Manchester Museums




Photos by John Moss
unless otherwise credited

The Gallery of Costume & Platt Hall, Rusholme

Platt Hall, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5LL. Tel: 0161-245 7245

Opening Hours
Open Wednesday-Saturday 1.30-4.30pm.
The shop stocks a wide range of books, postcards and gifts inspired by costume.
There are no refreshments available in the gallery, but neighbouring Rusholme is the curry capital of the North West and there are plenty of places to eat and drink nearby on Wilmslow Road.
The Gallery of Costume is on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Platt Lane, in Platt Fields Park, Rusholme, South Manchester.
Getting There
By Bus: Buses from the city centre: 40-46, 48-49, 142-3.
For more detailed bus information, telephone 0161-228 7811.
By Car: On-road parking is available on Platt Lane.
By Coach: The most appropriate coach drop off point is on Platt Lane, off Wilmslow Road to the side of the gallery.
The Gallery of Costume welcomes visitors with disabilities. There is parking next to the entrance (please telephone 0161-245 7245 in advance for assistance) and independent wheelchair access to the ground floor via a ramp to the main door. There are stairs with handrails to the first floor and a video of items on display in this and other areas of the gallery plays continuously on the ground floor. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.
The fully accessible toilets are on the ground floor.
Photography and filming are not normally permitted in the gallery.
The Friends of Manchester City Galleries

Manchester City Galleries has an active and sociable Friends' group. Visit Supporting Us for more information.

Platt Hall
An elegant early Georgian house set in one of Manchester's largest public parks at Platt Fields in Rusholme, about 2 miles from the city centre, located on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Platt Lane, with ample parking in Platt Lane. Once the home of Charles Worsley, the staunch Parliamentarian leader in the Civil War, and close confident of Oliver Cromwell. The original Worsley family home which stood here was an Elizabethan half-timbered building, which was replaced by the present Georgian house in 1764. In 1775 the estate, which included the whole of the adjoining present-day Platt Fields Park passed to the ownership of the Caril-Worsley's, which family was responsible for the building of the neighbouring Holy Trinity Church in Rusholme (the steeple can be seen in the background of the photograph above). The Gallery of English Costume now contains one of the finest collections of costume and fashion in the country, and is a mecca for the serious fashion student. The collection includes items from the 17th century to the present day.

See also: Platt Fields (Parks & Gardens)

The People's History Museum

(Formerly the Pumphouse Peoples' Museum)
The People's History Museum, The Pump House, Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3ER.
Tel: 0161-839 6061. Website: Email:

The museum is based in an Edwardian pumping station which provided hydraulic power to the city of Manchester from 1909 to 1972. It houses the galleries of the National Labour Museum (which was formerly in the TUC building in Princess Street ). The collection includes over 300 banners associated with workers' groups and Trades Unions. It is dedicated to the ordinary people of Britain and traces their living and working conditions through lively reconstructions, videos, demonstrations and exhibits.
Guided tours are available - please telephone for details. There are recreations of the infamous Peterloo Massacre of 1819, life in the cotton mills, the work of women and children in factories, and a recreation of a 1930s Co-op shop. Material also includes exhibits of the Women's Suffragette Movement, and the Pankhursts. There is a large bookshop with books on or about Manchester and its districts, a wide range of period postcards, T-shirts, souvenirs and other memorabilia. Educational visits can be arranged - telephone the Education Officer for an information pack on 0161-839 6061. The Engine Hall may be booked for corporate functions, and a Hospitality Pack is available from the Promotions Officer. There is a Caf� Bar ("The Clarion"). Numerous visiting and temporary exhibitions are mounted. The museum is well signposted, and is next to the Gartside Street Car Park, a few hundred yards from Salford Central Station.
Admission is now free for everyone.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11.00am-4.30pm. Closed on Mondays. There is disabled access to all areas of the museum galleries, caf� and shop. The Archive and Study Centre and the Textile Conservation Studio are at the 103 Princess Street Building in the city centre, and can be visited by appointment.



Urbis Museum Urbis, Museum of the Modern City, Manchester Urbis and Cathedral Gardens, Manchester Cathedral Gardens and the water feature at Urbis Museum, Manchester

Corporation Street, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre M4 3BG.
Tel: 0161-605 8200. Fax: 0161-605 8201. Advance Booking: 0161-907 9099.
Website: Email:

Urbis, Manchester
Urbis, Triangle and Cathedral Gardens. Aerial Photograph Courtesy of © 2005

Ultra modern all glass structure set in the recently named Cathedral Gardens. Billed as Manchester’s Centre for Urban Culture, a museum of modern Manchester, the world's very first industrial city, but exhibits also show life in other cities, including Los Angeles, Paris São Paulo, Singapore and Tokyo. There are many interactive displays and more are planned.
The building was designed by the Ian Simpson Company of Architects and was awarded as a result of an international competition. Lead academic advisor and originator of the concept for the museum was Dr Justin O'Connor, who is Director of the Manchester Institute for Popular Culture at the Manchester Metropolitan University. It cost £30 million of which £20 million was a grant from the Millennium Commission. It's unusual ramp-like shape, (described as "a glass ski slope"), dominates the approach to Manchester city centre from Cheetham Hill and Bury in the North.
There are 6 floors at Urbis, 4 of which contain exhibition space, with the new Modern Bar & restaurant (formerly 'Le Mont') on levels 5 & 6. Exhibits are of an historic and futuristic nature. Many might find the building itself far more interesting than the exhibits. There is the Conservatory Café at ground level and the entrance foyer has touch screen displays and video presentations.
All 4 exhibition levels of the building are accessed via a sort of funicular glass lift. This "Glass Elevator", offers a one-minute sky glide that transports visitors directly to the fourth floor. With the City as backdrop, visitors then explore at their own pace four cascading, themed floors of permanent interactive displays and exhibits, created for Urbis by leading UK exhibition designers, At Large, Land Design Studio and Event Communications.
The Urbis project was overseen by the City Council's Special Projects Team, as part of the wider Millennium Quarter redevelopment - the last stage of regeneration after the IRA bombing of the area in 1996. Some £42 million had been allocated for the Millennium Quarter - from the Millennium Commission, the European Regional Development Fund, Manchester City Council (who will underwrite the museum to the tune of £1 million a year for the time being), and the Department of Local Government Transport & Regions.
On its western side is the newly created plaza, part of the Cathedral Gardens complex and will offer recreational and performance areas for the Cathedral and Chetham's School of Music which border it.

Entry is free.
Opening Times:
Sunday to Wednesday: 10am – 6pm.
Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 8pm.
Getting There:
Urbis is located immediately adjacent to Victoria Station.
Tram: Metrolink Trams run from Bury in the North, Eccles and Salford Quays in the West and from Piccadilly Rail Station to Victoria Station.
Bus: Many buses run to Victoria Station nearby, the Shudehill Interchange is only 200 yards away, and there is a free city centre bus service operating between Victoria and Piccadilly Rail Stations.
Car: No on site parking, but car parks nearby at the MEN Arena on Victoria Street, the Arndale Centre Car Park, the Shudehill/Printworks Car Park and the Marks & Spencer Car Park in Deansgate.
Disabled Parking:
adjacent to Urbis in the Todd Street lay-by.

Former National Museum of Labour History

(Now part of the People's History Museum)
103 Princess Street, Manchester M3 3ER. Tel: 0161-839 6061 or 0161-228 7212.

The National Museum of Labour History was, until quite recently, housed in this historic building, and a reading room containing a great deal of archive material still remains, although its main exhibits have now been moved en bloc to the Pumphouse Peoples History Museum in Bridge Street (see above).
Serious students can use the Archive and Study Centre and the Textile Conservation Studio by prior arrangement - contact the Pumphouse Museum, telephone number : 0161-839 6061 or 0161-228 7212.
This building, formerly the Mechanic's Institute saw the first ever assembly of the Traders Union Congress (the TUC) convened by the Manchester and Salford Trades Council during Whit week in June 1868. A plaque on the side of the building commemorates the occasion. Local Manchester tradesman William Wood was elected first president in recognition of the role that Manchester had played in the forming of the congress. The "New Unionism" spread outwards from Manchester, with the General Union of Labourers first to be formed in Manchester during the winter of 1889-1890, followed by the Dock Labourers Union, and the Tramway Employees Union in 1900. This museum marks the pivotal role which Manchester held in the formation of the Trades Union movement nationally and internationally.

See Also: Children's Museum Entertainments

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Copyright © John Moss, Papillon Graaphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom - all rights reserved.
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.