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Behind the Façade

Behind the Façade

Behind the façade: the historic buildings of the University of Manchester

Behind the façade: the historic buildings of the University of Manchester


This tour offers a rare opportunity to be guided through the interiors of some of the University of Manchester’s most architecturally important and historic spaces. Within the neo-gothic grandeur of the University’s Old Quadrangle, visitors will hear how Owens College developed from one philanthropic donation and grew, as a result of the vision and pride of the city, to become England’s first civic university. Throughout the tour, you’ll hear stories of the University’s early staff and students and how their work and ideas had impact far beyond the walls of our buildings.


Architectural highlights include the Victorian lecture theatre in the Beyer Building, the Grand Staircase leading to the University’s Council Chamber and the stunning Whitworth Hall.


The dates this special tour is running are:

  • Thursday 26th October 2017, evening 7pm
  • Tuesday 14th November 2017, evening 7pm
  • Thursday 23rd November 2017, evening 7pm
  •  Thursday 8th February 2018, evening 7pm
  • Sunday 18th March 2018, afternoon 1pm
  • Thursday 29th March 2018, evening 7pm


Visitors will receive a booklet on the history of the University.


The tour will last approximately 1.5 hours. Information on the meeting point will be emailed to you when you book your ticket.  Tickets must be booked online in advance and brought with you to the meeting point. 


Due to the historic nature of the buildings, please note that some areas have limited accessibility. Please get in touch with the University’s History and Heritage team heritage@manchester.ac.uk to discuss any access requirements in advance of your visit so we can ensure you get the best experience.

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