Photo: Richard Hopkins

Manchester, generally known for football and bad weather, makes an unlikely location for a history. However, within the centre of this metropolis lie the Town Hall and Clock Tower, which are regarded as one of the finest achievements of Victorian architecture.

The Town Hall was designed by Alfred Waterhouse who won the opportunity to work on the architecture after beating out the competition. The Town Hall was first opened in 1877 by Lord Mayor Abel Heywood; the Great Abel bell in the tower was consequently named after him.

Visitors to the town hall will be taken through the long corridors on a voyage of exploration and discovery. Don’t forget to look up to be enchanted by the hammerbeam ceilings above! The tour will be lead by a guide who knows the ins and outs of the Town Hall – so ask as many questions as you like!

One of the Town Hall’s best attractions is the architecture of the building itself, with countless stone carvings to marvel at, each one with a different story to tell. Visitors will also be able to view 130 of the 137 entries to the design competition that didn’t make it through.

The most famous room in the Town Hall is the Great Hall. But the 87 metre Hall Tower is not to be overlooked! The Tower is now open to touring guests. You can see the Great Abel bell, as well as the mechanical and bell ringing rooms.

Manchester is a place full of historical tales. What better than to visit one of architecture’s greats marvels?


Midland Hotel steps, Peter Street, for main Town Hall tour; Art Gallery for Murals only tours.
Tel: 07769 298068
Time: Please see attraction for specific details.