SJ8796 : Gorton Monastery

taken 9 years ago, near to Gorton, Manchester, Great Britain

This is 1 of 7 images, with title Gorton Monastery in this square
Gorton Monastery
Gorton Monastery
The Church and Friary of St Francis, known locally as Gorton Monastery was built between 1863 and 1872 by Franciscan monks who had come to Manchester in 1861; most of the building work was done by the friars themselves. Designed by Edward Pugin, whose father helped design the houses of Parliament, Gorton Monastery is considered to be one of his finest masterpieces. It was put on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World in 1997, alongside Pompeii, Macchu Picchu, The Valley of the Kings and the Taj Mahal. This was a milestone that led to the Monastery being recognised internationally for its architectural and spiritual significance and gave rise to the nickname of “Manchester’s Taj Mahal”.

The Monastery was the hub of religious, social and cultural activity for some 120 years - the Franciscans ran 3 schools, a theatre group, brass band, choir, youth club, successful football teams and numerous other activities for the community. Sadly, by 1989 only six elderly friars remained and the Church closed for worship. The building was sold to property developers who stripped out the Church for conversion into flats. However, this venture failed and the building was abandoned by the developers in 1993. Left unprotected, it became prey to significant vandalism and theft.

The Monastery of St. Francis & Gorton Trust was established in 1996 and, following a 12-year fundraising campaign by the charity, which still owns the building, and grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Fund, North West Development Agency and the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the site and buildings have been saved from ruin and partly restored to create a weddings, banqueting and special events space, a conference and meeting facility and a cultural and community venue. It is currently only open to the public for general viewing on most Sundays from 12 to 4pm.

The Monastery is Grade II* listed (English Heritage Building ID: 388148 LinkExternal link British Listed Buildings) and in the top 8% of buildings in England. Although known as Gorton Monastery it is actually a Friary as explained in the book "Beggars and Builders - My story of Gorton Monastery", which was researched and written over seven years by historian Tony Hurley, the building's former heritage and tours director (LinkExternal link Manchester Evening News).

More information at LinkExternal link

See other images of Gorton Monastery
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Gerald England and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
TIP: Click the map for Large scale mapping
Change to interactive Map >
Grid Square
SJ8796, 114 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 22 September, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 23 September, 2010
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Date (from Tags)
Place (from Tags)
Event venue   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 876 968 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:28.0998N 2:11.2595W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 876 968
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
Clickable map

Other Tags
World Monuments Fund Watch List  Friary  Franciscan  Monastery 

Click a tag, to view other nearby images.

Image classification(about): Geograph
This page has been viewed about 201 times.
View this location: KML (Google Earth) · Google MapsExternal link · Bing MapsExternal link · Geograph Coverage Map · geotagged! More Links for this image
W Go E
You are not logged in login | register