Manchester Art Gallery


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1282980.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 29-Jul-2021 at 03:41:05.


Statutory Address:
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Manchester (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SJ 84061 98025


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 05/06/2018

SJ8498SW 698-1/28/241

MANCHESTER MOSLEY STREET (East side) Manchester Art Gallery

(Formerly listed as City Art Gallery) 25/02/52 GV I Royal Manchester Institution, later City Art Gallery. 1824-35, by Sir Charles Barry. Rusticated ashlar (roofs not visible). Rectangular plan parallel to street and set back from it, with projecting central portico. Greek Ionic style.

EXTERIOR: two storeys with the appearance of one, plus a central attic; a symmetrical composition with 3:5:3-bay main range flanked by slightly-projected pavilions, the whole raised on a plinth, and with a pedimented portico of six giant Ionic columns, three-bay colonnaded side ranges with Ionic columns in antis, plain corner pilasters to the pavilions, a continuous plain entablature, dentilled cornice and plain parapet with moulded coping; plus a rectangular attic behind the portico, flanked by set-back parapets over the side ranges. The portico, approached by full-width steps, contains a large doorway with moulded architrave and cornice on consoles; the rear walls of the colonnaded side ranges have windows with plain reveals; the pavilions each have three sashed windows at ground floor with simple architraves and cornices, and three small rectangular panels above with statuary. The attic (forming a lantern to the entrance hall) has small windows with pilaster jambs, and a frieze and moulded cornice with roundels (etc).

INTERIOR: square entrance hall with stone imperial staircase, balustraded gallery on fluted Doric columns.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Manchester Art Gallery was the site of the first attack on artworks by suffragettes. On 3 April 1913 Lillian Forrester and Evelyn Manesta were discovered smashing the glass of paintings in Room 2. Thirteen pictures by artists such as Millais, Burne-Jones and Rossetti received damage estimated at over £100 in total.

Forrester (who had a previous arrest) and Manesta were both associated with the militant suffrage organisation the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), formed in Manchester by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903. In court they explained that they were acting in protest at a recent prison sentence given to Mrs Pankhurst for her own suffragette militancy. While in prison, Forrester and Manesta were covertly photographed using new surveillance cameras and the pictures were circulated to art galleries across Britain to prevent further attacks. Despite this, other women followed their example and there were a spate of similar suffragette strikes on art galleries and museums the following year.

This list entry was amended in 2018 as part of the centenary commemorations of the 1918 Representation of the People Act

Listing NGR: SJ8406198025


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cowman, Krista, 'Suffrage Attacks on Art’ ' in Thomas, Zoe, Garrett, Miranda, Suffrage and the Arts, (2018)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 11 Jun 2002
Reference: IOE01/07060/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Peter Sargeant. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].