Manchester Natural History Museum - Peter Street

The first Museum of Natural History in Manchester occupied a building on Peter Street in 1821.  Some thirty-four years later the Theatre Royal was erected next door.  The street that separated the two was called Museum Street.

The segment of the Adshead Map of 1851, above, is shown with the permission of Chetham's Library

You can get a glimpse of the museum in the old postcard image below.  It sits on Peter Street just beyond the Midland Hotel and unfortunately just behind the lamp post.

In 1850 the collection of the Manchester Geological Society was added to the museum.  By 1860 both organizations had run into financial problems and the museum building was struggling to accommodate the collection.  In 1867 Owens College (which later became the University of Manchester) took over responsibility for the collection and they moved it to their new building on Oxford Road.

The old museum building on Peter Street was demolished to make way for St. George's House, the home of the Young Men's Christian Association.  The postcard image below seems to show the site of the museum, beside the Midland Hotel, surrounded by fencing after the mueum had been demolished.

St. George's House was completed in 1911.


The street is still called Museum Street perhaps to puzzle the passers-by.