TOURS OF CHETHAM'S LIBRARY & MEDIEVAL BUILDINGS
Tours every Saturday, although occasionally events taking place at Chetham's may prevent or limit tours.
25% of all takings on Chetham's tours goes back into preserving these finest of buildings for future generations to enjoy.
CHETHAM'S Library & Medieval Buildings is opening on Saturdays to allow tours of the full medieval complex. I'm overjoyed I'll be conducting these, with assistance from library staff.
To get into these precious buildings with access all areas tours is a rare privilege. The tours are sure to book up quickly so don't delay.
Here's a bit of background.
Chetham’s Library - and the building it sits within and shares with Chetham's School of Music - is the oldest complete structure in the city, dating from the 1420s when it was erected as a single building to house priests.
After the Reformation, the premises gained a new lease of life when they were purchased through the will of local merchant Humphrey Chetham in 1653. He wished to set up a charity school for 40 poor boys and a free public library for the ‘use of scholars and others well-affected’.
It's all still there, and the buildings not only look ancient but feel ancient. Most of the library fixtures and fittings are original and date from the mid-1600s. The books are shielded behind eighteenth century gates and were formerly chained to the shelves. Down the side corridor is the main Reading Room with its wonderful carvings.
The collection is beautiful and the role call of visitors astonishing; Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Disreali, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Damon Albarn and many others have studied in the Reading Room. John Dee, the mathematician and enchanter, lived for many years here. He was the inspiration for Shakespeare's Prospero in his last play, The Tempest. Of course, if you have a magician, there must be ghosts.
This is Manchester’s most charming yet potent collection of buildings.
And now there's regular weekend public access.
Meet: Chetham's Library & Medieval Buildings, Long Millgate, City centre, M3 1SB.
BOOKING AHEAD IS ADVISABLE.
The booking confirmation from Paypal acts as your ticket, so please print and bring along or have it ready on your smart phone or other device.
On certain occasions some areas may be out of bounds or being used for other purposes. There is a narrow set of stairs to the library and a step into two other areas. There are several occasions in which guests may sit. Jonathan Schofield may not be guiding all the tours. In this case other fully qualified guides will be leading the events.
PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE 24 HOURS BEFORE THE TOUR IN CASE A SITUATION ARISES WHICH MAY AFFECT THE TOUR.
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