Anybody who lives in Manchester will tell you how important the Manchester Town Hall is to the city. It’s the ceremonial headquarters of Manchester City Council. It’s the centre for the Christmas markets every year, it’s the very heart of the city.
This weekend Seb and I got a chance to go up to the top.
It was the perfect day to do it as well – the sun was out and it was relatively warm so I was excited to be going up to the top of the clock tower. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures on our way to the town hall. I even had a sneak peak into the newly refurbished Central Library which by the way, looks fab!
I have lived in Manchester for almost 4 years now. And in that time I have walked past the Town Hall countless times but today was the first time, I really looked at the building. You sometimes forget to stop and notice the beauty around you as you go about your daily routine. The architecture is stunning and it’s hard not to be impressed by this Grade I listed Victorian, Neo-Gothic structure.
The first thing you notice as you walk through the main entrance is the Royal Coat of Arms painted beautifully on the roof. Funnily enough the bell at the top of the clock tower rests exactly above this crest.
We had some time before our guide joined us so Seb and I decided to walk around this majestic building. And we happened to stumble across an exhibition called Stature. The busts of the past politicians of Manchester have been given crochet facelifts to showcase the contribution of women to the city of Manchester. They are quite powerful pieces.
Our guide finally joined us and it was time to go to the top. We started by climbing up the majestic staircase in the centre of the town hall. The start of a 280 feet climb!
After climbing lots of steps we got to the mechanic room which houses all the mechanics that keep the clock working. The bell at the top was made by John Taylor & Co., the finest bell makers in all the land and it has never needed more than some fine tuning since it was installed back in 1882.
We kept climbing till we got to the dial room. The clock dials on all four sides are about 16 feet in diameter. That’s big enough to fit a double decker bus through! Scary thought.
One last climb through the narrow staircase and we got to the top! And what a view it was!
Manchester looked beautiful from the top of the 85m clock tower. I even spotted our flat in the distance.
We were quite lucky as we got up just in time as the clock struck 12 and Great Abel, the 8 ton bell hanging at the top of the clock tower marked the hour with 12 loud rings! It sounded like thunder standing right next to it.
We even spotted some graffiti left by the workers who installed this mammoth bell back in 1872.
Did you also know that the Manchester Town Hall is triangular? I had no idea!
Seb and I played toursits and took a few more photos.
It was time to go back down but I didn’t wan’t to leave. I was enjoying this too much.
But alas, all good things come to an end and we made our way down the narrow steps.
Till we got to the majestic staircase again at which point I decided to slide down. Oops!
Don’t you just love Gothic architecture? It’s absolutely stunning!
We made our way out and walked towards the fountain outside the town hall. Again beautiful Gothic architecture adorn this fountain.
After cooling down outside the fountain and taking in all the history, we decided to go grab some lunch at Katsouris Deli. It was really hard for me to resist all the amazing food on offer.
But I stayed strong and went for some salad instead.
What a day! Seb and I decided to call it a day after lunch and came back home for an afternoon nap. That was all the history we could take for one day!
I am never going to look at Manchester Town Hall the same way again.