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Report - Gorton Monastery, Manchester - February 2014

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Indecisive Moment, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Indecisive Moment

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    I've not been out for an explore for what seems like forever. A number of things was sort of getting in the way . . . . weather . . . laziness . . . lack of camera . . . weather . . . laziness . . . you get the picture! So when I got my camera back after a month away for repair I decided to get out at the first opportunity. This isn't strictly an explore but this is one of those places I've always known about but never made the effort to go and visit. When you arrive in Gorton it's hard not to notice the exquisite Victorian Gothic architecture that stands tall in all its glory. Much of Gorton is very run down and has suffered from the industrial decline, and the monastery suffered pretty much the same fate until a few years ago. It's great to see the how the monastery has been re-built from a wreck and now has a pride of place in the heart of the town. It was a cold rainy day so I didn't get a shot of the outside but made the most of my 2 hours in there.


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    Not my photo


    Some text from online

    Gorton was once the workshop of the world. Here the first locomotives taking trains across South Africa, New Zealand and Palestine were built at Gorton Tank and Gorton Locomotive Works. Here the world’s first commercial computer, Ferranti’s Mark 1, was created. All that’s gone, but what remains is extraordinary – the world heritage site that is the church and friary of St Francis, now deconsecrated and known as Gorton Monastery. It’s one of the most startling Gothic revival buildings in Britain; powerful, awe-inspiring and expertly detailed by E. W. Pugin, son of the Houses of Parliament designer A. W. Pugin. It deteriorated alarmingly a few decades ago; like Gorton after de-industrialisation. Much of the site was wrecked. But thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers it has been lovingly restored, although the project is not complete. The building was even on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World in 1997 alongside Pompeii, Macchu Picchu, The Valley of the Kings and the Taj Mahal.​


    HISTORY FROM WIKI


    The Church and Friary of St Francis, known locally as Gorton Monastery, is a 19th-century former Franciscan friary in Gorton, in east Manchester, England. The Franciscans arrived in Gorton in December 1861 and built their friary between 1863 and 1867. Most of the building work was done by the friars themselves, with a brother acting as clerk of works. The foundation stone for the church was laid in 1866 and completed in 1872; it closed for worship in 1989. It is believed to be one of the finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in the world. It was designed by Edward Welby Pugin (1834–1875), whose father, A.W.N. Pugin, promoted the revival of Gothic as the style of architecture which was the ideal expression of Roman Catholic faith and worship in church buildings

    In the 1970s E.T. Spashett, consultant architect to the Benedictines and architect of the Church Army Chapel, Blackheath, re-designed the accommodation over the cloisters, combining cells to make small dormitories and studies, and designing a new iron gate for the cloisters. This work included a large, reflective, gold, cross-shaped window (now lost), which at certain seasons caused a gold cross-shaped reflection on the public roadway. The gate and the new three-windowed cells still exist.

    The church and associated friary buildings underwent a £6.5 million restoration programme supported by funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and European Regional Development Fund. The project was completed in June 2007 when the restored buildings opened as a venue for conferences, business meetings and community events. The building is also used for a range of concerts.


    Home Page - Monastery home page

    Gorton Monastery Restoration - Manchester Evening News - Article on the restoration and revitalisation of the monastery - lots of interesting pictures showing the derelict old ruins of the building



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    Thanks for looking :)

     

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