Manchester Town Hall

Andrew Anderson
Image courtesy of Visit Britain

Re-opening in 2024, Manchester Town Hall, the Grade I-listed £325m restoration project is nearing completion.

Designed by Alfred Waterhouse – who also designed London’s Natural History Museum (and Manchester Museum) – the Town Hall was completed in 1877 at a cost estimated to be the equivalent of £55m today. A neo-Gothic masterpiece (though Waterhouse himself rejected it as Gothic; he thought it an entirely modern style), the lower floors of the triangular building are full of ornate carvings, as well as the famous Ford Madox Brown murals. The upper floors are, however, plainer, having been built with civic function in mind; these rooms and hallways are still used for administration, giving the place a feeling of being a living part of Manchester rather than just a dusty relic.

The Town Hall’s instantly recognisable clock tower stands 280ft tall over Manchester, and its four dials have kept time for our city since New Year’s Day 1879. An inscription on the three sides that are visible from Albert Square reads “Teach us to number our Days.” Behind those dials, towards the top of a 173-step staircase, the clock mechanism is an exceptional piece of engineering. Made by Gillet and Bland, experts say it would have been “the Rolls Royce of clocks” in its day, and it remains one of the most important time-pieces in the UK.

The restoration project, now years’ long, is being carried out by a team of experts from Purcell Architects and Lendlease. The work includes repairing the building’s exterior, replacing its windows, and restoring its interior. This will benefit the people of Manchester in many ways — preserving the city’s heritage, creating jobs, and attracting visitors, both local and international.

 

Albert Square ManchesterM60 2LA View map
Telephone: 0161 234 5000 Visit Now

Accessibility

Wheelchair ramp at the Lloyd Street entrance, the two entrances to the Town Hall extension are at street level with no steps.

Admission Charges

Free

Commercial and Hire Services

Available for hire

Services and Facilities

guided tours, café

Opening Hours

  • Monday9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Wednesday9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Thursday9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Friday9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Sunday10:00am - 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Manchester Town Hall

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Comedy Balloon

Every Wednesday at Ape & Apple, Manchester’s official underground comedy club, Comedy Balloon’s friendly and warm comedy night takes place.

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Manchester Psych Fest 2024

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from £45.20
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Weird As Folk exhibition at The Portico

The Portico Library’s latest exhibition, Weird As Folk, runs through to November and invites you to explore and reimagine folklore via texts selected from the collection, which includes 100 books of English folklore.

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Where to go near Manchester Town Hall

City Centre
Tourist Attraction
Albert Square

A public square in the heart of Manchester which plays hosts to festivals and major events. Home to the Albert Memorial and statues of Bishop James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Ewart Gladstone.

Contemporary Six, art gallery in Manchester
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Contemporary Six

Contemporary Six is an independent commercial art gallery in Manchester city centre, set up by Alex Reuben in 2010.

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City Centre
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Breakout Manchester

Test your skills and logical thinking with Breakout Manchester’s wide selection of themed rooms for you to escape from.

Wings Restaurant Manchester.
City Centre
Restaurant
Wings

Highly-regarded Chinese restaurant with a peerless range of dim sum and other Chinese dishes. Louis Van Gaal’s (remember him?) favourite restaurant in Manchester, by all accounts.

Manchester
Restaurant
10 Tib Lane

At a time when many city-centre restaurants are fighting to be the loudest and most ostentatious, 10 Tib Lane is all about elegant, sophisticated dining.

Manchester
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New Wave Ramen

New Wave Ramen is a stylish, friendly Japanese ramen bar and restaurant on Tib Lane in the heart of Manchester.

King Street Town House Hotel in Manchester
City Centre
Hotel
King Street Townhouse Hotel

Boasting Manchester’s first rooftop infinity pool, the King Street Townhouse Hotel offers visitors panoramic views across the city. And, with so much to choose from, all Manchester needs now is a little sunshine…

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