Gorton Monastery

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Church and Friary of St Francis
Gorton Monastery, Gorton.jpg
Affiliation Catholic (Franciscan)
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Friary
StatusSecular events venue
Location Gorton,
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Shown within Greater Manchester
Geographic coordinates 53°28′5.9″N2°11′15.0″W / 53.468306°N 2.187500°W / 53.468306; -2.187500 Coordinates: 53°28′5.9″N2°11′15.0″W / 53.468306°N 2.187500°W / 53.468306; -2.187500
Architectural style High Victorian Gothic architecture

The Church and Friary of St Francis, known locally as Gorton Monastery, is a 19th-century former Franciscan friary in Gorton, Manchester, England. The Franciscans arrived in Gorton in December 1861 and built their friary between 1863 and 1867. Most of the building work was done by the friars themselves, with a brother acting as clerk of works. [1] The foundation stone for the church was laid in 1866 and completed in 1872; it closed for worship in 1989. [2] It is a prominent example of High Victorian Gothic architecture, [2] and has been listed with Grade II* status since 1963. It was designed by Edward Welby Pugin (1834–1875), whose father, A.W.N. Pugin, promoted the revival of Gothic as the style of architecture which was the ideal expression of Catholic faith and worship in church buildings. [3]

Gorton area of the city of Manchester, in North West England

Gorton is an area of Manchester in North West England, southeast of the city centre. The population at the 2011 census was 36,055. Neighbouring areas include Audenshaw, Denton, Levenshulme, and Reddish.

Gothic Revival architecture Architectural movement

Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its popularity grew rapidly in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, finials, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops.

E. W. Pugin British architect

Edward Welby Pugin was an English architect, the eldest son of architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin and Louisa Barton. His father was a famous architect and designer of Neo-Gothic architecture, and after his death in 1852 Edward took up his successful practice. At the time of his own early death in 1875, Pugin had designed and completed more than one hundred Catholic churches.


Modern developments

Interior Gorton Monastery interior.jpg
Statues Gorton Monastery saints 001.jpg

In 1997, Gorton Monastery was placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World alongside Pompeii, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings. [4]

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training.

Pompeii Ancient Roman city near modern Naples, Italy

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was buried under 4 to 6 m of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Volcanic ash typically buried inhabitants who did not escape the lethal effects of the earthquake and eruption.

Taj Mahal Marble mausoleum in Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan, the builder. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

The church and associated friary buildings underwent a £6 million restoration programme supported by funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and European Regional Development Fund. [5] The project was completed in June 2007 when the restored buildings opened as a venue for conferences, business meetings and community events. [6] The building is also used for a range of concerts.[ citation needed ]

English Heritage charity responsible for the National Heritage Collection of England

English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that it uses these properties to ‘bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year’.

European Regional Development Fund Fund allocated by the European Union to transfer money from richer regions (not countries), and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a fund allocated by the European Union. Its purpose is to transfer money from richer regions, and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions. This will allow those regions to start attracting private sector investments, and create jobs on their own.

Construction of a new "Welcome Wing" with facilities for education and the community, along with further restoration on the altars, decorations, and floor tiles, [7] started in February 2016, [8] following from a £1 million donation from Norman Stoller in September 2014, and £2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in December 2014. [7] The wing, designed by Eco Arc, was built by HH Smith & Sons Ltd on the footprint of a building that was demolished in the 1960s. [8]

Sir Norman Kelvin Stoller is a British businessman and philanthropist.

See also

Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester Wikimedia list article

There are 236 Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, England. In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance; Grade II* structures are those considered to be "particularly significant buildings of more than local interest". In England, the authority for listing under the Planning Act 1990 rests with English Heritage, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M18 postcode area is to the southeast of the city centre, and contains the area of Gorton. The postcode area contains 14 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, three are listed at Grade II*, the middle grade of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The area is now mainly residential, and the listed buildings include houses, churches, a mausoleum, a public house, a war memorial, and a former school.

Related Research Articles

Augustus Pugin English architect and designer

Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was an English architect, designer, artist, and critic who is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. His work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster in Westminster, London, England and its iconic clock tower, later renamed the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell known as Big Ben. Pugin designed many churches in England and some in Ireland and Australia. He was the son of Auguste Pugin, and the father of Edward Welby and Peter Paul Pugin, who continued his architectural firm as Pugin & Pugin. He also created Alton Castle in Alton, Staffordshire.

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  1. Hartwell, C; Hyde, M.; Pevsner, N. (2004). The Buildings of England. Lancashire: Manchester and the South East. London: Yale University Press. p. 372.
  2. 1 2 "The History of Gorton Monastery". themonastery.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  3. Hill, Rosemary (2007). God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain. Allen Lane. ISBN   978-0-7139-9499-5.
  4. "New threat to Gorton monastery". Manchester Evening News. 29 August 2007.
  5. "Before and after: historic buildings restored and transformed". The Daily Telegraph. 21 March 2013.
  6. "Gorton Monastery's £6 million restoration complete". North West Development Agency. Archived from the original on 18 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  7. 1 2 "Your chance to go inside the magnificent Gorton Monastery for free every Monday during February and March". Manchester Evening News. 1 February 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Restoration of Gorton Monastery continues as work begins on new £3 million wing". Manchester Evening News. 27 January 2016.
Historic England Executive non-departmental public body of the British Government, tasked with protecting the historical environment of England

Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government.

Images of England is an online photographic record of all the listed buildings in England at the date of February 2002. The archive gives access to over 323,000 colour images, each of which is matched with the item’s listed designation architectural description.