Fodor's Expert Review Town Hall
Editor's Note: This property is currently undergoing renovations.
Manchester's imposing Town Hall, with its 280-foot-tall clock tower, speaks volumes about the city's 19th-century sense of self-importance. Alfred Waterhouse designed the Victorian Gothic building (1867–76); extensions were added just before World War II. Over the main entrance is a statue of Roman general Agricola, who founded Mamucium in AD 79. Just inside the entrance, the Sculpture Hall has a magnificent low vaulted ceiling; now used as an atmospheric café, its walls are lined with Gothic-style alcoves and statues of famous Mancunians. The Great Hall is decorated with murals of the city's history, painted between 1852 and 1865 by the Pre-Raphaelite Ford Madox Brown, which the public can view for free so long as the room isn't being used by officials. Clock tower tours are available from companies like Manchester Guided Tours and New Manchester Walks.