John Rylands Library is part of the University of Manchester. The magnificent Victorian neo-Gothic structure on Manchester’s Deansgate, a main road, looks more like a cathedral or castle than a library. Inside, you’ll find one of the country’s most extraordinary special collections of medieval and religious manuscripts, rare prints and even the personal papers and letters of famous figures.
When entrepreneur and philanthropist John Rylands died in 1888, he was one of Manchester’s most successful industrialists. Two years after his death, Rylands’ wife founded the library, which merged with the University of Manchester library in 1972. The special collections of both libraries is among the largest in the United Kingdom.
Today, John Rylands Library is a perfect stop for an hour or two on a rainy morning or afternoon. From Deansgate, make your way past the historic library to the modern main entrance. Sit down with a book and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, have a drink in the café, or simply wander through the magnificent halls.
Find out how the oldest known piece of the New Testament, the St. John Fragment, found its way into this collection. This tiny scrap of Greek papyrus is believed to be over 1,800 years old. You can also find examples of early European printing and one of the largest collections of prints by William Caxton, including a 1476 edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
The library also offers a program of readings, tours and workshops. Special temporary exhibitions are organized throughout the year and are usually free of charge. Be sure to check the library website for details of the latest events before your visit.
John Rylands Library is best reached by public transport. The nearest bus and tram stops are at St. Peter’s Square and Albert Square. The library is open daily, but closed on Monday and Sunday mornings. There’s no entrance fee. Note that in this building every sound is hushed, so it isn’t the best place to visit with young children.
Located in Market Street, this hotel is steps from Exchange Square, Manchester Cathedral, and Urbis. Manchester Arena and Arndale Centre are also within 10 minutes.
This 19th century heritage hotel is one block from Manchester's Chinatown, 500 meters from the Palace theatre, and close to Piccadilly Gardens, the Manchester Conference Center, and the city's financial district.
Built in 1903 to serve the central railway, the hotel stands in St. Peter's Square, near the train station of the same name. The impressive monuments of Albert Square are a 3-minute walk away, and it's only a little farther to the cultural attractions of the Opera House and Palace Theatre.
Manchester is one of Britain's most vibrant and dynamic cities, and boasts the UK's largest financial centre outside of London. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester enjoys a spectacular location on Peter Street in the heart of Manchester. This places it right next to Manchester Central Convention Centre. The hotel is also opposite the Bridgewater Hall, home of the Halle Orchestra; the Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester Hotel is only half an hour's drive from Manchester airport. St Peters Square metro stop is moments away with great connections to the city.
Overlooking Rochdale Canal, Jurys Inn Manchester City Centre is a 5-minute walk from Deansgate Castlefield Metrolink Station. Guests can walk 10 minutes to the nightlife of Canal Street, and just a little farther to Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre.
Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Gardens, Affleck's Palace, and Arndale Centre. Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Palace Theatre are also within 15 minutes.
This modern hotel rises above Piccadilly Gardens in the centre of Manchester. Arndale Shopping, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, the Manchester Central Convention Centre, and the Northern Quarter are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Manchester City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manchester Conference Centre and Affleck's Palace. Manchester Palace Theatre and Arndale Centre are also within 15 minutes.