Discover this gem in the heart of Manchester city center. Offering fascinating insights about Manchester's cultural and spiritual history, the cathedral is one of the city's oldest buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. For architecture lovers, this is a feast for the eyes—a magnificent piece of perpendicular Gothic-style architecture characterized by its spires, pointed stone arches, and large windows. Inside, the cathedral features the best example of the late medieval woodwork with the finest carved details, as well as a roof supported by angels with luxurious instruments. It also holds thirty misericords from the 16th century, considered to be the finest in Europe.
An absolute fighter
The Gothic building is a remarkable survivor. It has faced several catastrophes throughout the 600 years of its existence and had to be restored and refaced twice, due to bomb attempts. The first one occurred during WWII in 1940, known as the Manchester Blitz. The cathedral was severely damaged, and it took almost 20 years to complete the repairs. In 1996 it suffered more damages after an IRA bombing. The stained glass was the most affected. Although featuring traditional influences, the stained glass replacements are the newest elements in the cathedral. The Fire Window was made in honor of the Manchester Regiment after the Blitz, and the Healing Window was installed to commemorate the restoration in 2004. If you visit during the day, savor how the sun pours through these modern stained-glass windows—a heavenly moment that deserves to be photographed.
The famous hidden bridge
The cathedral is most famous for the Hanging Ditch Bridge, which can only be observed from the basement of the visitor center. The ancient monument dates to 1421 and it is noteworthy because it remained hidden for many years during the Victorian expansion of Manchester, until it was rediscovered and put on display for the public. The bridge is part of the historical legacy of the city and was listed as a scheduled ancient monument.
More than just a building
Besides being an architectural treasure, Manchester Cathedral hosts different events, classical music concerts, and jazz evenings. At the core, the Church's mission is to build community and make a difference in society. When visiting, you should keep an eye on their calendar to find out about upcoming events. Plus, the choir and musicians vocalize such beautiful melodies during every service, which is worth attending. Finally, take the time to stop by the in-house tea shop. The cathedral offers a contemporary take on the traditional British tearoom with fine teas, cakes, and homemade British meals.
Since the cathedral is located on Victoria Street, it can be tricky to find a parking spot for your car. However, just a three-minute walk from the cathedral you can find private parking to make your visit free of worries. If you are visiting during the Christmas season, enjoy pop-up shops selling Manchester Cathedral-themed Christmas cards at the Visitor Center. All the money from these purchases is donated to charity.