Alan Turing Memorial

Last updated

Coordinates: 53°28′36.2″N2°14′9.7″W / 53.476722°N 2.236028°W / 53.476722; -2.236028

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.


Flowers on the Alan Turing Memorial. Picture taken 22 June 2018, the day before Turing's 106th birthday. Alan Turing's statue surrounded by flowers on his birthday 2018.jpg
Flowers on the Alan Turing Memorial. Picture taken 22 June 2018, the day before Turing's 106th birthday.

The Alan Turing Memorial, situated in Sackville Park in Manchester, England, [1] is in memory of Alan Turing, [2] a pioneer of modern computing. Turing is believed to have committed suicide in 1954 two years after being convicted of gross indecency (i.e. homosexual acts). As such he is as much a gay icon as an icon of computing, and it is no coincidence that this memorial is situated near Canal Street, Manchester's gay village. [3]

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 2.7 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Alan Turing mathematician and computer scientist

Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite these accomplishments, he was never fully recognised in his home country during his lifetime, due to his homosexuality, which was then a crime in the UK.

Turing is depicted sitting on a bench situated in a central position in the park. On Turing's left is the University of Manchester and on his right is Canal Street.

University of Manchester public research university in Manchester, England

The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester. The University of Manchester is a red brick university, a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century.

The statue was unveiled on 23 June, Turing's birthday, in 2001. It was conceived by Richard Humphry, a barrister from Stockport, who set up the Alan Turing Memorial Fund in order to raise the necessary funds. Humphry had come up with the idea of a statue after seeing Hugh Whitemore's play Breaking the Code, starring Sir Derek Jacobi. Jacobi became the patron of the Fund. Glyn Hughes, an industrial sculptor from Adlington near Westhoughton, was commissioned to sculpt the statue. [4] Roy Jackson (who had previously raised funds for HIV/AIDS and Gay Awareness in Manchester) was asked to assist in the funding raising to make the memorial happen. Within 12 months, through donations and a "village lottery", the money was raised. This allowed the statue to be cast in China. Glyn Hughes had found contacts that could manufacture and ship an identical bronze statue to that which would have cost c. £50,000 in the UK. The cost of the memorial was achieved with the £16,000 raised.

Hugh John Whitemore was an English playwright and screenwriter.

Derek Jacobi British actor and film director

Sir Derek George Jacobi is an English actor and stage director.

Thomas Glynfor "Glyn" Hughes was a Welsh professional footballer, who played as a winger. He made appearances in the English football league in the 1950s for Welsh clubs Wrexham and Newport County.

Turing Memorial plaque. Sackville Park Turing plaque.jpg
Turing Memorial plaque.

Turing is shown holding an apple. The cast bronze bench carries in relief the text "Alan Mathison Turing 1912–1954" and the motto "Founder of Computer Science" as it would appear if encoded by an Enigma machine; 'IEKYF RQMSI ADXUO KVKZC GUBJ'. However this appears to be an "artist's impression" of an ENIGMA encryption, rather than an actual one. ENIGMA could not encode a letter as itself and there is a letter "U" at position 14 of both the plain-text and the cipher.

Enigma machine German cipher machine

The Enigma machines are a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines, mainly developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II. Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models, having a plugboard, were the most complex. Japanese and Italian models were also in use.

A plaque at the statue's feet says "Father of computer science, mathematician, logician, wartime codebreaker, victim of prejudice". There is also a Bertrand Russell quotation saying "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture."

Bertrand Russell British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his skeptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

See also

Related Research Articles

Max Newman British mathematician

Maxwell Herman Alexander Newman, FRS,, generally known as Max Newman, was a British mathematician and codebreaker. His work in World War II led to the construction of Colossus, the world's first operational, programmable electronic computer, and he established the Royal Society Computing Machine Laboratory at the University of Manchester, which produced the world's first working, electronic stored-program electronic computer in 1948, the Manchester Baby.

In computer science, a universal Turing machine (UTM) is a Turing machine that can simulate an arbitrary Turing machine on arbitrary input. The universal machine essentially achieves this by reading both the description of the machine to be simulated as well as the input thereof from its own tape. Alan Turing introduced the idea of such a machine in 1936–1937. This principle is considered to be the origin of the idea of a stored-program computer used by John von Neumann in 1946 for the "Electronic Computing Instrument" that now bears von Neumann's name: the von Neumann architecture.

Canal Street (Manchester) street in Manchester

Canal Street, the centre of the Manchester Gay Village, is a street in Manchester city centre in North West England. The pedestrianised street, which runs along the west side of the Rochdale Canal, is lined with gay bars and restaurants. At night time, and in daytime in the warmer months, the street is filled with visitors, often including gay and lesbian tourists from all over the world. The northern end of the street meets Minshull Street and the southern meets Princess Street; part of the street looks across the Rochdale Canal into Sackville Park.

Sackville Gardens

Sackville Gardens in Manchester, England, is bounded by Manchester College's Shena Simon Campus on one side and Whitworth Street, Sackville Street and the Rochdale Canal and Canal Street on the others. The land was purchased by Manchester Corporation in 1900 and laid out with walks, lawns and flower beds. Known as Whitworth Gardens, it was planned to complement the Municipal College of Technology's Sackville Street Building.

Albert Square, Manchester public square in Manchester, England

Albert Square is a public square in the centre of Manchester, England. It is dominated by its largest building, the Grade I listed Manchester Town Hall, a Victorian Gothic building by Alfred Waterhouse. Other smaller buildings from the same period surround it, many of which are listed.

Sackville Street (Manchester) street in Manchester, England

Sackville Street is a street in Manchester city centre, England.

Manchester Pride is an annual LGBT pride festival and parade held each summer in the city of Manchester, England. It is one of the longest running in the country and attracts thousands of visitors to the city's gay village, Canal Street, each year. The festival's events that take place within the Village require a paid-for Pride wristband for entry, while other events, such as the parade, can be watched by any spectator.

The Alan Turing Year, 2012, marked the celebration of the life and scientific influence of Alan Turing during the centenary of his birth on 23 June 1912. Turing had an important influence on computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability and made important contributions to code-breaking during the Second World War. The Alan Turing Centenary Advisory committee (TCAC) was originally set up by Professor Barry Cooper

Whitworth Street

Whitworth Street is a street in Manchester, England. It runs between London Road (A6) and Oxford Street (A34). West of Oxford Street it becomes Whitworth Street West which then goes as far as Deansgate (A56). It was opened in 1899 and is lined with many large and grand warehouses. It is named after the engineer Joseph Whitworth whose works once stood along the route. Whitworth Street West runs alongside the viaduct connecting Oxford Road and Deansgate railway stations: beyond Albion Street the Rochdale Canal is on the northern side. On the Albion Street corner is the building once occupied by the Haçienda nightclub at nos. 11-13 while further east on the same side is the Ritz.

<i>The Imitation Game</i> 2014 film by Morten Tyldum

The Imitation Game is a 2014 American historical drama film directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who decrypted German intelligence codes for the British government during the Second World War. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, and Mark Strong also star.

Gay Liberation Monument monument in New York

The Gay Liberation Monument is a monument featuring the sculpture Gay Liberation by American artist George Segal, located in Christopher Park along Christopher Street in the West Village section of Manhattan, New York. Located at the northern end of the park, the art installation commemorates the Stonewall riots and features four figures positioned in "natural, easy" poses. The bronze statues are covered in white lacquer, cast in 1980 from plaster moulds of human models. Two "World's Fair-style" benches and a plaque are also part of the monument. The monument was dedicated on June 23, 1992, and is part of the Stonewall National Monument.

<i>Alan Turing</i> (sculpture) sculpture

Alan Turing, sometimes spelled Allen Turing and also known as Allen Turing Gargoyle, is an outdoor 1988 hammered copper sheet sculpture of Alan Turing by Wayne Chabre, installed on the exterior of Deschutes Hall on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon, in the United States. The portrait face in high relief measures approximately 3 feet (0.91 m) x 1.5 feet (0.46 m) x 1.5 feet (0.46 m) and cost $2,500. Its condition was undetermined when the Smithsonian Institution surveyed the work as part of its "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in March 1993.

<i>The Turing Guide</i>

The Turing Guide (2017), written by Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen, Mark Sprevak, Robin Wilson, and others, is a book about the work and life of the British mathematician, philosopher, and early computer scientist, Alan Turing (1912–1954).

<i>Alan Turing statue</i>

The Alan Turing statue, created in slate by Stephen Kettle in 2007, is located at Bletchley Park in England as part of an exhibition on Alan Turing. It was commissioned by the American businessman and philanthropist Sidney Frank (1919–2006).

This is a timeline of notable events in the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Manchester.

<i>Victory Over Blindness</i> sculpture in Manchester

Victory Over Blindness is a bronze sculpture in Manchester, England by Johanna Domke-Guyot. It is on Piccadilly Approach outside the main entrance of Manchester Piccadilly station and was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.


  1. SJ8497: Alan Turing Memorial, Sackville Park, Manchester, Geograph, UK.
  2. Andrew Hodges, Memorial sculpture of Alan Turing in Sackville Park, Manchester, The Alan Turing Internet Scrapbook, The Alan Turing Home Page, UK.
  3. Cooksey, Katie (24 December 2013). "Alan Turing: Manchester celebrates pardoned genius". BBC News Online.
  4. Alan Turing Memorial, Sackville Street Gardens, Lost in Manchester, Blogspot, 15 May 2009.