Manchester: Sculpture Walk, 2016

Manchester is a city of wonders. Every where you look, the buildings are beautifully constructed. From colonial architecture to gothic spirals and domes, you would find them on all houses. Even the contemporary apartment buildings have been made on the grounds of erstwhile important commercial markets or have unique designed which need to be noted. I am not an architecture student, but definitely am interested in the atistic architecture of the houses of Manchester. In fact, each architecture and sculpture has its own story. While some are symbols of power, some have been gifted and others are lone remains of flourishing trade. This post is on the Sculpture Walk of Manchester where, ย I travelled to some of the known and unknown alleys of the city and captured the sculptures and its histories. I have done it only for Manchester, but every city has something to say through its sculptures and it can be conducted anywhere on Earth.ย 

Manchester pubs are really cool places to be in. You can sit inside on cold and windy days and enjoy the view over a glass of wine and a delicious platter. You can sit outside on the chairs provided in the pavement on sunny days and enjoy the rare natural warmth of the weather. The third thing that you can enjoy, is the architecture of the pubs. Some of these pubs have been built in the original infrastructure of the buildings. Thus, even if the interiors are modern, the outside architecture has sculptures and artworks all over it. The one taken above is from a restaurant in the Northern Quarters (It serves awesome pizzas BTW ๐Ÿ˜› ). ย This beautiful sculpture appears at the entrance to this eatery.ย 

This has been shot from the wall of an under-renovation building off Rochdale Street. The walls of this building is adorned by beautiful graffiti’s ย and artworks. ย The vents (as the one ย above) has semi circular sculpted patterns.ย 

Travelling back to 1872, the Smithfield area, now known as the Northern Quarters housed the wholesale markets dealing in fish , vegetables and fruits. There was not a moments peace in the area . The whole street got busy since the wee hours of morning in loading and unloading items. The hustle and bustle of those markets only added to the vibrant and lively atmosphere of the place. These markets were relocated in 1973 to the Openshaw area and what remains today are the sculptures and gates of the erstwhile market. This photograph (above) is from one of the gate. Today, large modern apartments have been built to accommodate the growing population of the city beyond those gates.ย 

When in Manchester, do not forget to scan the buildings around you quickly. You never know which building has beautiful sculptures engraved into its walls. These sculptures were found on the walls of an office building just off the Picadilly Gardens. In fact, it is not unusual to have sculptures of the buildings’ founder’s engraved on the walls . For instance, the University of Manchester as a sculpture of its founder and so does the Town Hall of Manchester.ย 

This floral pattern has occupied most of the walls of another office building near Picadilly Gardens. This long column joins the ground floor with the top floor balcony. Columns are important parts of the architecture here and why waste the space by leaving it blank when you can fill it with beautiful artwork?ย 

Queen Victoria needs no introduction. Known as one of the longest reigning monarch of the UK, many sculptures and statues have been built to honour her. One such statue is the one sitting at the Picadilly Gardens, Manchester. The erstwhile Queen herself sat for the artistย Edward Onslow Ford so that he could build her a beautiful sculpture. Unfortunately, the Queen’s statue was unveiled only ten months after her death in 1901. Today, there are other sculptures besides The Late Queen in the Gardens ย but she stands tall as an overarching sculpture in a raised platform.ย 

This sculpture has been shot from the gates of the Hidden Gem or the St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. This is called the Hidden Gem because it is situated in a narrow alleyway away from the hustle and bustle of the daily life. In fact, it did take me quite a few rounds to find it, the first time I went there.ย 

Taken outside another eatery in St Anne’s Square, this sculpture deserves a place here because of its neat details and intricate carvings. I especially, liked the two cupid styled sculptures ‘up in the air’.ย 

These four sculptures and work of arts are scattered around the city. I found them very unusual and thought that they deserve a place in this post. The first photo (from the left) is of The Big Horn on Tib Street and Church Street junction. It symbolizes the introduction of development and newness in the city. It is built by David Kemp. The second photo is unusual as it is a sculpture made of cardboard box cartons. The third is a beautiful artistic impression constructed on the walls of a building. The fourth, is a lovely walkway in Exchange Square. It feels really nice to walk on those disorderly pavements but care must be taken with children lest they fall down and get hurt. ย 

I hope you like this new endeavor of mine and would support me the same way in which you like my travel posts. Do let me know ย which is your favorite among these sculptures. ย  I would be back soon with another adventure of mine in no time.ย 

109 Replies to “Manchester: Sculpture Walk, 2016”

  1. Pictures have come out really well and I can even see the architectural details properly. History doesn’t interest me too much but sculpture walking really has gotten my eyes!

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    1. Well, if you are to cover the main sights and attractions of Manchester then at least two day. Im sure you would like to see the Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Cathedral and the City Centre. They are all walking distance from each other. Expanding a little bit if you want to can cover the Salford Art Gallery and the Salford Cathedral as well or just take an evening stroll along Deansgate. The next day you can keep for Manchester Museum in Oxford street and if you are a Football lover then the Old Trafford . Furthermore, the Media city is a marvel not to be missed. You can just take a nice stroll along the property and visit the Imperial War Museum if you have time. This should take you two days but if you want to explore everything in detail then at least three days. Everything closes by 4 -5pm so if it takes longer than you expect to visit per place then three days. Let me know if you need info about some nice places to eat as well. There are quite a lot of them.

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  2. I never realised what beautiful sculptures Manchester had. I was there so briefly and only on a project that we did not even get to explore the city, and every time I go to London I try to get to Manchester but have not been able too. I would love to see all of these!

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  3. Though I’m not an architectural student but I get fascinated by the architecture! I’d love to visit Manchester some day in my life and explore your city! I liked the sculpture of Queen Victoria and lovely walkway in Exchange Square!

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  4. there are very unique building. I never saw a building with a statue. Maybe I should be there to see it. Surely they have imagination to be able to make it that way.

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  5. Manchester has a lot to see!! But sadly I visited Manchester for a football match with a friend and didn’t really get a chance to explore the city, hence your post just enlightened me on what I missed!

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  6. With every passing post of yours, my list for London is growing and growing. …Now definitely would like to do a sculpture tour and that too, such an interesting one. Where do you find these ? ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Nowhere. Just comes up from my mind. ๐Ÿ˜› Haha . No Manchester holds regular walks every single day to explore its heritage. Also, there are special walking tours. I have been to some of them but saw that there are no tours for the amazing history of these sculptures. So, Here I am presenting a Sculpture Tour for you lovely people. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Every city definitely will have a lot of history and culture, it only needs someone to explore it amidst the fast growing modern buildings and skyscrapers. The floral pattern on the walls of building near Picadilly Gardens and the sculpture from the gates of the Hidden Gem is marvelous.

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  8. These sculptures have so much character! It takes a very skilled artist to be able to portray such emotion and desire through these sculptings. Amazing! Thanks for taking us on a walk through Manchester and its history.

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  9. I have heard beautiful things about Manchester all the time but never pictured it to be so endearing. I personally love such places with so many sculptures involved. Every one of them is very pretty.

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    1. All these sculptures are very near one another. It would take you a maximum of one hour to complete the entire sculpture walk. Unless of course you would want to stop and try your hand at photography , then it might take longer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Such a great idea for an artistic tour! I love sculptures adorning cities that are rich in history. Your shots are amazing, and it’s so cool to just walk by office buildings and spot incredible works. The wholesale markets sculpture and the one with the angels in St Anneโ€™s Square are my favorites.

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    1. Let me be honest, I have no clue about football. ๐Ÿ˜› I know of course that United is a great team and deserves the fan following . But I think Manchester has other shades than just the United as well.

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  11. All of your posts make me want to visit Manchester! I had the opportunity to go, but couldn’t make it due to family obligations. I love all these architectural details. I’m gonna save this post for my next trip to the UK ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks for liking it. I have been to London and thought of doing a sculpture walk there as well. Unfortunately, I was there for a very short time and could not really capture a lot of the city. I hope to return there some day and attempt a sculpture walk in the city. It has some amazing sculptures to offer.

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  12. I enjoy marveling for hours in front of the architecture of buildings when I visit a city. I haven’t been to Manchester yet but your article makes me want to go and see those sculptures!

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  13. I love the idea, going around to appreciate and learn more about these sculptures is worth it for me! I love that most of these are seen in buildings that you wouldn’t even expect. I’d love to see more!

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  14. You are spot on about the Gothic styled architecture all over Manchester. I am an architecture admirer so it was really interesting to to read this post and go through all the pictures here. I must say these are some really intriguing pieces of sculptures.

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  15. These are incredible pieces. I’ve never been to Manchester and would not have expected to see any of these in all honesty. When I think of sculpture, I think of Madrid and Rome.

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    1. Yes. of course. When you think of sculptures it is always Rome, Italy, France, Vatican. No doubt about that. But these cities too have some nice intricate architectures and I think these needed to be brought to people’s attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Wow! Super, these are the kind of tours I love taking! Exploring a certain aspect of a city and making the most of it. Wonderful idea! I particularly like the sculptures in the Fish Market, so detailed and illustrative. Queen Victoria is also beautiful, it must be really impressive. I’d love to visit, I’d go crazy with my camera ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. There are lots of other places to go to and shoot sculptures if you really like them. Im sure you would find such hidden gems in all parts of the world. I did it in Manchester and plan to do it in India too.

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      1. Well, in fact it’s a great idea to outline a trip around a city with such an activity, my kids would love to go “gem-hunting”, and I’d love to follow them ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  17. This is fascinating, what an interesting walk to do. The more ornate ones are magnificent, but i must admit, there is something about the Wholesale Fish Market one that I just loved. I think it is the baskets!

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    1. Haha! This is only one of the sculptures adorning the gates. there are four such huge ones. Each of them depict a separate scene from the fish markets. All of them are amazing but this one is my personal favorite.

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  18. I have never thought of doing a sculpture walk of my city, maybe I should do it and find some little gems, like you did. I really like all of the four sculpture from your “odd series”, they all have that I don’t know what which makes you think of what they do represent and why they have been put there.

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  19. Very interesting concept. I’ve only been up to Manchester once on business and didn’t really have the time to take in the city much but it seems like an amazing place. I could have walked past some of these areas and been none the wiser!

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    1. On the outside Manchester might seem a small place but there is lots of see and do in this city. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do hope you can come back with some time in hand and visit its beautiful attractions. ๐Ÿ™‚

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