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“A slice of Victoriana” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall
Lloyd St, Manchester M60 2LA, England
0161 827 7661
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Ranked #15 of 317 things to do in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This neo-Gothic masterpiece was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1887. At the front main entrance sits a statue of the Roman Governor, Agricola, founder of the original fort of Mamuciam, from which the city began. The building dominates Albert Square.
Clevedon
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“A slice of Victoriana”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Fantastic building and we had afternoon tea there, they also do lunches. The architecture is fantastic and where they have sited the restaurant is magnificent.

Visited October 2012
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London, United Kingdom
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Possible wedding venue”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

A Friend held thier wedding here and it was a great choice of venue with the right mix of history and grandeur to set the scene.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Town Hall Tea - now that's a novelty!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We treated ourselves to afternoon tea in the Sculpture Hall and at the last minute decided to opt for the champagne version. It's a tad pricey (though not as pricey as some places!) at £18.95 a head but the surroundings are wonderful and the staff couldn't have been more helpful.

Service was a bit slow to start because there was a wedding on and a large party already having afternoon tea, but we were warned about it when we booked so we knew what to expect.

Visited October 2012
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Manchester
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Stunning building although customer service and signage could be better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

I love Manchester Town Hall and always take friends and relatives there when they visit the city. As you walk the corridors and grand staterooms of Alfred Waterhouse's neo-Gothic masterpiece you get a sense of the power and confidence of Victorian Manchester, a city of self-made millionaires and industrialists who wanted to show the world they had arrived. Don't miss the murals by Ford Madox Brown in the great hall (when open) or the sculpture gallery near the main entrance.

The only downside I have found is the sometimes poor signage and service by Manchester City Council. For example, I visited last weekend with my father and the stairs were blocked by a sign which said "REPORT TO RECEPTION". We did this and a rather bored looking official who saw us read the sign before approaching reception - so presumably could make an educated guess that the visitors may require some friendly advice about why they had to report there - looked at us blankly as I said "The sign asked us to report here - do we need to sign in, or...". Slouching back in his chair he responded "Upstairs is shut...ground floor only today". Right, thanks very much MCC for that friendly welcome.

The signage elsewhere is confusing. My father needed to use the toilet so we wondered to the top of a long corridor where we saw a standing sign against the wall that said "Toilets" and had an arrow pointing down the corridor. Excellent. However a few feet away in the middle of the floor was another standing sign blocking the corridor that said something like "Not open to the public". It was confusing - like putting up giant STOP and GO signs next to each other. We could have asked the receptionist whether my father was allowed to access the toilet but we decided it was better just to leave and use the toilet at a nearby pub.

If it were down to service this attraction would get an average review, but the building is so stunning I couldn't bear to give any less than "very good". Honestly though, MCC, if you can't make an effort to welcome the many visitors to the building just move all your staff to a modern office block somewhere and give the beautiful Town Hall to the National Trust instead.

Visited October 2012
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Cheshire England United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

We were looking forward to the afternoon tea at The Sculpture Hall in Manchester Town Hall. We arrived and wanted to order one of the lunch options, as well as afternoon tea for one person. We were informed that afternoon tea was only available for two people and one person could not order it. We queried this as it seemed unusual. The reason was that there would be some sandwiches left over as we weren't an even number!! Consequently we were told we could order a cake ( just out on the side- not covered and looked dry) and we could not have afternoon tea for one ( even though it was priced as £11 per person on the menu and did not state a minimum of two people. The champagne afternoon tea was stated to be for a minimum of two people) We left and went elsewhere. It does seem strange that with the recession and lots of newer afternoon tea establishments poping up around the city that they let us walk away. I would be worried if I worked there. Only in the UK..

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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