St Ann's Church, Manchester

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St Ann's Church, Manchester
St Ann's Church Manchester HDR.jpg
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Broad Church
Dedication St Anne
Parish St Ann's
Archdeaconry Manchester
Diocese Manchester
Province York

St Ann's Church in Manchester, England was consecrated in 1712. Although named after St Anne, it also pays tribute to the patron of the church, Ann, Lady Bland. St Ann's Church is a Grade I listed building. [1] [2]

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 in 2017; the Greater Manchester Built-up Area is the United Kingdom's second-most populous, with a population of 2.55 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. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea 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.

Saint Anne mother of Virgin Mary in Christian and Islamic traditions; unnamed in the New Testament or Quran

According to some Christian and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels nor in the Qur'an. In writing, Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Gospel of James seems to be the earliest that mentions them.


Architecture and setting

At the beginning of the 18th century, Manchester was a small rural town little more than a village, with many fields and timber-framed houses. A large cornfield named Acres Field, which is now St Ann's Square, became the site for St Ann's Church. [3] Acresfield was the site of an annual fair from the 13th century until 1823 when it was moved to Knott Mill. [4]

Timber framing building technique, construction method using heavy squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers

Timber framing and "post-and-beam" construction are traditional methods of building with heavy timbers, creating structures using squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs. It is commonplace in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. If the structural frame of load-bearing timber is left exposed on the exterior of the building it may be referred to as half-timbered, and in many cases the infill between timbers will be used for decorative effect. The country most known for this kind of architecture is Germany. Timber framed houses are spread all over the country except in the southeast.

The church was an impressive building and although it stood between the market and the collegiate church, both towers could be seen from all directions. It is a neo-classical building, originally constructed from locally quarried, red Collyhurst sandstone although, due to its soft nature, much of the original stone has since been replaced with sandstone of various colours from Parbold in Lancashire, Hollington in Staffordshire, Darley Dale in Derbyshire and Runcorn in Cheshire. [5] When the church was first constructed, the interior was extremely simple with plain glass windows. However, in the 19th century many changes were made, including the installation of stained glass windows. Some of these were bespoke and others were adapted from other churches. One such window, on the north side of the church, was designed and made by William Peckitt of York. [lower-alpha 1] The furniture includes a Queen Anne altar table, thought to be the only existing one of its kind and a painting of "The Descent from the Cross" by Annibale Carracci of Bologna. [7]

Manchester Cathedral Church in Manchester, England

Manchester Cathedral, formally the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George, in Manchester, England, is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Manchester, seat of the Bishop of Manchester and the city's parish church. It is on Victoria Street in Manchester city centre.

Neoclassicism Western art movements that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome

Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism was born largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals. The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th and up to the 21st century.

Parbold village and civil parish in the county of Lancashire, England

Parbold is a village and civil parish in West Lancashire, England.

The tower of the church marks the centre of the city; surveyors used it as a platform to measure distances to other locations. Their benchmark remains visible at the tower door. [8]

Surveying The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.

Benchmark (surveying) point with known height used in surveying when levelling

The term benchmark, or bench mark, originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a "bench" for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future. These marks were usually indicated with a chiseled arrow below the horizontal line.

Buildings and statues in St Ann's Square

At the southeast corner of the square is the Royal Bank of Scotland which is in the Italian palazzo style. It was built in 1848 for Benjamin Heywood's bank by J. E. Gregan. In the square there are two statues; the statue of Richard Cobden is by Marshall Wood, 1867; the Boer War Memorial is by Hamo Thornycroft, 1907. [9]

Richard Cobden English manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman

Richard Cobden was an English manufacturer, Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with two major free trade campaigns, the Anti-Corn Law League and the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty.

Hamo Thornycroft British artist

Sir William Hamo Thornycroft was an English sculptor, responsible for some of London’s best-known statues. He was a keen student of classical sculpture and became one of the youngest members of the Royal Academy.



St Ann's Church St Ann's Church, Manchester.jpg
St Ann's Church

The Mosleys were the Lords of the Manor of Manchester and in 1693 the manor was inherited by Lady Ann Bland, daughter of Sir Edward Mosley. [10] Lady Bland was a leader of fashion in Manchester, staunch in her religious and political views as a member of the Low Church Party: she herself at first worshipped at the Presbyterian Church in the centre of the town. In 1695, however, Henry Newcome, the incumbent, died and Lady Bland decided to found a church of her own. In 1708, Parliament was petitioned to seek permission to build a new church, as the population of Manchester was increasing rapidly. On 18 May 1709, Lady Bland laid the foundation stone of a new church at one end of Acres Field. On 17 June 1712, the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Chester and was dedicated to Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary's mother, which was a compliment both to the founder and to the reigning monarch, Queen Anne. Lady Bland herself is buried in the Church of St James, Didsbury, where a memorial plaque commemorates her life. [11] [ page needed ]

Mosley is a family name.

Henry Newcome was an English nonconformist preacher and activist.

Parliament of Great Britain parliament from 1714 to 1800

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts created a new unified Kingdom of Great Britain and dissolved the separate English and Scottish parliaments in favour of a single parliament, located in the former home of the English parliament in the Palace of Westminster, near the City of London. This lasted nearly a century, until the Acts of Union 1800 merged the separate British and Irish Parliaments into a single Parliament of the United Kingdom with effect from 1 January 1801.

John Byrom

As a result of the proximity of St Ann's to the collegiate church, there was a time when it was fashionable to attend "the old church" in the morning and "the new church" in the afternoon or vice versa. One of those who did so was John Byrom (1692–1763), author of Christians Awake, who played quite a prominent part at St Ann's under the first two rectors, despite his Jacobite sympathies.

Manchester becomes a growing town

St Ann's Square 1745 St Ann's Square1745.jpg
St Ann's Square 1745

Towards the end of the 17th century streets had become more numerous in the St Ann's district; by 1720, St Ann's Square had been laid out and planted with trees in imitation of the fashionable squares of London and Bath. In 1729, Sir Oswald Mosley built an exchange, not far from the site of the present Royal Exchange. By 1735, buildings had begun to rise on the south side of Acres Field and King Street and Ridgefield came into being. There was now no longer the simple distinction between "the old church" and "the new church". The rapid growth of Manchester as a result of the Industrial Revolution led to the building of other churches. Then, as the population moved out to the suburbs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of these churches fell into disuse and were demolished. St Ann's holds the memorials from several of these churches, for example Sir Charles Barry's St Matthew's, Campfield (built 1823–25, demolished 1950).

Importance to civic life

The east side of St Ann's Square, 2015 St Ann's Square, Manchester (21963569043).jpg
The east side of St Ann's Square, 2015

St Ann's has always been closely associated with the civic life, and its rectors have from time to time acted as chaplain to the Lord Mayor, the county council chairmen and the police. In 1975, the Friends of St Ann's Church was formed from the business houses in the parish, to maintain the fabric of this historic building. Renovation work was carried out at St Ann's during 2011 (whilst the church remained operational). The work included the repair of its clock, bell, stonework and roof. [12] During renovation work the church was draped in large advertising banners, which was controversial for a Grade I listed building. [13] The church has an active concert schedule, including weekly lunchtime organ recitals (on Tuesdays), monthly professional concerts, and regular piano and chamber music concerts by RNCM students. The church has a four-manual George Sixsmith organ.

See also

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  1. The Peckitt window came from St John's. [6]


  1. "A-Z of Listed Buildings in Manchester". Manchester City Council. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  2. "Church of St Anne". Images of England. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  3. "St Ann's Square Conservation Area". Manchester City Council Conservation Areas. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. Hartwell, Clare (2001) Manchester. (Pevsner Architectural Guides.) Penguin Books, p. 199
  5. "Building stone in the city of Manchester: St Ann's Church" . Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  6. Hartwell, Clare (2002), Manchester, Pevsner Architectural Guides, Yale University Press, pp. 11, 253, ISBN   978-0-300-09666-8
  7. Manchester for the Tourist. City of Manchester Publicity Office, [1969]; p. 6
  8. "St Ann's in the 18th C." St Ann's Manchester. Archived from the original on 21 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
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  10. "Peerage person page 17093". Leigh Rayment. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  11. Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2004), Lancashire: Manchester and the South East, The Buildings of England, Yale University Press, ISBN   0-300-10583-5
  12. Schofield, Jonathan (9 May 2012). "St Ann's Church, Manchester: Exclusive Refurb Pictures". Manchester Confidential. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  13. Schofield, Jonathan (28 August 2012). "The Good, The Standard, The Ugly: St Ann's Ads". Manchester Confidential. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.

Coordinates: 53°28′54″N2°14′45″W / 53.48167°N 2.24583°W / 53.48167; -2.24583