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Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Salford
(4.6/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
Salford Museum and Art Gallery, in Peel Park, Salford, Greater Manchester, which opened to the public in November 1850 as the Royal Museum and Public Library, was the first "unconditionally free" public library in the United Kingdom. The gallery and museum are devoted to the history of Salford and Victorian art and architecture.FoundationAlong with Queens Park and Phillips Park in Manchester, the Lark Hill estate and mansion were purchased by public subscription and opened to the public as Peel Park and Royal Museum and Public Library, in November 1850. In 1874 Edward Langworthy, former Mayor of Salford and early supporter of the museum, left a £10,000 bequest to the museum which was used to build the west wing, named the Langworthy Wing, connecting the north and south wings. This wing was constructed over three storeys and “was built of brick with stone dressing with a glass and Welch-slate roof, with a pediment gable”; today it serves as the public entrance. Throughout the years the popularity of the museum increased but in 1936 the fabric of the original building, Lark Hill Mansion, was found to be unsound and was demolished due to structural instability. The new wing,which was designed in the same style as the Langworthy Wing, took two years to be completed and opened in 1938. The decision to “echo the Langworthy Wing in the 1930s is remarkable in the architectural climate of the time and it is tempting to argue that Walker’s addition is the first Victorian revival building in the country. “ The building development was a gradual evolution which was commenced by different architects evolving their ideas at different times. Throughout its development the building has achieved “a degree of architectural consistency as a result of nearly a century of evolution.” More than 160,000 visitors were attracted to the museum in its first year to explore casts of antique statues, collection of paintings, Egyptian and Oriental antiques and other significant objects and exhibitions. The number of visitors steadily increased year by year, and in five years had reached 1.6 million.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The museum and art gallery is housed in a fine Victorian building within the university campus. It has three galleries, displaying a diverse collection of paintings,ceramics and other works of art.The...  more »
  • Fabulous museum. Lots for the children to do. I went in the school holidays and there was crafts and old toys to try. They did a quiz around the art gallery too. The Victoria Street is a must see. The...  more »
  • Lovely couple of hours can be spent on this throw back in history. There are even clothes/props to dress in if it takes your fancy. My husband and daughter took the opertunity and I have the photoes t...  more »
Google
  • Surprisingly good museum, if a bit out of the way. If you go to Salford do yourself a favor and come here at least once -- the Victorian street is particularly cool!
  • Wonderful and varied art and photography exhibitions, great recreation of an old Salford street to walk through. Good cafe and shop.
  • Good museum and art gallery. With brilliant recreated Victorian Street. Well worth a visit.
  • Best local exhibitions. Friendly staff . Interesting gift shop. Beautiful views
  • Nice atmosphere, good to learn about local history