Give the Gift of Adventure
people Your company needs a Team Building? Learn more

St. Mary's Church Manchester

Last Updated: July 21, 2024 Manchester
Tripadvisor Rating 4.5/5
5 46
Google Rating 4.9/5
avatar By Sam Baldwin

The St. Mary’s Church Manchester is locally known as The Hidden Gem. A secret church in the heart of Manchester with breathtaking artwork.

St. Mary’s Church, 17 Mulberry St, Manchester M2 6LN, United Kingdom


St. Mary’s Catholic Church, locally known as The Hidden Gem, was built in 1794. The parish church is devoted to St Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption in Heavens.

The original St. Mary’s roof collapsed during restoration work in 1835. The former structure was demolished, and the new St. Mary’s was opened to the public in 1848.

Richard Lane and Augustus Pugin were the architects who brought the new church building to life. Overall, it shows signs of Byzantine, Gothic, and Norman designs.

The exterior is mostly plain red brick with stone-lined windows, a doorway, and an embellished bell tower. The interiors show stunning Victorian carvings. There is a marble High Altar and images of Our Lady, St Patrick, St Peter, St Hilda, St John, St Stephen, St Augustine, and St Joseph. The Stations of The Cross, painted by Norman Adams, is a marvel of expressionism.

The Story

The Rock Street Chapel, 1774, was Manchester’s first Catholic Mass Centre that opened after the Reformation. In the 1790s, the rector of the Rock Street Chapel, Father Rowland Broomhead, purchased the land and started the construction of another chapel in Manchester.

The roof of the church collapsed in August 1835 after the crack in the dome above the altar propagated throughout the roof. The search for a new church site was put on hold when its rector Father Gillow died of the typhus epidemic.

In 1837, the old building was completely demolished, and the new St. Mary’s construction started.

A popular myth is that St. Mary’s was built in secrecy or hidden from the public eye. However, records from local newspapers prove that its opening was announced in the paper, and its location, Mulberry Street, was a busy road back in the day.

St Mary's Church, Hulme photo by David Dixon

Did You Know?

What Is St. Mary’s Church Manchester Famous For?

St. Mary’s is famous for its architecture, Italian design, modern artwork, and peaceful environment.

People come to the church to escape the fast-paced life of the bustling city outside. The volunteers and members of the clergy are polite and welcoming.

The design and decor of the church are something to behold. Art buffs visit to appreciate the splendour of architecture, stone carving, sculpturing, and painting. The Stations of the Cross embody modern art and embrace a powerful expressionist style.

The church is also famous for its daily masses and other religious activities. People come here for meditation, prayers, reflection, or simply to find peace.

How To Get There?

Deansgate (0.8 Miles) and Manchester Piccadilly (0.9 Miles) are nearest railway stations. The St James Square bus station is only 3 minute walk away.

Here are all the buses, trains, and light railways that pass through a stop near St. Mary’s:

Bus: 100, 135, 192, 202, 34A, 37, 41, 67A

Train: Northern, Transport for Wales

Light rail: Pink Line

Nearby Parking And Cost

The church is down a quiet back street, so finding parking spots may not be a big issue.

A few nearby parking spaces are:

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

It may take an hour or two to soak in St. Mary’s splendour. After that, you can visit a few nearby attractions:

Find yourself among the finest collection of rare books and valuable manuscripts.

Find out all about the past, present, and future of democracy in Britain.

Top 3 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
Chetham’s Library 0.5 mile
Manchester Roman Ruins 0.6 mile
Greater Manchester Police Museum 0.9 mile

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at St Mary’s Church Manchester.
  2. Take a brief stroll to Chetham’s Library, a historic gem with an extensive collection of books and a serene atmosphere.
  3. Next, go for a short walk to reach the Manchester Roman Ruins and explore the remnants of the city’s ancient history.
  4. Conclude your day at the Greater Manchester Police Museum, delving into the history of law enforcement in the region.

The hidden gem locations in Manchester offer a diverse and enriching experience, allowing you to explore the city’s history, culture, and literature. The close proximity of these sites facilitates an efficient and enjoyable day of exploration, with the flexibility to navigate on foot or use public transport. Manchester’s hidden gems provide a genuine and authentic glimpse into the city’s unique character and heritage.

Best Eateries Around

Hungry from all this sightseeing? Grab a bite at one of the following eateries:

Fan of the epic British Gangster series? This pub/restaurant is a must-visit!

A hearty meal with affordable prices… Pizza Express is famous among pizza lovers of all ages.

Entry Price

Entry to St. Mary’s is free of cost.

inside view of St Mary's The Hidden Gem photo by diamond geezer

Final Thoughts

Since 1794, this church in Manchester has stood as a cherished hidden gem, a Roman Catholic sanctuary in the city, serving as a treasure of architectural beauty and spirituality.

Solve Manchester mysteries as you visit it’s most exciting spots like never before. Book Manchester Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues to uncover the city’s amazing history and hidden gems!


Find more details about the church, including its historical significance and its location in the heart of Manchester.

What is the hidden gem of Manchester?

It refers to St. Mary’s on Mulberry Street. This unique church is a significant part of Manchester’s historical architecture and is cited as the first permanent Roman Catholic Church built in Manchester after the Reformation.

What architectural style does St. Mary’s exemplify?

The architecture of the church is primarily of the Victorian era. It is made with brick walls, a slate roof and a stone doorway. Its unique architectural style stands out in the city centre of Manchester.

What should visitors expect inside St. Mary’s?

Inside it, visitors will find a stunning High Altar made from marble and a beautiful Tabernacle. One of the most profound religious sites inside the church is the Stations of the Cross.

Who is the rector of St. Mary’s?

The Rector of the church is Father Henry Gillow. Under his guidance, the church and its parish have grown in strength and unity over the years.

How can one find the Church in Manchester?

It is located on Mulberry Street, near Deansgate in the Centre of Manchester, UK. Its unique architecture is not easy to miss in the bustling City Centre.


City Secrets from this category

Discover The Hidden Gems in Your City

Melbourne Storm Tunnels (Maze Drain)

Melbourne Storm Tunnels (Maze Drain)

City Secrets

The tunnels are an engineering project designed to manage stormwater and prevent urban flooding. They are crucial for the city's infrastructure, ...

May 14, 2024 read more
Princes Pier Refurbishment (Port Melbourne, Victoria)

Princes Pier Refurbishment (Port Melbourne, Victoria)

City Secrets

Princes Pier in Port Melbourne is recognized for its historical significance and restored wooden gatehouse. Originally a major arrival point for ...

May 14, 2024 read more
Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance

Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance

City Secrets

The Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance is a war memorial that honors Victorians who have served in global conflicts. It is a place for reflection and ...

May 14, 2024 read more

Choose Your Adventure

Secret Manchester

  • clock
    1.5 - 2.5 hours
  • difficult
  • price
    £15 per person

Welcome to Secret Manchester by Adventure Clues, where we transform Manchester into a vast playground of mystery and discovery. Using our unique combination of riddles and hints, you'll dive deep into the backstory of the city and reveal its secrets.