Manchester Gothic

6 07 2012

Our Locating Boccaccio conference will be held in two of Manchester’s – or possibly even the world’s – most iconic Neo-Gothic buildings.

The close-up sessions and exhibition will take place in the John Rylands Library, while the conference itself will be held five minutes’ walk away, in Manchester Town Hall.

The Town Hall is a massive Neo-Gothic extravaganza, designed by the architect Alfred Waterhouse, and is one of the incontestable landmarks of the North. Inside it’s a mixture of medievalist fantasy and sturdy municipal practicality, where the stained-glass windows are left uncoloured, so as to let as much light in as possible in this sooty rainy city.

(Photo by Iris Chase, reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.0 license from Wikimedia Commons)

The Town Hall also contains a famous nineteenth-century fresco cycle by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown, known as The Manchester Murals, with scenes from the city’s history.

If you click here, you can watch a 5-minute video about the Town Hall below, in the Guardian’s Best British Buildings series. Look out for the bees!

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