Gorton Monastery

Posted on by Hannah Waugh

The Church and Friary of St. Francis, is known locally as Gorton Monastery. Is it a former 19th century Franciscans priory, the Franciscans came to Gorton in 1961 and started building the friary in 1863 and the work lasted around 4 years. The majority of the work was done by the Franciscan people themselves.

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

In 1866 the foundation stone for the church was laid, with the actually building being completed in 1872, but it then closed and held its last mass in 1989. The architecture of the building is a Victorian Gothic style and was designed by Edward Welby Pugin, and has been a grade II* listed building since 1963, the building is regularly known as a Catholic masterpiece.

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Exterior of Gorton Monastery

In the 70’s there became a decline as the apartments around were pulled down under a housing renewal programme, the Franciscan brothers left and the building was sold to a developer and converted into flats, the scheme failed and was taken over by vandals who damaged most the churches interior along with fittings and artefacts. Twelve of the statues of saints, that had been located along the walls of the church turned up at auction at Sotheby’s.

GORTON MONASTERY, Manchester, UK,

Gorton Monastery saint statue Manchester

One of the Saints statues being returned to its plinth

Paul Griffths Gorton Monastery Manchester

Paul Griffiths, and his wife Elaine campaigned to save the building

Queen Gorton Monastery Manchester royalty

Her Majesty the Queen visiting Gorton Monastery

In 1966 the Monastery started to undergo a £6 million restoration supported by funds from The Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the European Regional Development Fund. The project was completed in 2007 when the building opened as a venue for conferences, business meetings and community events. Then came the construction of the “Welcome Wing” that offers eduction facilities and things for the community, there was also restoration on the altars, some decorations and floor tiles. 

Sculptor Manchester monastery Manchester artwork statue saint

Sculptor Andrew Scantlebury from Didsbury working on Gorton Monasteries saints statues

Jesus Christ Gorton Monastery Manchester crucifix

Interior of detail on crucifix

Jesus Christ Gorton Monastery Manchester crucifix

Interior of Christ on the Crucifix

Jesus Christ Gorton Monastery Manchester crucifix

Interior of Christ on the Crucifix

Gorton

Gorton is an area in the city of Manchester, Manchester City F.C. was founded at St Marks (in west Gorton) that was originally formed as a way to bind the local community and combat some of the gang crime in the area. Gorton’s name means dirty farmstead that some people believe could take it name from Gore Brook or dirty brook, that still runs through the town today. 

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery on Gorton Lane

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

Gorton Monastery Manchester exterior architecture detail

Gorton Monastery Interior

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