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

Open Wednesday-Saturday 1.30-4.30pm.
The shop stocks a wide range of books, postcards and gifts
inspired by costume.
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.
Gallery of Costume is on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Platt Lane,
in Platt Fields Park, Rusholme, South Manchester.
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.
fully accessible toilets are on the ground floor.
and filming are not normally permitted in the gallery.
Friends of Manchester City Galleries

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

Platt Hall
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
, 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

See also:
Platt Fields (Parks
& Gardens)

People’s History Museum

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 MuseumUrbis, Museum of the Modern City, ManchesterUrbis and Cathedral Gardens, ManchesterCathedral 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
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.

Sunday to Wednesday: 10am – 6pm.
Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 8pm.
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
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.

adjacent to Urbis in the Todd Street lay-by.

Former National
Museum of Labour History

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

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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AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.