tucked away on suburban side streets to huge landmarks that are simply impossible to miss. We’ve collected together the listed buildings that we believe are worth seeing, whether it’s due to their heritage or their sheer beauty.

Not all of these buildings are open at all times, so it’s best to check their respective websites before you make any plans:

Town Hall

Manchester’s Town Hall will be closed for refurbishment until 2026. Credit: Mark Andrew [https://www.flickr.com/people/90950116@N06] License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/legalcode
Celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, Manchester’s iconic Town Hall was completed in 1877. The building has remained largely unchanged for most of this time, which is why it has closed for refurbishment. Over a period of six years, the Town Hall will be lovingly restored and updated, preserving the features that make it so iconic in addition to ensuring that it is completely accessible and safe for all that choose to visit.

The Coupland Buildings

The Blue Plaque marks Turing’s residence within the Coupland Building. Credit: Ben Green License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Although hardly the grandest of structures, the Coupland Building played a vital role in harbouring one of Britain’s great scientific minds, Alan Turing. After achieving notoriety with his 1937 paper, Turing was recruited during World War II to help decode enemy messages. Later, in 1948, he was brought to Manchester Univeristy to create a computer with the help of Max Newman, the Professor of Pure Mathematics. Turing worked in the Coupling building from 1951, helping with programming and developing the ‘Turing test’ during his time in the city.

Manchester Cathedral


Manchester’s Cathedral might appear fairly modern from the outside, but looks can truly be deceiving…Step inside this majestic space to discover more about the city’s history, whilst you’re there you can check out the Angel Stone. This remnant was discovered whilst work was being undertaken on the South Porch of the Cathedral during the 19th Century. The tablet is thought to have originated from a Saxon church that might have been the first religious settlement in the UK, and has been dated to the 8th Century.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

The Gaskell House, where Elizabeth Gaskell penned many of her books. Credit: EDempsey License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode]

A visit to Gaskell House offers literature and history lovers alike the chance to delve into the life of one of Britain’s most loved female writer. Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing, which includes Cranford and North and South, was not full appreciated during her time, in fact her influence was almost completely distinguished by (mostly male) critics. Thankfully, she found fans posthumously amongst writers in the 1960s, who saw her writing as prevailing against patriarchal views of the time. Head to the site to find out more about opening times and prices.

Grand Hotel, Aytoun Street

The recently converted Grand Hotel on Aytoun Street. Credit: Stephen Richards [https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/34784] License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]
The Grand Hotel (now known simply as ‘The Grand’) is in spitting distance of Picadilly Gardens and, although you can’t enter the building to take a look around, it’s well worth a look from the pavement. Once a warehouse, the hotel was redesigned by the same architects in 1883 and soon became one of the most popular in the city. Demand waned for the hotel over the years, until it eventually closed. Today ‘The Grand’ exists as a collection of flats, but the building is protected from any further alterations as it was listed in 1987.

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