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Visiting The Sackville Street Building, Manchester, England: 1895-1902 French Renaissance Structure in Terracotta

Updated on May 3, 2019
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Sackville Park looking toward UMIST building
Sackville Park looking toward UMIST building | Source

Fine structure befitting a distinguished institution of learning

This fine building in Manchester, England dates from between 1895 and 1902, when it was officially opened. For many years it was the main building of UMIST, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (1); it is often known as the Sackville Street Building.

Executed in Burmantofts (2) terracotta, in French Renaissance style, it was designed by Bradshaw Glass and Hope, of Bolton.

In some ways the Sackville Street Building is comparable to nearby Salford Univsersity's Peel Building (see Link, below), dating from 1896.

The Sackville Street Building, is located on Sackville Street, Manchester, opposite Sackville Gardens (see photo, above). In the Gardens is a monument to Alan Turing (1912-1954), mathematician, and pivotally important computer scientist whose cryptanalytical breakthroughs at at Bletchley Park made a highly significant contribution to the war effort in WW2; he researched at Manchester University from 1948.

With the merger of UMIST and Manchester University in 2004, and with UMIST's past drawn from a Mechanics Institute founded in 1824, is not always straightforward to identify alumnae and alumni specifically from UMIST, but the following are generally credited with an association with UMIST or its predecessors.

Distinguished alumnae include: Dame Margaret Beckett (1943-) Foreign Secretary; Dorothy Bohm (1924-) co-founder of The Photographer's Gallery; Lola Patel, digital entrepreneur and winner of The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion; and many others

Distinguished alumni include: Sir John Cockroft (1897-1967), OM, Nobel Laureate in Physics; Roy Chadwick (1983-1947) engineer and designer of the Avro Lancaster; Charles Holden (1875-1960), architect; Teo Chee Hean (1954-) Rear Admiral, Senior Minister of Singapore; and many others.

May 3, 2019


(1) Over the course of many years the institution was known by various names. I have supplied, below, a photo of a depiction of the former Manchester Mechanics Institute, dating from 1825, which shows a Neoclassical structure in Cooper Street, Manchester, in which the Institute was formerly housed. Years ago I was privileged to attend a residential linguists' conference sponsored by the former UMIST, the most recent name of the formerly separate institution, before its merger with Manchester University.

(2) From the name of a Leeds, Yorkshire ceramics firm.

(3) Other works by Bradshaw Gass and Hope include Trafford Town Hall (opposite Old Trafford Cricket Ground), Wimbledon Town Hall, Luton Town Hall, and very many others.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Manchester Mechanics' Institute, Cooper Street, UK (1825)  Source: Shercliff WH. 'Manchester A Short History of its Development' Municipal Information Bureau, Town Hall, Manchester (1960).
Manchester Mechanics' Institute, Cooper Street, UK (1825) Source: Shercliff WH. 'Manchester A Short History of its Development' Municipal Information Bureau, Town Hall, Manchester (1960). | Source

Also worth seeing

In Manchester itself, included among numerous fine buildings are: Whitworth Hall and other buildings of the Manchester University complex; Manchester Town Hall (also by Alfred Waterhouse); the neo-Classical Manchester Central Library, Manchester Cathedral, and many others.

At Salford (distance: approx. 3 kilometres), the Peel Building of Salford University is a remarkable, Victorian brick structure.


How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Manchester Airport (England) , where car hire is available; there is direct rail access from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly railroad station in Downtown Manchester. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. It is advisable to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Greater Manchester
Map location of Greater Manchester | Source

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