After meeting up at Starbucks, we set off across the road to Albert Square and the European Christmas Market. This is also a good chance to see inside the Grade 1 listed Town Hall (The Town Hall extension is Grade 2 listed) and to buy Charity Christmas cards etc.
- it's pretty impressive from the outside, but jaw-dropping inside! Unfortunately much of the interior isn't open to the General Public.
The Town Hall is the ceremonial Head Quarters of Manchester City Council, and houses many local government offices, so it is a working building
Guided tours are available by prior arrangement, through the Manchester Information Centre (which was adjacent to the Town Hall, but is now re-located in Piccadilly Gardens).
In 1853 Manchester gained City status, and it wanted to prove its worth. A competition was launched to find architects and designers who would come up with a fitting building.
Alfred Waterhouse was one of the leading architects of the day, and he was granted the chance to provide a substantial and monumental building.
The Town Hall was completed in 1887, at a cost of 1 million pounds! At its highest point it reaches 286 feet.
In areas the Town Hall resembles a Gothic cathedral, with its vaulted arched corridors, and pointed windows.
Look for the mosaic flooring, and the stained glass windows, as well as the splendid ceilings.
Some historical events of Manchester are depicted in murals by Ford Madox Brown.
The 280ft Bell Tower, at one time was the highest structure in the City. There is a carillon of 23 bells - the clock bell is nicknamed Great Abel, and is inscribed with the quote "Ring out the False, Ring in the True" by Tennison. The Clock face has an inscription too- "Teach us to number our Days" which comes from Psalm 90:12.
The Entrance Hall (Albert Square) hosts a couple of impressive lifesize statues- These are James Prescott Joule (who the joule unit of energy is named after) and John Dalton, who was noted for his work in atomic theory and also research into Colour blindness.
I recently found out that this piece is by Francis Leggatt Chantrey, who was born, and is buried in Norton, Sheffield. Francis Leggatt Chantrey's grave and info
Take a minute or two to look at the ceiling of the entrance Hall, before entering ascending a few more steps ( Ramped entrance on Lloyd Street - to the Right side of the Town Hall if facing from Albert Square. Wheel chair available at reception).
I'd like to return here for a Guided tour one day, which takes you into some of the areas not open to the public generally.
There is a cafe inside the Town Hall, where last time I checked, the prices were very reasonable. There are no Public Toilets in The Town Hall. Anyone visiting the Christmas Markets are directed to the facillities to the right of the Town Hall
Manchester Town Hall is an impressive building right in the town centre. On a rainy day it might not be particularly beautiful, most of all because the material has darkened a lot, but it is grand and a great symbol of the status of Manchester. It was built in Victorian Gothic style, and the tower is 85m high. Its construction was completed in 1877, and it is Grade I listed.
I found it interesting to read that the interior of the town hall resembles that of the Houses of Parliament, therefore it has often been used as a filming location, most recently for The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep.
Unfortunately I did not know that the interior of the Town Hall can be visited, but the Sculpture Hall is open from Monday to Friday from 09.00am to 05.00pm, and other parts of the interior can be visited on regular guided tours. See here for more detail.
Situated in Albert Square this is Victorian era,Neo-Gothic municipal building in the city centre.The building functions as the ceremonial headquarters of Manchester City Council and houses a number of local goverment departments.Designed by Architect'Alfred Waterhouse'and completed in 1877,the building features the imposing Manchester Murals by the artist'Ford Madox Brown'illustrating the history of the city.The Town Hall was listed as a Grade I listed building in Feb 1952 and is often regarded as one of the finest interpretations of neogothic arcitecture in the U.K.
The 280 ft(85 metre)tall bell tower,houses a carillon of 23 bells.The Clock Bell named'Abel Heywood'weighs 8 tons,it rang for the first time on New Years Day in 1879.It was recast in 1937 due to severe cracking.There are tours of the tower and clock,its a real chance to climb the long staircase and get magnificent views of the city and beyond.The tour costs £7.50 and lasts one hour approx.
What can I say - as part of the conference (European Facility Management Conference 2008) we held the opening reception at the City Hall. The interiors were wonderful and the company was pleasant. Well worth a visit to see the neo-gothic building and it's interior.
It was a huge surprise to see the ornate interiors; and it clearly showed the wealth that once flowed from the British Empire through the City of Manchester.
Manchester Town Hall was designed in a neo-Gothic style by Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1887 to celebrate it's city status in 1853.
A statue of the Roman Governor, Agricola, is erected on Albert Square and he founded Manchester via the original fort of Manuciam. There are other statues including a monument to Queen Victoria's consort. Albert Square is used for a lot of city's national and international events including the annual Christmas Markets and reviving how city events would have been held in its city's history.
You can arrange a guided tour of the Town Hall via the Manchester Visitor Centre either by person or by telephone although a charge is made.
The main stalls of the annual christmas markets are held there.
Completed in 1877, it is in the Neo-Gothic style and designed by Alfred Waterhouse, featuring many murals by Ford Madox Brown depicting key events in the cities history. The building is one of, if not the best example of Neo-Gothic architecture in the country. Manchester Town Hall is the ceremonial home of Manchester City Council and also houses many local government departments.
Tours of the Town Hall are available by prior arrangement. The Town Hall is available for Wedding Receptions and conferences, and there is a garden/patio for guests. There are also elevators and facilities for hearing-impared visitors.
The building of Manchester Town Hall (1868 - 77) was undertaken because the neo-classical Town Hall in King Street had become too small to house the expanding business of the Corporation. A competition was held and won by Alfred Waterhouse (1830 - 1905), mainly for his ingenious planning.
The Town Hall was designed in the thirteenth century Gothic style but it was, in Waterhouse's words, a building "essentially of the nineteenth century." It incorporated such innovations as a warm air heating system. The structure comprises fourteen million bricks encased in spinkwell stone.
The exterior of the Town Hall, which is now a Grade One listed building, bears some notable sculptures. Over the main door is a statue of the Roman General Agricola, who founded Mamucium in 79 AD. Above him are Henry III and Elizabeth I, while at the apex of the main door gable is a statue of St. George.
The clock tower is an impressive 280 feet tall and was made by Gillet and Bland, it first started working on New Year's Day 1879. The inscription on the three clock faces which are visible from Albert Square reads "Teach us to number our Days." There are 24 bells in the tower; the Great Hour Bell weighs 8 ton and 2 cwt and is called Great Abel, named after Abel Heywood, the Mayor at the time of the official opening. He laid the pinnacle stone of the spire on December 4th 1875. The formal opening ceremony took place on 13 September 1877.
Today the Town Hall is the centre for local government in Manchester and houses around £3,500 staff offering direct delivery of services to the Public.
The Town Hall is Manchester's greatest monument. For many, it is a candidate for the Victorian Building par excellence: the whole age summed up in one: the extravagance, the energy, the self-belief and the achievement. At the opening banquet MP John Bright described the way the city felt about the new building. "With regard to this edifice, it is truly a municipal palace. Whether you look at the proportions outside or the internal decorations... there is nothing like it... in any part of Europe."
The first time visitor coming into Albert Square from Cross Street or Lloyd Street, might well agree. A cliff of ornate Gothic stonework drags the eyes upward to the giant clock tower above - the minute hand is 3m in length and spire 85m above ground level. On the top of the spire is a golden ball with spikes symbolising a cotton bud about to burst, but also the sun, for wherever the sun shines Manchester had business. The roofline is a wonderland of pinnacles, gables, chimneys and metalwork.
Town Hall guided tours can be arranged through the Manchester Visitors Centre in the Town Hall Extension Building. Sadly, tours are no longer free. You can tour the Town Hall on your own but you will have to sign in at one of the reception desks, where you will be given a security badge and told which rooms can be visited. This is a working Town Hall, so council business may deny you entry into some areas. You might also stumble upon a grand wedding as the Town Hall is proving a popular location for matrimony. If you take yourself around you can purchase a 10p fact sheet from the reception desk or a Pitkin guide-book
Completed in 1887, this neo-Gothic building cost a million pounds and is acknowledged as a masterpiece in its own right. It rises as a Victorian edifice - a monument to the civic pride of the city fathers, reaching 286 feet above Albert Square below.
In front is a statue/monument for Prince Albert, which looks like it needs a little restoration.
There are plenty of seats around the square to sit and have your lunch. Along with the obligatory pidgeons - even have a guard pidgeon !!!!
The Manchester Town Hall is a classic Victorian specimen of architecture. Built when Manchester was economically mighty, the Town Hall even today is a proud symbol of a city beset by economic hardship.
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