Hello to everyone who comes on our tours. We have a new system in place for tours of Chetham’s, Europe’s oldest library, the oldest library in the English-speaking world, founded 1653, and the most ancient and awe-inspiring building in Manchester.
One reason why we have not been able to do tours recently is because the long-standing librarian, Michael Powell, sadly passed away last year. We are all still in a state of shock. Michael was much loved and admired.
The Library is now ready to welcome our expert tours again, but because it needs much funding to maintain its status and 15th century foundations, it has put a price on each visitor of £6.50 a head. All visitors on tours now have to pay this very reasonable charge, but on our tour you get Ed Glinert’s unrivalled knowledge of the building, its history, its religious story as a college of priests for nearly two hundred years, its transformation in to a school for poor boys and its development recently as a prestigious music school, and most of all the story of the library with its associations with the eponymous property developer and tax collector, and its welcoming of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels whose connections to some of the most controversial and absurd political machinations of the mid-19th century will astound you when told with Ed Glinert’s infamous wit and panache.
But the tour is not just of Chetham’s; it is a trip through mediaeval Manchester. This is the schedule (date to be set of course).
• 1.00. Meet Shudehill Metrolink stop.
• 1.00-1.30. Introduction to Mediaeval Manchester, looking for the Seven Stars and the Rovers Return, some of England’s oldest pubs.
• 1.30. Enter the hallowed portals of Chetham’s. Expert tour.
• 2.20. Leave for the Cathedral and more mediaeval haunts.
• 2.30-3.15. Tour of Manchester Cathedral.
Because this is the tour of tours we’re charging £13, but what a bargain! £6.50 goes to Chetham’s, a slightly smaller amount goes to the guide and out of that he will probably have to pay the Cathedral.
We’re doing this tour not to make money but because we love the two places and want to unveil its history to as many people as possible.