Manchester's Secrets

Photo of Manchester's Secrets by Lucy Michel

It is no secret that Emmeline Pankhurst, the founder of the Suffragette Movement, came from Manchester, nor that the world’s first computer was developed at the University of Manchester by Alan Turing, the same University where Rutherford split the atom. Henry Royce also developed his iconic luxury car in Manchester, the city that gave birth to the first railway line. But there are many snippets behind these stories that a lot of people, even Mancunians, don’t know.

Hidden Gems

Pubs, clubs, restaurants, churches, libraries, galleries, you name it, when it comes to hidden gems Manchester has the lot. Anyone looking for commercial property for sale in Manchester needs to be aware of these places. They could be great for business. 

Musical Heritage

Manchester is well known for its musical as well as its industrial past, with venues like the Hacienda creating its own dance scene in the 1980s, which still reverberates to this day. Most of those clubs have gone now but live music can still be heard in many pubs and clubs such as The Eagle (technically Salford) on Collier Street. Then there is the place almost as famous as The Hacienda, The Band on the Wall on Swan Street, still going strong after all these years.

If you prefer classical, Manchester is the home of the acclaimed Hallé orchestra, and they now practice at the newly redeveloped St Peters on Blossom Street, Ancoats. Built in 1859, this was the first Anglican church in the area.

Libraries and Galleries

Culturally, Manchester isn’t short of places of interest. Writers, artists and scientists helped create a city of innovation. The Portico Library on Mosley Street was once a meeting place for Manchester’s businessmen and is now a private members library, but the gallery, under a magnificent domed ceiling, is open to the public six days a week. When built in 1806, the library occupied the whole of the Grade II listed building, but now the ground floor forms The Bank pub. You might miss it though; the entrance is a small door on Charlotte Street 

Statues and Oddities

Statues and monuments celebrate Manchester’s colourful history across the city, but as you walk around you may find some rather odd things, like the mosaic Space Invaders symbols (of which there are 47 scattered about town) by the French urban artist who goes by the name of “Invader”, or the little brass peepholes (or Peeps as they are known locally) on the old buildings of Ancoats that peer into the Industrial past.

Many will have seen the bronze statue of Abe Lincoln but few would know that the monument is in honour of the Lancashire cotton workers who supported Lincoln in his quest to abolish slavery during the American Civil War.


The Three Minute Theatre Company at Afflek’s Arcade on Oldham Street is worth a visit if you are into improvisation or poetry. If you prefer a musical, the Hope Mill Theatre is the place for you. Situated in Ancoats, this company won the Fringe Venue of the Year at The Stage Awards, 2018. 

Restaurants and Cafes

The Curry Mile in Rusholme is no secret but if you really want to taste authentic ethnic food you really have to look a bit harder and not be put off by outside appearances. The Café Mahaba on Back Piccadilly offers some of the best Indian cuisine you will ever taste, all home cooked and at very reasonable prices.

If Japanese is your thing, there’s Umezushi on Mirabel Street near The Arena. There are also many fine cafes in the grand old public buildings of the City, such as Sculpture Hall situated within the Town Hall, or Christie’s Bistro at the University’s Oxford Road campus.

So remember, when you are looking at commercial property for sale in Manchester, think about Manchester’s secret places. They may well influence your thoughts.

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