People’s History Museum in Manchester

Polly Checkland Harding
People's History Museum Manchester
Image © People’s History Museum

People’s History Museum in Manchester, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER – Visit Now

People’s History Museum (PHM), home of ‘ideas worth fighting for’, is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the history of British democracy – and we’re delighted to announce it is reopening in May following a period of closure during the Covid-19 lockdown. Although the national and global situation means things will be slightly different for a time.

The spaces reopening include the Main Galleries One and Two, the 2020 Banner Exhibition and on-site shop. The café will remain closed until further notice but there is a picnic area for visitors. Happily, the archive and study centre will be reopening, albeit with a reduction in opening hours to 10:30 am to 3 pm, Tuesday to Thursday, although it will remain open throughout lunchtime.

The overall opening hours will be 10 am to 5 pm every day of the week apart from Mondays. Advance booking is preferred, although walk-ups are welcome – though it is advised to book ahead. Contactless payment is preferred and there will be no paper tickets for now.

You can expect a reassuring amount of safety measures to protect the vulnerable and unvaccinated, such as hand sanitiser available at regular locations through the venue, clear signage to aid people on their visit and greatly enhanced cleaning measures to ensure risks are kept to an absolute minimum. This also means groups will be limited to a maximum of six, from both online bookings and walk-ups, and school visits will be paused for the time being. There will always be a one-way system around the venue, including a separate entrance and exit, to avoid people mingling unnecessarily.

These galleries trace a path through 200 years of political campaigning, including the fight for the right to vote, an insight into how time off was won (and spent) and women’s liberation. The family-friendly museum houses approximately 1,500 objects, including the largest collection of trade union and other political banners in the world. It’s also host to a programme of special exhibitions, and a lively series of events. The Left Bank cafe looks out onto the River Irwell, and the shop at the front of the museum is a good stop-off for radical books, toys, gifts and homeware for kids and grown-ups alike.

  • Left Bank, Spinningfields
  • Manchester
  • M3 3ER
  • View map

Opening Hours

  • Mon: Closed
  • Tue: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sun: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit

Services and Facilities

Cafe open from breakfast to afternoon tea, there's something to suit all tastes. Lockers are located on the lower ground floor of the museum.

Accessibility

Ramps to the main entrance, Main entrance has automatic opening, Tactile maps, tactile drawings of scenes around the museum are also available, an induction loop is fitted at the museum reception. Infrared hearing loop facilities are available throughout the building (reception, Engine Hall, Coal Store, Meeting Room, Mini Theatre in Main Gallery One, Archive Reading Room and The Left Bank cafe bar). If you are attending a public event or Venue Hire event and need to use the induction loop, please inform a member of staff in advance. The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. All lifts in the museum are wheelchair accessible and the main lift near reception also has audio announcements The main galleries are designed to provide a range of sensory experiences, including several different audio, visual and touch elements. Some of the audio material in the galleries has subtitles or is displayed visually. Wheelchair accessible toilets are available on the lower ground, ground and second floor. Wheelchair accessible baby changing facilities are available in the Parent & Child Room behind reception on the ground floor, ground floor toilets and second floor toilets. Designated on-street accessible parking bays are available nearby. Guide dogs are welcome

Commercial and hire services

Looking for a genuinely inspirational venue? Then why not hold your event in the company of some of the greatest ever team builders, motivational speakers and passionate problem solvers. The museum has conference and meeting facilities within a magnificently restored historic Edwardian Pump House. Licensed to hold wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions.

Things to do at People’s History Museum in Manchester

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