Hanging Bridge Chambers, Manchester

hanging bridge chambers


This plaque is found above the entrance to this building of 1881. The building was constructed on the site of a medieval bridge that spanned a ditch (possibly Roman in origin) carrying a stream that connected the Rivers Irk and Irwell.

It is believed that the ditch was originally built by the Romans as part of a defensive measure and the bridge provided access to what was then the parish church, but is now the cathedral, from Deansgate, a main thoroughfare through Manchester. Originally called the  Hengand Brigge, the name is derived for the Old English hen – wild fowl – and Welsh gan – between two hills. By the late 1600s, the ditch had become a sewer and was culverted over and the bridge covered. Later, houses were built on top of the bridge. Remnants of the bridge can be seen in the basement of the Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre

Location: Manchester, UK.


Mynshull’s House, Manchester

Minshull's House


Mynshull's House

These guilded letters in relief are set on the frontage of Minshull’s House, a building constructed in 1890 of red sandstone in a Jacobean style.. Built in 1890 William Ball and Thomas Brookes Elce, it includes a series of ornate terracotta moulding, one of which sits below the upper set of lettering giving the name of the building. A large cartouche, set lower down on the frontage reads: Thomas Mynshull sometime an apothecary of this town bequeathed this property to trustees to apprentice poor sound & healthful boys of Manchester in honest labor & employment. Flanking this are two further pieces of lettering: Born at Wells Green Wistaston Cheshire 1613 and Buried at the Collegiate Church Manchester 1698.

An inscription in the doorway of the building reads: Eliz’h Mynshull B1638 D1728 niece of Thomas Mynshull was the 3rd and Best wife of John Milton poet Feb 24 1662.

Mynshull was a seventeenth century chemist who left the money earned from houses that originally stood on the current site for the support of apprenticing local boys into trades.

Location: Cateaton Street, Manchester, UK.

John Rylands Library, Manchester


John Rylands Library

These unusual and beautiful cut letters are found on the outer wall of the John Rylands Library in Manchester. Designed by Basil Champneys (1842-1935), the library was commission by Enriqueta Rylands (1843-1908)in 1899 in memory of her late husband, the textile manufacture  and philanthropists, John Rylands (1801-1888). In 1972 the library merged with that of the University of Manchester  and now houses its special collections  that contains some of the best examples of early printed matter in the country, including a Gutenberg bible, illuminated manuscripts and a large body of work by William Caxton, as well as an unmatched collection by the Aldine Press. The building is a extraordinary feat of Victoria neo-Gothic design with a central hall that would not be out of place in a substantial church. If you are interested in print, design, typography or architecture, make an effort to visit and support this outstanding civic space.

Location: Deansgate, Manchester, UK/