People's History Museum

Bridge Street

National museum with unusual remit


image of peoples-history-museum

Get there

Public transport: Many buses, 5 mins from Free Bus. Private transport: Manchester Bridge, Spinningfields (both expensive), Browncross, all poor reputation. Try Stanley Street, Salford, only 3 mins across the bridge.


Can’t miss the brown‐rust front, or fabulous ‘doves’ statue outside. The purpose‐built front has a ground floor of shop and cafe, two floors of main exhibit above. Plus the building was a pump‐house—the old engine‐room is an exhibit. Medium size. This museum’s remit, the curators say, is ‘democracy’, which seems to work as ‘actions from English history when common people affected government’. Brexit not included. The exhibits are not what you would find in most museums—this is history, dark as a dungeon. The museum signage is good‐humoured, talky, and sticks to notes, which keeps the exhibits from a uniform march of ‘protest’. The museum is also a spectacular of modern presentation and signage (perhaps thankfully, no or low on multimedia). The museum itself has a wild history—not only is it unique to Manchester, Manchester is the place it should be. Near the city centre, next door to the Law Courts. Space for groups and children. Reasonably popular—especially with foreign visitors, and officially of national importance.