Founded in 1653, and housed in buildings dating back to 1421, Chetham’s is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world and home to over 100,000 of the UK’s rarest volumes, dating back as far as the 13th century. Tucked away in the heart of Manchester’s Medieval Quarter, this wonderfully atmospheric place is a remarkable legacy.
Packed with historical fact and fascinating stories, tours of Chetham’s Library are led by our expert volunteers. Take a seat at the very desk where Marx and Engels’ research led to The Communist Manifesto, and view facsimiles of the very books they pored over; admire the Hogwarts-esque gated shelves; see the chained library, and the original 17th-century furniture.
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We’re now taking steps to preserve our delicate ancient buildings by limiting numbers on our daily tours, and asking all...