The centre of mediaeval Manchester, an ancient place of worship and Europe’s oldest library. The origins of the Cathedral are obscure but there was probably a Saxon church on the site. How else can we explain the discovery of the 8th Century Angel Stone in the rubble outside when work was carried out in Victorian times?
The Cathedral started to attain its current look after Henry V approved its promotion into a collegiate church – a church with a college of priests attached – in 1421. It would be 400 years or so before the Collegiate Church of Manchester became Manchester Cathedral.
Chetham’s next door is a miracle. Barely spoilt blocks of Tudor sandstone shape its cloisters and corners. History seeps from ever pore. A manor house for the Lord of Manchester; a college of priests; a school for poor boys; a library where Marx and Engels researched “The Communist Manifesto”; a prestigious music school – all these vie for space and attention within its antiquated walls.