St Ann's Church

Manchester's first church was built in the vicinity of the present Cathedral. It was replaced, and then the replacement was modified until it was designated as a Collegiate Church. When the community needed a second church, it was built not far away on Acres Field.

The church, built between 1709 and 1712, was design by John Barker in a classical style that is thought to have been influenced by Barker's friend Christopher Wren. The church was sponsored by Lady Ann Bland and made possible by an act of Parliament signed by Queen Ann. So appropriately it was named St. Ann's.


The church once had a tall cupola on top of the tower but that was removed in 1800. Between 1887 and 1891 Waterhouse, the architect of the Town Hall, remodelled the church and he added a baroque entrance porch on the north wall.

 In the 19th Century the graveyard was given over to the council but there are still 579 graves surrounding the church, though only a few tombstones remain visible.

You might have thought that with the Royal Exchange and other buildings between it and the IRA bomb on Corporation Street that the church would have been unaffected. However, it is testimony to the power of that bomb that the windows, especially at gallery level, suffered the full force of the blast. Fortunately, the organ wasn't in the church at the time since it was being restored.