Deansgate is a main road (part of the A56) through Manchester city centre, England. It runs roughly north–south in a near straight route through the western part of the city centre and is the longest road in the city centre at over one mile long.[1]

UK road A56
Manchester Deansgate
Aerial view of Deansgate from the Beetham Tower
Length1.0 mi (1.6 km)
LocationManchester, UK
North endVictoria Street
South endCastlefield
Known forShopping, Kendals, the Great Northern Warehouse, the John Rylands Library, Beetham Tower, Manchester Cathedral


Deansgate is one of the city's oldest thoroughfares. In Roman times its route passed close to the Roman fort of Mamucium and led from the River Medlock where there was a ford and the road to Deva (Chester). Along its length were several civilian buildings and a mansio in the vicinity of the Hilton Hotel.[2] Part of it was called Aldport Lane from Saxon times. (Aldport was the Saxon name for Castlefield.) Until the 1730s the area was rural but became built up after the development of a quay on the river.[3]

The road is named after the lost River Dene, which may have flowed along the Hanging Ditch connecting the River Irk to the River Irwell, at the street's northern end.[4] ("Gate" derives from the Norse gata, meaning way).

By the late 19th century Deansgate was an area of varied uses: its northern end had shopping and substantial office buildings while further south were slums and a working class area around St John's Church (St John Street remaining upper middle class). The Wood Street Mission began to address the social problems in 1869 and its work continues in a very different form.[5] From Peter Street southwards the eastern side was dominated by the viaducts of the Great Northern and Manchester South Junction Railways, while the Rochdale Canal crossed below Deansgate to connect with the other waterways beyond. In the late 20th century Deansgate was home to the head office of the Manchester Evening News newspaper, now replaced by part of the Spinningfields development.


Deansgate begins at Victoria Street, a 19th-century creation. Its east side was occupied by the Victoria Buildings built on a triangular site by Manchester Corporation in 1876 but demolished in a bomb raid in the Manchester Blitz in December 1940.[6] A statue of Oliver Cromwell at the northern corner commemorated Manchester's support for Parliament in the English Civil War. The statue was a gift to the city by Mrs Abel Heywood in memory of her first husband, Thomas Goadsby and was the first large statue of Cromwell to be raised in the open anywhere in England.[7]

At the northern end of Deansgate is Victoria Street, on which lies Manchester Cathedral, and at the southern end is Deansgate railway station. At this point Deansgate connects with Bridgewater Viaduct and Chester Road (Whitworth Street West meets it at this point). The section to the south of Peter Street was known as Aldport Street until the end of the 18th century.[8]

The street contains many shops including a House of Fraser department store known as Kendals from the 1830s until 2005, and Waterstones along with many public houses and bars including the Moon Under Water, formerly the Deansgate Cinema (or ABC Deansgate). At 820 square metres (8,800 sq ft), able to accommodate 1,700 customers, and employing 60 staff, it has been listed in The Guinness Book of Records as the largest public house in Britain.[9] Elliot House was the Manchester Registry Office and before that the offices of the corporation's Education Department.

The northern end of the street adjoined the Shambles and was badly damaged in the 1996 Manchester City Centre bombing. The area was redeveloped and houses several new buildings, including No. 1 Deansgate and the Manchester branch of Harvey Nichols. Other buildings in the Deansgate area include the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Beetham Tower, and the redeveloped Great Northern Warehouse. Historic buildings include the John Rylands Library and the Barton Arcade shopping mall. The disused Manchester and Salford Junction canal runs directly underneath Deansgate below the Great Northern Warehouse.

Deansgate (Manchester City Council ward) 2018
Deansgate electoral ward within Manchester City Council


Deansgate railway station: station frontage which features the previous "Knott Mill" name

Today, the main transport links on Deansgate are the National Rail and Manchester Metrolink stations and a number of bus routes, including the Metroshuttle services. Deansgate Station was opened at Knott Mill on 20 July 1849 by the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway. It is linked to Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station on the Metrolink system.

In the first half of the 20th century Deansgate was a route for trams operated by Manchester Corporation Tramways, and subsequently carried numerous bus services. During the 1970s many bus routes were diverted or separated into two services terminating in the city centre and adjoining streets such as King Street were pedestrianised.

In 2009 there were calls for traffic to be banned on Deansgate and for it to be pedestrianised.[10] The calls were triggered in response to road works that closed parts of Deansgate. Some argued that the disablement of a major traffic route in the city centre could have a damaging economic effect[11] while others argued that a vehicle-free Deansgate would attract more shoppers.


Deansgate F1 2011
Jenson Button drives a McLaren F1 car down Deansgate

Deansgate is a long straight street which has provided a venue for sporting events in the city centre. In 2006 A1 Racing cars visited the city to launch A1 Grand Prix, and used Deansgate as part of the route.[12] In August 2011 thousands packed the street as Jenson Button drove a McLaren MP4-23 along Deansgate as part of the Vodafone Vip Live Manchester festival.

In 2001 the inaugural Great City Games took place on Deansgate, which featured a 150-metre sprinting track. The event has become an annual fixture on the Great Manchester Run weekend during mid-May. Usain Bolt set a world record for the 150 m straight in 2009 and Tyson Gay ran the 200 m straight in record time in 2010.[13][14]



  1. ^ "Manchester Deansgate Bars",, retrieved 4 August 2011, Located at the top end of Deansgate, the mile long road that runs through the city centre
  2. ^ When Manchester was Mamucium, Manchester Council, retrieved 25 April 2012
  3. ^ Deansgate/Peter Street Conservation Area, Manchester Council, retrieved 25 April 2012
  4. ^ Cooper 2003, p. 52
  5. ^ Heaton 1995, p. ?
  6. ^ There were 31 shops on the ground floor of Victoria Buildings and many offices on the floors above. Victoria Arcade ran through the block and at the northern end was the Victoria Hotel with 100 rooms.
  7. ^ Hardy, Clive (2000) Francis Frith's Greater Manchester. Salisbury: Francis Frith Collection; pp. 67–69, 71
  8. ^ Laurent (1793) "Plan of Manchester and Salford illustrated", in: Bradshaw (1985), p. 20
  9. ^ Parkinson-Bailey 2000, p. 287
  10. ^ "Should traffic be banned from Deansgate?", Manchester Evening News, 24 August 2009
  11. ^ Thompson, Dan (25 August 2009), "Deansgate car ban `could kill city centre'", Manchester Evening News
  12. ^ Scheerhout, John (14 August 2006), "Race cars roar down city streets", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 22 August 2011
  13. ^ Bolt runs 14.35 sec for 150m; covers 50m-150m in 8.70 sec!, IAAF, 17 May 2009, retrieved 14 September 2011
  14. ^ "Tyson Gay breaks Tommie Smith's 200m mark in Manchester", BBC Sport, 16 May 2010, retrieved 17 September 2011


  • Cooper, Glynis (2003), Hidden Manchester, Breedon Books Publishing, ISBN 1-85983-401-9
  • Heaton, Frank (1995), The Manchester Village: Deansgate remembered, Neil Richardson
  • Parkinson-Bailey, John J. (2000), Manchester: An Architectural History, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-5606-3

Further reading

Route map:

  • Atkins, Philip (1976). Guide Across Manchester. Manchester: Civic Trust for the North West. ISBN 0-901347-29-9.
  • Bradshaw, L. D. (1985). Origins of Street Names in the City of Manchester. Radcliffe: Neil Richardson. ISBN 0-907511-87-2.
1 The Avenue

1 The Avenue is a building in Spinningfields, Manchester. It is situated on Deansgate adjacent to the grade-I listed John Rylands Library.

46–48 Brown Street

46–48 Brown Street is a grade-II building in Manchester, England. Situated in the Spring Gardens area of Manchester city centre near King Street, it was home to Brook's Bank. The building is also known as Lombard Chambers.It was built as a bank in 1868, and designed by George Truefitt. The building has a sandstone ashlar exterior and slate roof. It is eclectic in style but has Gothic elements. At the corner there is a three-storey oriel topped with an intricate ironwork crown.

50 Newton Street

50 Newton Street Newton Buildings, is a Grade II listed former warehouse in Manchester, England. Located on Newton Street in the Northern Quarter area, it was built in 1906-8 by a design from Charles Clegg & Son. It was designed with a degree of flair and panache and is described by English Heritage as an example of "Free Baroque" architecture. The hat factory it replaced was destroyed by fire in 1906.

Barton Arcade

Barton Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade in Manchester, England, located between Deansgate and St Ann's Square.

The arcade was listed as a Grade II* listed building on the 25 January 1972. The listing includes the "block of shops (Barton's Building) and offices enclosing the arcades." It was constructed by Corbett, Raby and Sawyer in 1871.

Hartwell describes the Barton's Building facade as "utterly ignorant.. the ground floor pilasters must be seen to be believed." The arcade, however, is "a gorgeous glass and iron shopping arcade with glass domes..., the best example of this type of cast-iron and glass arcade anywhere in the country."

The entrance to the arcade on St Ann's Square incorporates a large, cast iron and glass wall. The two entrances on Deansgate are hidden behind the Barton Building. The building is of "four storeys with an attic, a long nine-bay facade to Deansgate, divided in half horizontally by a balustraded balcony". The structure is composed of cast iron and glass. The iron work was supplied by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow.

The building was one of the first to be built on the newly widened Deansgate. The arcade was restored in the 1980s. The original shop fronts and decorative floor no longer exist.In 1957 the Barton Arcade was sold privately for a sum "in the region of £200,000" for 12 shops and three floors of offices and showrooms. It was bought by an insurance company and Town and City Properties Ltd. The total net floor area was 55,000 sq ft and in 1957 the rent roll was about £17,000 a year. It is named after its original developer.

Beetham Tower, Manchester

Beetham Tower (also known as the Hilton Tower) is a landmark 47-storey mixed use skyscraper in Manchester, England. Completed in 2006, it is named after its developers, the Beetham Organisation, and was designed by SimpsonHaugh and Partners. The development occupies a sliver of land at the top of Deansgate, hence its elongated plan, and was proposed in July 2003, with construction starting a year later.

At a height of 554 feet (169 m), it is the tallest externally complete building in Manchester and tallest outside London in the United Kingdom. It was described by the Financial Times as "the UK's first proper skyscraper outside London". From 2006 to 2018, the skyscraper was the tallest building in Manchester and outside London in the United Kingdom. In November 2018 it was surpassed by the newly topped out South Tower at Deansgate Square; which is 659 feet (201 m) tall.As a result of the elongated floor plan, the structure is one of the thinnest skyscrapers in the world with a height to width ratio of 10:1 on the east west façade, but is noticeably wider on the north south façade. A four-metre cantilever marks the transition between hotel and residential use on the north façade, and a blade structure on the south side of the building acts as a façade overrun accentuating its slim form and doubles as a lightning rod. The skyscraper is visible from ten English counties on a clear day.

The top floor penthouse offers views of Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain, the Pennines and Snowdonia. The tower is known for emitting a loud unintentional hum or howl in windy weather, believed to emanate from the glass 'blade' atop the building. The hum has been recorded as a B below middle C and can be heard over large parts of the local area.Architectural response to the skyscraper is polarised and interpretations vary. Some questioned its dominant appearance over the city – particularly over listed buildings with one author going as far to say the skyscraper instantly "torpedoed" any possibility of Manchester becoming a UNESCO World Heritage City – a status Manchester was previously on the United Kingdom shortlist for due its industrial past.Others feel its dramatic appearance and peculiarity is reflective of Manchester, and that the Beetham Tower symbolises Manchester's reinvention as a post-industrial city - particularly since the bombing of 1996. Nevertheless, it has received praise and was awarded the best tall building in the world in 2007 by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In 2019, it was the subject of a legal dispute over the need for urgent repair works to parts of the glass panel facade.

Castlefield Congregational Chapel

Castlefield Congregational Chapel is a building located at 378 Deansgate, Manchester, England. The building originally opened as a Congregational chapel in 1858, and was designed by the local architect Edward Walters. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. It is located in Castlefield, an Urban Heritage Park.The building was converted to a sound recording studio in the 1980s and owned by Pete Waterman, best known for Stock Aitken Waterman. Rick Astley recorded Never Gonna Give You Up in the chapel. Waterman sold the building in 2006 and it has since been converted to offices.

Cornbrook tram stop

Cornbrook tram stop is a tram stop on Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system in the Cornbrook area of Manchester, England. It is an interchange station, allowing passenger transfer between the network's Altrincham, Eccles, Airport and South Manchester lines. The station opened on 6 December 1999 for line transfers and allowed street-level entry and exit to the public from 3 September 2005. It takes its name from Cornbrook Road, between the A56 and Pomona Docks on the Manchester Ship Canal, and was built on what was a Cheshire Lines Committee route to Manchester Central railway station. The stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network.

Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop

Deansgate-Castlefield is a tram stop on Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system, on Deansgate in the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre. It opened on 27 April 1992 as G-Mex tram stop, taking its name from the adjacent G-Mex Centre, a concert, conference and exhibition venue; the G-Mex Centre was rebranded as Manchester Central in 2007, prompting the Metrolink stop to be renamed on 20 September 2010. The station underwent redevelopment in 2014–15 to add an extra platform in preparation for the completion of the Second City Crossing in 2016–17.

Deansgate-Castlefield serves as a transport hub by integrating with National Rail services from Deansgate railway station by a footbridge. Exits from the station lead to the Great Northern Warehouse, the reconstructed Mamucium Roman Fort, the Beetham Tower, and Deansgate Locks. Part of Zone 1, the stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network.

Deansgate (ward)

The Deansgate electoral ward of Manchester City Council was created by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to replace part of the City Centre ward in 2018.Different parts of this ward are represented by different MPs following boundary changes in 2018; the majority of the ward is part of the Manchester Central constituency but a portion is part of the Blackley and Broughton constituency.

Deansgate Square

Deansgate Square, formerly known as Owen Street, is a skyscraper cluster development currently under construction on the southern edge of Manchester City Centre, consisting of four skyscrapers, the highest will be 201 metres (659 feet) tall when completed. The site is just south of Deansgate railway station and north of the Mancunian Way, bounded by Old Deansgate, Pond Street, Owen Street and the River Medlock. Manchester City Council adopted a framework in the early 2000s, known as the Great Jackson Street Development Framework, which earmarked the site as an acceptable location for high-rise buildings. The framework was enacted to encourage building development as the site had been vacant for many years and was perceived to be isolated as it was bounded by major arterial roads.In 2016, the scheme was revived with a planning application for a cluster of four skyscrapers — the tallest being South Tower at 201 metres (659 feet). Although incomplete, the topped out concrete core and floor plates of the South Tower surpassed the 169–metre Beetham Tower as the tallest building in Manchester in November 2018. It will be the 5th tallest building in the United Kingdom after Shard London Bridge, One Canada Square, Heron Tower and the Leadenhall Building - all of which are in London.

Construction on the tower complex officially began in July 2016 with developer Renaker beginning construction on South and West Towers which will be 201 and 140 metres tall. Construction commenced on North & East Towers, which will be 122 and 158 metres tall, in October 2017 with these two towers continuing to rise in 2018 as work on the South and West Towers tops out and interior fit out commences. As of June 2019, additional towers are under construction in the adjacent vicinity as part of the Great Jackson Street Development Framework, including the 155 metre Elizabeth Tower.

Deansgate railway station

Deansgate is a railway station in Manchester city centre, England, approximately 1,100 yards (1 km) west of Manchester Piccadilly in the Castlefield area, at the junction of Deansgate and Whitworth Street West. It is part of the Manchester station group.

It is linked to Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop and the Manchester Central Complex by a footbridge built in 1985; Deansgate Locks, The Great Northern Warehouse and the Museum of Science and Industry are also nearby.

The platforms are elevated, reached by lift or stairs, or by the walkway from the Manchester Central Complex. The ticket office, staffed full-time, is between street and platform levels. There are no ticket barriers, although manual ticket checks take place on a daily basis.

It is on the Manchester to Preston and the Liverpool to Manchester lines, both heavily used by commuters. Most tickets purchased by passengers to Deansgate are issued to Manchester Stations or Manchester Central Zone, therefore actual usage is not reflected in these statistics, due to the difficulty in splitting the ticket sales correctly between the four grouped stations (Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road and Deansgate).

Great Northern Warehouse

The Great Northern Warehouse is the former railway goods warehouse of the Great Northern Railway in Manchester city centre, England, which was refurbished into a leisure complex in 1999. The building is at the junction of Deansgate and Peter Street. It was granted Grade II* listed building status in 1974.The warehouse was built to be fireproof with a steel frame on a rectangular plan, 267 feet long by 217 feet wide and five storeys high, with 27 windows on the east and west sides and 17 windows on the north and south ends. All four sides have friezes lettered in white brick reading "Great Northern Railway Company's Goods Warehouse". It was built above the Manchester and Salford Junction Canal, and a dock beneath was constructed to allow goods to be transferred to and from canal barges via shafts and a complex system of haulage using hydraulic power. The building could hold a total of 150 goods wagons across two of its levels, with capacity for a further 500 in its sidings. Its construction effectively wiped out the district of Alport Town, which had included 300 houses, and "Over 800 men were employed on the site. 25 million bricks, 50,000 tons of concrete, 12,000 tons of mild steel and 65 miles of rivets were used in its construction".According to Historic England, the warehouse is a "unique survival of a three-way railway goods exchange station, serving the railway, canal and road networks of the Manchester region."The development includes a cinema, casino, restaurants, bowling alley, bar, gym, and a multi-storey car park.

John Rylands Library

The John Rylands Library is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic building on Deansgate in Manchester, England. The library, which opened to the public in 1900, was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands. The John Rylands Library and the library of the University of Manchester merged in July 1972 into the John Rylands University Library of Manchester; today it is part of The University of Manchester Library.

Special collections built up by both libraries were progressively concentrated in the Deansgate building. The special collections, believed to be among the largest in the United Kingdom, include medieval illuminated manuscripts and examples of early European printing, including a Gutenberg Bible, the second largest collection of printing by William Caxton, and the most extensive collection of the editions of the Aldine Press of Venice. The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 has a claim to be the earliest extant New Testament text. The library holds personal papers and letters of notable figures, among them Elizabeth Gaskell and John Dalton.

The architectural style is primarily neo-Gothic with elements of Arts and Crafts Movement in the ornate and imposing gatehouse facing Deansgate which dominates the surrounding streetscape. The library, granted Grade I listed status in 1994, is maintained by the University of Manchester and open for library readers and visitors.


Kendals was the name mostly used by Mancunians of a department store in Manchester, England now operated as House of Fraser. The store had previously been known during its operation as Kendal Milne, Kendal, Milne & Co, Kendal, Milne & Faulkner, Harrods or Watts.

Lincoln House, Manchester

Lincoln House was an office building on Deansgate in Manchester, England. It was designed in the 1980s by Holford Associates. It was completely clad in glass and was designed as a deliberate response to the 1960s and 1970s Brutalist architecture that engulfed many British cities. It was built in 1986 for the Lincoln House Chambers, a legal practise based in Manchester.By the 1980s the Manchester City Council Planning Department rejected Brutalist proposals in the city believing such buildings to be cold and depressing pieces of architecture. The department were instead inclined to approve safe architecture such as brick buildings. Holford Associates set about fulfilling this move forward by proposing a glass building which demonstrated the latest technologies and improvements in neoprene sealants.It was demolished in 2017.

Manchester Reform Club

The Reform Club in Spring Gardens, Manchester, England, is a former gentlemen's club of the Victorian era. Constructed in 1870–1871 in the Venetian Gothic style by Edward Salomons in collaboration with Irish architect John Philpot Jones, the club is "his best city centre building" and is a Grade II* listed building as of 3 October 1974. The contract for construction was awarded to "Mr Nield, builder, Manchester for £20,000". Built as a club house for Manchester's Liberal Party elite, the building was opened by Earl Granville, Gladstone's Foreign Secretary, on October 19, 1871.

The building is constructed of sandstone ashlar with polychrome dressings and hipped slate roofs and is three-storey with elaborate corner turrets and oriel windows and balconies. The main entrance is "richly adorned with carving including winged beasts". The interior contains a "fine staircase, a (two-storey) grand dining room and an enormous billiard room, running the whole length of the building, in the roof". The "hall and staircase (have) linenfold panelling."Declining membership in the late 20th century led the club to merge with the Engineers' Club in 1967 to form the Manchester Club, but this failed to prove financially viable and was wound up in 1988. The Club's archives are held at the John Rylands Library, Deansgate. The building is now a restaurant and bar.

Manchester station group

The Manchester station group is a station group (for fares purposes) of four railway stations in Manchester city centre, England consisting of Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria and Deansgate. The station group is printed on national railway tickets as MANCHESTER STNS. For commuters travelling from one of the 91 National Rail stations in Greater Manchester, the four stations are printed as MANCHESTER CTLZ which additionally permits the use of Metrolink tram services in Zone 1 (between Deansgate-Castlefield, New Islington and Victoria).

The Manchester station group does not include Manchester Airport station, nor Salford Central railway stations. Prior to the opening of the Ordsall Chord in 2017, few routes stopped at multiple stations in the group, for instance the TransPennine Express Northwest route called at Deansgate, Oxford Road and Piccadilly. However there has been a sharp increase with more 'through' (as opposed to terminating) services through Manchester as part of the new May 2018 timetable – for example, the TransPennine Express from Newcastle to Manchester Airport now calls at Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly.

It is permitted that rail passengers may board or disembark at any one of these four stations. National visitors from outside Greater Manchester with MANCHESTER STNS as the destination are not permitted to use Metrolink in Zone 1 as it is a locally funded transport scheme by the council tax payers of Greater Manchester (and subsequently funded through TfGM) and receives no national government subsidy.Note that when using the National Routeing Guide, Salford Central railway station is shown as part of the Manchester Group. This means that tickets to or from Salford with Route: Any Permitted have the same validity as those to or from MANCHESTER STNS, but cannot be used interchangeably.

No. 1 Deansgate

No. 1 Deansgate is the name and location of a medium-rise apartment building in central Manchester, England. It is the tallest all-steel residential building in the United Kingdom, and one of the most expensive addresses in Manchester. The building was completed in 2002, and is situated at the north end of Deansgate close to Manchester Cathedral.

St Peter's Square tram stop

St Peter's Square is a tram stop in St Peter's Square in Manchester city centre, England. It opened on 27 April 1992 and is in Zone 1 of Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system. The stop's platforms were extended in 2009. Later redevelopment in 2015–16 demolished the original two platforms and replaced them with a four-platform interchange.

Part of the City Zone, the stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network. The tram stop is between Deansgate-Castlefield, Exchange Square and Piccadilly Gardens tram stops.

Areas and streets of Manchester
Public areas

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