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History of Manchester Architecture – Part 4

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  • History of Manchester Architecture – Part 4

Salford Cathedral, 250 Chapel St, Salford M3 5LE

The Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, known as Salford Cathedral, is a Catholic Cathedral on Chapel Street, Greater Manchester.

Designed in the style of neo-classical, the Grade 2 listed building was built between 1844 to 1848 by Matthew Ellison Hadfield of Weightman and Hadfield of Sheffield. Hadfield’s design was the first cruciform Catholic Church to be built since the Reformation.

Hadfield took inspiration for his design from other churches across the country. The West front, which is the South, and the nave were modelled on Howden Minister, East Yorkshire but to a reduced size and the choir and sanctuary were modelled on Selby Abbey, North Yorkshire. Hadfield also took inspiration from the decorations of the groined vault at the Church of St Jacques in Liege, Belgium.

The total building cost £18,000 with £2000 being donated by two local businessmen Daniel Lee and John Leeming.

Thirty years after opening, in October in 1881, a violent storm caused serious damage to Salford Cathedral’s 73.2m spire. Fortunately, funds were raised to repair the spire as well as furnish a new chapel designed by Peter Paul Pugin, the third son of A.W.N Pugin.

In 1919-1920, the turrets had to be taken down and rebuilt under the direction of Charles M Hadfield, the grandson of the cathedral’s original architect, because the turrets were at dangers of collapsing on a street below.

Over the years, the cathedral has seen lots of restoration work, with additions such as a free-standing altar and a stained-glass window to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the cathedral.

Gorton Monastery, 89 Gorton Ln, Manchester M12 5WF

The Friary of St Francis and the Church is called the Gorton Monastery. This is a 19th-century Franciscan friary, which is based in Gorton, Manchester.  The Franciscans landed in Gorton in December 1861. They created their first fairy somewhere between 1863 and 1867.  The Friars did much of their building work by themselves. They laid the church’s foundation stone in 1866, finished by the end of 1872, and by the end of 1989, it was closed for worship.  This is an obvious example of the High Victorian Gothic architecture, given the status of Grade II* since 1963. Also, the design of this church was done by Edward Welby Pugin. His father later encouraged the renewal of Gothic as an architectural style. This was an ideal representation of the Catholic worship and their beliefs in the church buildings. 

The Gorton Monastery was listed in the World Monuments Fund Watch List of the world’s 100 highly endangered sites along with the Taj Mahal, Pompeii, and the Valley of Kings in the year 1997. 

Furthermore, the church and the connected friary buildings went through a restoration program of £6 million. The contribution was made by the European Regional Development Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and English Heritage. The project was finalized by the end of June, in the year 2007 when the old buildings were used for business events, conferences, and community events.  A range of concerts is also used in this building. Developments in the new “Welcome Wing” along with all the facilities for community and education, and further restorations on the decorations, altars, and floor tiles began at the beginning of February 2016. 

The construction of the welcome wing which had the facilities for community and education and further development of floor tiles, decorations, and altars began in February 2016.  The donation of £1 million was taken from the Norman Stoller in September 2014. Further £2 million was contributed by the Heritage Lottery Fund in December 2014. The wing which was designed by Eco Arc was created by HH Smith & Sons Ltd. This was made on the footprint of a building that was destroyed in the 1960s.

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