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A history of the Collegiate Church and Cathedral, 1421 to the present
Editor: Jeremy Gregory

Founded in 1421, the Collegiate Church of Manchester, which became a cathedral in 1847, is of outstanding historical and architectural importance. But until now it has not been the subject of a comprehensive study. Appearing on the 600th anniversary of the Cathedral’s inception by Henry V, this book explores the building’s past and its place at the heart of the world's first industrial city, touching on everything from architecture and music to misericords and stained glass. Written by a team of renowned experts and beautifully illustrated with more than 100 photographs, this history of the ‘Collegiate Church’ is at the same time a history of the English church in miniature.

first Bishop of a diocese of Manchester, itself created on 1 September 1847, in what was now Manchester Cathedral. 4 Nineteenth-century chapters in English cathedral histories generally recount the impact of Ecclesiastical Commission reforms, major restorations, developments in decoration, services, and music reflecting the impact of Tractarianism, and efforts to fashion more meaningful relationships with both see city and diocese. 5 These duly figure here. Yet in 1880 Dean Benjamin Cowie would complain that

in Manchester Cathedral
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W HEN CELIA FIENNES VISITED Manchester in 1698, she described the parish church standing ‘high soe that walking around the Church yard you see the whole town’. 1 The building, now Manchester Cathedral, gradually lost visual dominance as the city expanded during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Nevertheless, it has been identified as an exceptional example of a collegiate church; John Harvey described it as ‘one of the best examples of the [Perpendicular] style, with its spreading array of

in Manchester Cathedral
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characteristics, Hollaway is surely heir to the Arts and Crafts tradition.’ 12 The first window to be completed, for St George, was funded by Mrs Frances Anderson in memory of her husband, and the other four by the Friends of Manchester Cathedral. The five windows, working from left to right (south to north) across the west facade of nave and tower, are as reproduced above. The baptistery was built in 1891–92, complete with an additional window that has six lights. The theme of the window is creation, with

in Manchester Cathedral

Walking round [Manchester Cathedral] is to walk through stories of how the modern world emerged and where it is going … It is to traverse the pre-modern age … to journey across sites of early mills of the first industrial revolution … [and to encounter] the new Marks and Spencer’s store, the biggest in the world, and the great Arena for mass leisure productions of a global kind … the new cathedrals of a post-industrial and post-modern world. 1

in Manchester Cathedral
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T HE EAGLE AND CHILD , the Elephant and Castle, the Angel, the Lion, the Stag and the Unicorn – not a list of public houses located in and around Manchester, but some of the misericords in Manchester Cathedral. Misericords, those carved images found under the choir stalls, offer glances of the ordinary, the real, the imagined, and the fantastic. They highlight hidden worlds and tell tales from the edge; they are the wooden equivalent of the marginalia in illuminated manuscripts. This chapter offers

in Manchester Cathedral
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inscription reads ‘Dne dilexi decore domus tue’: (‘Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house’): James L. Thornely, The Monumental Brasses of Lancashire and Cheshire (Hull: William Andrews, 1893), pp. 18–19; E. F. Letts, ‘Warden Huntyngton’, TLCAS 2 (1884), pp. 92–107. 6 H. A. Hudson, ‘Notes upon the Huntingdon and Stanley Brasses in Manchester Cathedral’, TLCAS 31 (1913), pp. 141–2. 7 MG , 9 January 1907, p. 12. 8

in Manchester Cathedral

W HEN THE NOVELIST Howard Spring arrived in the city to work on the Manchester Guardian in 1915, Manchester Cathedral was still widely regarded, and loved, as the city’s parish church. Redevelopment and slum clearance meant that the population of the Cathedral parish declined from 7,000 in 1891 to 700 in 1918, and was to go down to 281 by 1951. 2 But as in the nineteenth century, the Cathedral continued successfully to present itself as an embodiment of broader civic identity. Addressing the vestry

in Manchester Cathedral
Origins and early development

Manchester. 1 The obvious location for the Domesday church of St Mary would be on the site of the medieval parish church of Manchester, which had this dedication prior to the foundation in 1421 of the Collegiate Church of St Mary, St George, and St Denys, now Manchester Cathedral. An antiquarian theory, which still has some limited currency, supposed that there had been one or even two earlier churches in an area encompassing St Mary’s Gate and Acres Field, the latter being the venue of Manchester’s medieval fair

in Manchester Cathedral
Writing the history of Manchester’s Collegiate Church and Cathedral

Medieval History at Manchester, on the seventeenth; E. W Watson, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford, on the eighteenth; and William Inge, Dean of St Paul’s, on the nineteenth. The official record also included a short ‘History of Manchester Cathedral’ by J. J. Scott, the Sub-Warden, which was almost solely concerned with the various charters and the architectural and fabric record of the building, including the plate. For the next fifty years, histories of Manchester Cathedral largely reused and

in Manchester Cathedral