Written by student Naureen Choudry

The Gothic Tour of Manchester took us through the age old architecture and hidden treasures of the city. Giving us an insight to the years of secrets wrapped in history and tales.

First, we visited Chetham’s Library, which gave all of us a ‘Harry Potter vibe’ with the dark beams crawling the ceiling and aisles upon aisles of dusty books. Our tour guide took us through each room, even telling us anecdotes about supposed hauntings and ghosts which had been spotted over the years. A step by step demonstration on how books were printed and bound in the 1800s left us all speechless. Each letter being individually selected and stamped in a tedious routine left you with only one book! We also were shown the original works of Plato dating from thousands of years ago, wrapped in crinkled leather and as thick as your forearm!

Next, we went to John Ryland’s Library which was full of gargoyles and statues, fixed in time. Each had a different story behind their creation and the eerie legacy they left behind. Tiny hidden doors were around every other corner, leading to various pathways and corridors, almost like a maze. We had to duck under small, arched doorways to enter grand hallways full of dining tables, renaissance paintings and gold gilded frames. It’s like we entered another world.

Finally, the Cathedral we visited had the most intricately designed architecture. It looked more like huge pieces of art as opposed to buildings which were functional. The infinite amount of detail looks like it took thousands of years by thousands of workers, leaving us speechless.

The tour unearthed the unspoken roots of Manchester and the home of the Gothic.