Cathedral Yard

The Millenium Quarter

After the post war rebuilding, especially the massive Arndale and Shambles Square redevelopments of the sixties and seventies, the Cathedral area became isolated from the main city centre.  A main road further discouraged access from the busy shopping precincts.  After the 1996 bomb the city took the opportunity to re-model this area - the grim sixties concrete bunker of Shambles Square was demolished, the road closed to traffic and converted to Exchange Square, and a new pedestrian thoroughfare created, New Cathedral Street, to link the city centre directly to Cathedral Yard, from where this photograph was taken.  This area, now known as the 'Millenium Quarter', contains some of Manchester's oldest buildings; Sinclair's Oyster Bar, the Old Wellington Inn, the former Corn Exchange (now converted to 'The Triangle', an up-market shopping arcade) and Chetham's School.  I suppose, coming up to the end of the 20th century, it was inevitable that 'Millenium' had to come into it somewhere, but.... oh dear, couldn't they think of something a bit more original?  The modern building in the background is the North Tower.  Built in 1966 and originally an office block known as Highland House, it underwent a 2.6 million conversion to a hotel and luxury apartments after being damaged by the IRA bomb.

Manchester Cathedral