History & heritage

History all around!

History all around!

Look around and you’ll see a modern European city – but Manchester has an eventful past.

Air Raid Shelters

Air Raid Shelters

Experience life as it was during a ‘black out’ in wartime Britain and experience the sights and sounds of the home front. This labyrinth of tunnels under the town centre provided shelter, and a way of life for families from Stockport.

Chetham’s Library

Chetham’s Library

Chetham’s Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. The atmospheric 17th-century interior is housed in beautiful medieval sandstone buildings and is open to visitors and readers from around the world.

Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey has one of the North’s great gardens, with plenty to inspire throughout the year, including a stunning rose garden and one of Britain’s finest winter gardens. The Georgian house was a military hospital in WW1.

East Lancashire Railway

East Lancashire Railway

Winding through the scenic Irwell Vale along a 12-mile line, the East Lancashire Railway provides a truly unique journey, stopping at Heywood, Bury, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Irwell Vale and Rawtenstall.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Step back in time at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to experience this beautiful Victorian house, where one of the most important writers of the 19th century lived, famous for writing Cranford, North and South, Mary Barton and Ruth.

Hat Works

Hat Works

Hat Works offers two floors of interactive exhibits, the museum is home to a recreated hat factory with some 20 fully restored working Victorian-style machines and a collection of over 400 hats from around the world.

IWM North

IWM North

Visit Imperial War Museum to discover fascinating stories about people who have been affected by war. Personal experiences are revealed with over 1400 objects, daily tours and uniquely immersive and interactive displays.

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

Home to The University of Manchester Library’s world-class Special Collections. These collections feature over 1.4 million items spanning five thousand years and include rare books, maps, manuscripts and visual archives.

Lyme Park

Lyme Park

Lyme Park is a magnificent house and estate situated on the edge of the Peak District. The 1,300 acre estate with its medieval herd of red and fallow deer offers fantastic tranquil walks and stunning views for visitors.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is one of the country’s finest art museums. Mixing works from the historic collections with the best international contemporary art to bring fresh perspectives to familiar images and create visual dialogues.

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

The Grade 1-listed masterpiece, Manchester Cathedral has not only provided a stage on which the city of Manchester’s history has been played out, but also provided some of the leading actors for this narrative.

Manchester Central Library

Manchester Central Library

At Manchester Central Library there is something for everyone. If you’re interested in local or family history, you’ll love archives and film buffs can discover the collection at the British Film Institute Mediatheque.

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum

Explore 4 million objects, marvel and live dogs in the Vivarium and get up close and personal to mummies. Whether you want to discover ancient worlds or meet Stan the T-rex, there’s so much to see at Manchester Museum.

Museum of Transport

Museum of Transport

One of the largest collections of its kind in the country. The city’s rich transport heritage is represented by a large collection of restored vehicles from the county, most of which are restored to operational condition.

National Football Museum

National Football Museum

The Museum explains how and why football has become ‘the people’s game’, a key part of England’s heritage and way of life. It also aims to explain why England is the home of football, the birthplace of the world’s most popular sport.

People’s History Museum

People's History Museum

Visit the People’s History Museum and join a march through time following Britain’s struggle for democracy over two centuries. Enjoy the galleries, along with fun interactives and activities for visitors of all ages.

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank overflows with the atmosphere of the Industrial Revolution. A visit to the cotton mill, built in 1784, and powered by Europe’s most powerful working waterwheel, will certainly stimulate your senses.

Tatton Park

Tatton Park

Located in 1,000 acres of the most beautiful deer park, Tatton Park, the former Egerton family home, is open for you to explore. Uncover centuries of history at the Tudor Old Hall and witness life above and below stairs.

The Portico Library

The Portico Library

An independent membership library that’s been an essential part of Manchester’s cultural landscape for more than 200 years, with a collection of books selected by some of the men who made the world’s first industrial city.

Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth

A £15 million development has transformed the gallery, doubling it in size and creating new spaces that embrace the park it calls home. Its internationally important collection of 55,000 artworks is just the start.