Friend's Meeting House

The Society of Friends had been meeting in Manchester for 200 years before they purchased this site on Mount Street and built a Meeting House. One of its claims to fame is the fact that during the Peterloo Massacre, that occured nearby on St Peter's Field, the "Friends" tended to the injured who were carried there for safety.

That Meeting House soon became too small for the growing congregation and in 1828-29 the Friends commissioned a fellow Quaker, Richard Lane, to build this fine building with its 3-bay portico.

The building had two halls for the separate use of men and women.  Lane designed a moveable screen that allowed the mens' and womens' meeting rooms to be connected when required.

Lane went on to build the Corn Exchange near the Cathedral. Lane's pupil at the time was Alfred Waterhouse and in 1861 he made some alterations to the interior of the building. Waterhouse went on to build Manchester Town Hall and the magnificent Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London.

In addition to Lane and Waterhouse the congregation at this Meeting House included John Dalton, the famous chemist and George Bradshaw who founded the railway guide that Sherlock Holmes refers to so often when asking Watson to check train times.