Albert Square, home of Manchester's wonderful Town Hall, has several interesting buildings (all of which, I think, date from Victorian times or later).
See if you can spot the little head of Prince Albert, with its 'wig' of green algae.
There are dragons and lions, mock-Medieval window frames, columns and decorated capitals... and more heads of ?gods and goddesses?, sticking out of their pediment and gazing over the surrounding streets.
It's definitely worthwhile spending a few minutes exploring the building exteriors in Albert Square.
The Albert Memorial, dedicated to Queen Victoria's dear Prince Consort, is located in Albert Square in front of the town hall. Somehow it looks like a small version of London's famous Albert Memorial. I found it interesting to learn that Manchester's Albert Memorial was the first one to be build, though, seven years before the construction of the London one! It was built shortly after Albert's death and features a large marble statue of Albert.
copied from http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/celebs/artists2.html
Thomas Worthington was the architect and designer of Manchester's Albert Memorial which dominates the square in front of the Town Hall. A talented young man, he worked for the architects Bowman and Crowther from the age of 14, and had already by the age of 18 won a Society of Arts Gold Medal for one of his designs.
He worked with the notable Sir William Tite, accompanying him on a tour of Italy to see and draw some of its architectural splendours. Shortly after arriving back in England, he set up his own small company in Manchester, which was highly successful and received many large and important commissions. A strong moral purist and socialist, Worthington attended the Unitarian church and was to be associated with other local social reformers like Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell, the novelist.
Whenever possible, he sought to secure "social" commissions, and wrote a book "Dwellings of the Poor" in 1857. In this connection he designed the Manchester & Salford Baths and Laundries in 1857, and the Chorlton Union Hospital in 1865 ( later to become part of Withington Hospital). In 1861, on the death of Prince Albert, was perceived as a great national tragedy, and Memorial Funds to build monuments to his memory sprang up all over Britain. Manchester was no exception. The Mayor donated a statue of Prince Albert to the city, and in 1862 Worthington was commissioned to design a suitable place in which to stand it. His design was the first in Britain, and its better known London counterpart designed 15 months later by Sir George Gilbert Scott borrowed a great deal from Worthington's style and concept. The monument is, naturally, "Gothic", a style in which Worthington excelled; it takes the form of a medieval canopy ( or "ciborium"), which is decorated with representations of Art, Science, Commerce and Agriculture, in keeping with Prince Albert's wide interests, as well as portrait heads and heraldic motifs and finials.
To the east of the Town Hall is the "Peace GArden". Several buildings of Victorian origin, including the Clarendon Club, were demolished in 1971 to make way for it. A sculpture competition was held and this artwork - the "Messenger of Peace" by Barbara Pearson was the winner and was unveiled in 1986.
The Town Hall Squarehas a huge monument to Queen Victoria and also this enclosed memorial to Prince Albert - the first one to commemorate him. The decorations on it represents Prince Albert's interests, portraits of famous men and the coats of arms of his dominions in Saxony. Though 73 feet high, the monument is somewhat dwarfed by the Town Hall.