Manchester Cathedral

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Manchester Cathedral or the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester, England is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Manchester, seat of the bishop and the city's parish church. It is located on Victoria Street in the city centre.

Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom
Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom

The main body of the cathedral largely derives from the wardenship of James Stanley (warden 1485-1506), and is in the Perpendicular Gothic style. Stanley was primarily responsible for commissioning the late-medieval wooden furnishings, including the pulpitum, choir stalls and the nave roof which is supported by angels with gilded instruments.

Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom
Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom

The medieval church was extensively refaced, restored and extended in the Victorian period, and again following bomb damage in the 20th century. The cathedral is one of fifteen Grade I listed buildings in Manchester. Since 2005 the dean has been the Very Reverend Rogers Govender.

Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom
Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom

The origins of Manchester's first churches are obscure. The Angel Stone, a small carving of an angel with a scroll was discovered in the wall of the cathedral's south porch providing evidence of an early Saxon church. It has been dated to around 700A.D. and is preserved in the cathedral; its Old English inscription translates as "into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit".

Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom
Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom

The first church, possibly sited on or near the site of St Ann's Church, was destroyed by Danish invaders in 923 and a church dedicated to St Mary, built by King Edward the Elder, possibly where St Mary's Gate joins Exchange Street, was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The Domesday Book entry for Manchester reads "the Church of St Mary and the Church of St Michael hold one carucate of land in Manchester exempt from all customary dues except tax".

Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom
Manchester Cathedral of United Kingdom

Construction of the predecessor parish church between the Rivers Irk and Irwell and an ancient watercourse crossed by the Hanging Bridge started in 1215 within the confines of the Baron's Court beside the manor house on the site of Manchester Castle. The lords of the manor were the Grelleys whose coat of arms is still associated with the cathedral.

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