What a building this is. If you like architecture like I do then you will love it. There are many fantastic buildings in Manchester but this has to be one of the best. The size of it when you are up close and the workmanship is jaw dropping.
Inside there are always concerts and other events playing, obviously there is a charge for this but entry into the cathedral itself is free and it's a must see for architecture lovers.
A nice central location in the heart of the city centre is the icing on the cake.
Manchester is another English city whose cathedral started life as a parish church. There's been a foundation here since Saxon times, as evidenced by a small carving of an angel dated to around 700AD. But the core of the present building really dates from a significant reconstruction between 1422 and 1481.
But rebuilding didn't end there: as Manchester took its place at the heart of the industrial revolution, so its church was expanded and expanded, with more aisles added to increase its floor space, most significantly in 1814, 1864 and then again in the last two decades of the 19th century. In 1847 the church was elevated to cathedral status.
The cathedral had a tough time during the 20th century. Along with much of the surrounding area, it was badly damaged in 1940, and its post-war reconstruction took nearly twenty years. This resulted in a building which was very faithful to the original, and retaining something of its Gothic atmosphere. Another bomb in 1996 - when the IRA destroyed the nearby Arndale shopping centre - caused further damage, but also provided the opportunity to improve the civic space around the church, and construct a modern Visitor Centre.
The church to-day still has a rather gritty urban setting, and from the outside conceals its interior space by virtue of retaining the outward proportions of a large parish church, especially in the modesty of its tower and the height of its nave. Perhaps the most notable feature of the interior is the forest of columns created by the addition of subsequent aisles, and the way the rich red sandstone has darkened: despite the large volume of clear glass in its clerestory windows, it remains a gloomy and atmospheric building.
Perhaps this was the reason why Sony decided to use it as a setting within one of their recent video games, 'Resistance: Fall of Man', where the pillars provided plenty of cover for shooting aliens. This created something of a media storm, as Sony had neglected to ask for permission - and subsequently withdrew the game in the face of protests by the Cathedral authorities for using it as a setting for a violent video game.
One unhappy side-effect of this is that interior photographs are now forbidden, except with written permission. So you'll have to look at their web-site!
The official name for this place is:
The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester
The most interesting thing about the cathedral, in my superficial eyes, is that it has the widest Cathedral nave in the country. For the uninitiated a nave is "the central approach to the high altar", or more basically the main room where everyone sits.
Manchester Cathedral is also handily close to Sinclair's Oyster Bar. Wicked.
As you can tell by my other reviews i really love buildings and this one is no different.This is free to enter and the location is fab making it the perfect place to visit if you have a spare couple of hours.In the 1940s a bomb landed here but no damage happened.there are also lots of beautiful paintings etc.
An interesting Cathedral, this -- it seems to be much smaller than most other Cathedrals in our land but it still packs in a lot of history and interest. The guides are very welcoming and one Saturday when I visited I happened to chance upon a free craft session, which was just right for our eldest kid (then aged 3). It's also very easy to get to -- just a short walk from Victoria station (which is served by both trams and trains). Whilst I wouldn't want to spend much more than an hour-and-a-half there it's still well worth a visit if you're in the area.
Manchester isn't really a religious city, in fact it's been voted one of the most 'godless' cities in the country. Perhaps it's the better for that fact as for the most part most people of all creeds and colour get along. One of Manchester's strong points is it's liberal attitude towards all and sundry.
Also, the 'Manchester' we know and love isn't really that old: it is indeed a Roman city, but it wasn't really till the Victorian's turned it into a powerhouse that it became the city it is today.
So, as such, the Cathedral almost belongs to a much small town rather than a prominent city, unlike the cities which were far more powerful and renowned at the time when huge cathedrals to god were being built - York is an example.
There it sits on the end of Deansgate, opening out to a huge open air car park and the monolithic remnants of 70's Manchester in the renaissance hotel - it's not the grandest of settings. Our real 'Cathedral' is the Town Hall. However, plans are afoot for massive redevelopment of the area in front of the Cathedral: the Greengate area will, over the next few years, house hundreds of new homes, shops and offices complete with new squares. The aforementioned Renaissance Hotel (one of the last remaining examples of a 70's Manchester) is set to be demolished and a likewise development built there. Although I haven't seen the plans in full, I'm hopeful that Manchester Cathedral will finally get the setting is deserves.
All that aside, you should take an hour or two out of your schedule and take a look inside, because that's when it begins to make sense. The huge, nave, the stained glass windows and some of the most remarkable medieval, wooden carvings I've ever seen is an absolute must visit attraction. Usually you'll find one or two guides in there who will talk you through the cathedral and it's history.
Stunning architecture both inside and out - this place is incredible. It is right in the city centre and yet when you step inside you are in a totally different experience. The roof work and walls are intricately decorated, and the choir of monks actually practiced while we were there - this was an incredible event. Open for visitors and well worth a visit.
This is an absolutely amazing building - the architecture and design is breathtaking. It is smack bang in the middle of the town centre and thus in a very easy to find area. I just stood infront of the cathedral and gaped as i was in awe. It is absolutely gorgeous. I feel small usually anyway but this made me feel like a dot on the floor. Inside there are some very lovely pieces of artwork be it sculptures to paintings and they are absolutely breathtaking. The interior is also steeped in lots of history and is still with the original carvings inside which are lovely. It is amazing to see the hard work and all the details that has gone into this work. We had the option to climb the steps to the top and have a look but i declined as i was already shattered. When we were leaving a bunch of school children were just coming in and were very rowdy so i think we left in good time. Awesome.
We visit this peaceful cathedral each time we visit Manchester. A couple of times when we lived there too. It is a beautiful building and even though slightly out of town, it is near enough St. Ann's Square and just around the corner from Deansgate and...??? what's the name of the lovely area near the big wheel with the large screen outdoor TV, seating and fountains?
We've been to the one on Victoria Street in London a couple of times but I feel that St. Mary's is more considerate for people who need to go there for a quiet moment to pray, meditate or unwind.
If you're a fan of architecture and beautiful buildings then you really must visit this. The building is so well built and beautiful both from the outside and inside. Its located just off Deansgate and is a really nice bit of building work. You do often see tourists taking pictures of the building and it is not hard to see why really. There are also lots of beautiful paintings, sculptures and statues inside and even some areas of the floor are heated! I've attended a couple of masses here and both were really well presented and the Cathedral itself very full, so it is obviously a popular place of worship.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.