Manchester Metropolitan University - Mabel Tylecote Building

The Mabel Tylecote Building used to accupy the corner of Oxford Road and Cavendish Street.  It was built in 1973 to a design by the City Architect's Department as a college for adult education but was adopted by MMU in 1991.  It was named in honour of Dr Dame Mabel Tylecote, Labour Party politician, Manchester City Councillor and advocate for adult education. 

The MMU website explained that the Tylecote Building "... houses the Languages Resource Centre, for individual and group teaching and learning, including specialist facilities for viewing international satellite TV, video-conferencing and a large collection of audio, video and computer material for individual study at all levels in Arabic, Chinese, English as a Foreign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Urdu. Mabel Tylecote’s new learning zone features four group work rooms and computing facilities including new PCs, iMacs, up-to-date creative and business software, network-attached printing and scanning devices and Wi-Fi access." The building was also home to the Capitol Theatre, the performance space for the university's drama students within the Faculty of Art and Design.

The School of Theatre started life as the drama department of the Northern School of Music in the 1960s.  It became part of MMU in 1970 and at that time their performance space was a former ABC cinema in Didsbury called the Capitol Building.  The School of Theatre moved to the All Saints Campus in 1998 and set up home in the Mabel Tylecote Building.

When the Corner House Arts Centre moved in 2016 to their new building called Home, MMU moved their School of Theatre, Filmaking, Multimedia, Journalism, Creative Writing, Languages and their public engagement programme, Humanities in Public from Mabel Tylecote into the building they renamed as 70 Oxford Street.  This would be a temporary move because it was their intention to demolish the Mabel Tylecote Building and replace it with what they described as, "... a stunning new University Arts and Cultural Hub that is planned to open in September 2018. "


When I visited the building in March of 2017, the process of demolishing the building was well underway.

The old building had incorporated the facade of the former Chorlton-on-Medlock Townhall, designed by Richard Lane.  As you can see below, that facade has been extracted from the Mabel Tylecote Building and secured so that it can be integrated into the new building when it is erected.

Update August 2018


In 1844 the foundation stone was laid for St Andrew's Free Church of Scotland on this corner of Oxford Road and Cavendish Street.  The church was designed by Edward Walters, famous in Manchester for The Free Trade Hall.  Walters also designed the Sunday School located beside St. Andrews.

The "Stranger's Guide To Manchester, 1850" says that, "... the cost of erecting St. Andrews was about £1700. The interior is neatly fitted up; the body of the church will hold 600, and the galleries 400. The dimensions of the interior are 80 feet by 48."  The church was still there when the aerial photograph below was taken on the 13th of May, 1953.  It is indicated by the red arrow.

I haven't been able to discover when the church closed as a place of worship, but clearly at some point it was transformed into commercial premises owned by the Singer Sewing Machine company.  If you click on the links below you can see two images of the building in 1958 on the Manchester Central Library website  (as long as the site is available).

Prior to the construction of the Mable Tylecote Building, the church, adjacent buildings on Oxford Road and most of the Chorlton-on-Medlock Townhall (next door on Cavendish Street) were demolished to make way for the new building.