Address: Long Millgate, Manchester M3 1SB, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 161 834 7961
Monday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
This is a must whilst in Manchester. Tours or appointments required. We did the tour and it was well worth the £6. This is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Built in 1451. Many cool things like the printing press where the saying " mind your P's & Q's" entered our lingo because they were easily reversed. The typeset characters were stored in a case with capital letters in the "upper case" and small letters in the "lower case.". How cool is that? See the table where Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto and Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1st edition). See the photos for all of this and more. Did not get bombed during the war so you are in original structure. BTW, the door with a small at the bottom is a 15th century cat door so the cats could guard against vermin. So much more here. Check it out!
Interesting historical place. One of the oldest in Manchester and with a really interesting history. The guided tour which is the way to get in nowadays costs you 6.5 (5.5 for children) and money goes to the preservation of the building and the books. A one hour tour with some interesting stories and environments.
Updating review after actually visiting... despite comments below - booked tickets for 11:00 tour - started on time with a very knowledgable guide - incredible place - it’s so good we have kept and maintained places like this - full of history and of course books... if you get the chance well worth spending an hour discovering... see the nook where Marx & Engels read and planned their antics... Visit if you can. Silly experience - only guided tours (unclear from web site) - people who had no clue and “thought” first tour at 11:30 - when asked about the sign outside that apologised from their web site problems once again had no clue - get your act together... and what’s the point of opening at 9:00 if tours start at 11:30??
Hidden treasure of Manchester. Located in the original building built in the medieval period, it was turned into a public library in 1653. It is now the oldest surviving public library in the English speaking world.
What a beautiful gem in Manchester! Today we visited this wonderful place and were given a great tour by Brian and Marjorie. They were very knowledgeable and patiently answered all our questions. The tour and admission is free of charge however a donation of £3 is recommended. As you enter the building, you enter a different world, and you go back in time to the 1600s. The books are incredibly well-preserved and it was fascinating to find out that Chetham's is also a place where talented pupils who aspire to be musicians take classes here and live here as well. It's just like a boarding school/university. Moreover, people can access the library and borrow books free of charge. I cannot recommend highly enough! Will certainly return for another visit!
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