Whitworth Hall

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Whitworth Building
Whitworth Hall Manchester.jpg
Whitworth Hall
General information
Architectural style Neogothic
Coordinates 53°27′55.8″N2°14′0.6″W / 53.465500°N 2.233500°W / 53.465500; -2.233500 Coordinates: 53°27′55.8″N2°14′0.6″W / 53.465500°N 2.233500°W / 53.465500; -2.233500
Completedc.1895–1902 [1]
Design and construction
Architect Paul Waterhouse [1]

The Whitworth Hall on Oxford Road and Burlington Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, England, is part of the University of Manchester. It has been listed Grade II* since 18 December 1963. [2] The Gothic revival hall lies at the south-east range of the Old Quadrangle of the University, with the Manchester Museum adjoined to the north, and the former Christie Library connected to the west.


History and description

It was constructed c. 1895–1902, and was designed by Paul Waterhouse. [1] The official opening ceremony took place 12 March 1902, when the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King George V and Queen Mary) were present. [3] Whitworth Hall is named after Mancunian industrialist, Sir Joseph Whitworth, who bequeathed much of his fortune to fund public developments in Manchester. The legatees, among whom was Richard Copley Christie, funded the building of the hall and the adjoining Christie Library (the library was completed first and opened in 1898).

The inside of Whitworth Hall Whitworth Hall inside.jpg
The inside of Whitworth Hall

The hall is constructed of sandstone, with red tiled roofs in fishscale bands, and is connected to the Manchester Museum to the north via a 2-storey entrance archway. The hall has two unequal storeys, consisting of 8 bays separated by buttresses. It has a large perpendicular style stained glass window facing south. Two 3-stage corner towers flank the window, with octagonal belfries and short spires. [1]

Whitworth Hall can hold up to 675 people for meetings, up to 300 people for banquets or up to 200 for dinner dances. [4] There are five boardrooms and a council chamber on the lower floor of the building, whilst the hall proper is on the upper floor. The interior of the hall is also Gothic in construction and decoration, in keeping with the exterior. It has a hammerbeam roof, a dais and a large organ occupy the northernmost part of the hall, and raised wooden galleries project from both northern and southern walls. [4] The hall is licensed for civil weddings, [4] and is used for all graduation ceremonies at the University. [5]

The organ was donated by Mrs. Enriqueta Rylands in 1902. [6]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Historic England. "Victoria University of Manchester including Christie Library, Whitworth Hall, Oxford Road (1271428)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  2. "Listed Buildings in Manchester — O". Manchester City Council . Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  3. "The Prince and Princess in Manchester". The Times (36714). London. 13 March 1902. p. 12.
  4. 1 2 3 "Main Campus Oxford Road (The University of Manchester)". University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  5. "Graduation FAQs". University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  6. Farnie, D. A. (1989). "Enriqueta Augustina Rylands, 1843–1908, Founder of the John Rylands Library". Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. 71 (2): 37.

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