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View Full Version : Manchester Cathedral Steps/Victoria Arches, Feb 2010



crippletron 3000
28-02-2010, 06:44 PM
Victoria Arches/Cathedral Steps

APOLOGIES - (PIC HEAVY)

Situated 'Under' Victoria street between Victoria Bridge St and Hanging Ditch known as Hunts Bank.

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011266.jpg

My 2nd Visit to the 'Arches' since major fail last time getting in the so called easy entrance....and getting busted!

On a freezing cold night in Manchester, I was now only too familiar with the 'Getting in is not for the faint hearted'.. and guess what you were all right on that account, getting in was tricky to say the least and provided a few :grin thanks to Stepping Lightly & Userscott who's original plans of pure genius have made it all possible, I have uploaded a fair few photo's, hope you don't mind as it's not everyday you get to see this place! and I know there has also been a fair few reports some old some new as it's well documented, but its definately one of Manchesters' finest UrbEx venues.

Anyway thanks for looking.....

Some History:

Dating back to the 1838 when the Arches were first constructed at a cost of between 60,000 and 100,000.
First advertised in October 1839, the arched vaults under Victoria were offered as being suitable for wine merchants, printers and machine makers.

since 1840 they have been home to a number of tenants, including Robert Armstrong - Civil Engineer one of the earliest tenants manufacturing Scott's patent boiler cleaners. The electricity department where tests and investigations were made on electrical equipmemt until 1909. It then became home for a transformer station that was used between 1936 and 1957.

Also, in 1907 Thomas Cook & Son setup shop in the premises built onto the Arches by Victoria Bridge. Cook's had expanded by 1921 and were also renting space at the Southern end of the Arches for offices and storage until 1932.

It's landing stages were also home to the Irwell Excursion which ran from 1895 until around 1901. The Irwell Steam Ferries would run in half hour intervals between 10:30am and 5:30pm to Manchester Docks, via Albert Bridge. There was also a cruise along the newly opened Manchester Ship Canal through Irlam, Lymm, Runcorn and Frodsham to Eastham and special Bank Holiday sailings to Liverpool and New Brighton.

During the War the Arches were converted and used as an Air-raid shelter, new entrances were installed along with flooring, seating and lighting.
Based on National guidelines, the shelter could hold upto 1030 people for 6 hours in unventilated conditions or as many as 5600 in an emergency if ventilated.

The entrances were from Victoria Bridge by a wooden stairway; Victoria Street junction with Fennel St by a flight of steps formed under the pavement (Now Sealed over) and from the Cathedral approach by means of a wooden stairway from the existing conveniences.

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011190.jpg

The total cost of converting the Arches was estimated at 10,150 in 1939 and took around 3 months to complete with additional brick 'blast' walls.

A 500lb MC bomb could perforate and 'blow through' if it made a direct hit over the crown of the arch, however the Arches were deemed 'safe' and suitable for air-raid shelter accommodation.

In the later years access to the Arches was only possible via the steps over the river wall, the northern cartway entrance having being sealed off by 1905.

Main Passageway Through The Arches
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011146.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011180.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011182.jpg

To Arches 1,2 & 3
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011142.jpg

Original Steps Leading Up To Street Level For Public Convenience
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011227.jpg

Entrance To Gents Toilets
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011145.jpg

Window Down To Washroom
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011151.jpg

Down To Public Convenience
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011176.jpg

Gents Toilets
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011154.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011159.jpg

Original Toilet Window; Rest In Pieces
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011167.jpg

Washroom
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011172.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011161.jpg

Medical Post
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011196.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011218.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011140.jpg

To The Arches >
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011127.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011133.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011188.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011185.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011211.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011235.jpg

Inside 'Arch'
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011134.jpg

Stalagtites
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011214.jpg

Remnants Of War Time - Air Raid Signage
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011225.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011237.jpg

Previous Use Of The Old Electricity Station
http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011139.jpg

http://i770.photobucket.com/albums/xx345/ojay1234/Forum_arches/_1011202.jpg

crippletron 3000
28-02-2010, 06:50 PM
Good stuff mate - always good to see.

Btw thems stalagtites not mites :thumb

Edited :)

boxfrenzy
28-02-2010, 07:25 PM
An urbex winner every time. Good work there. :thumb

coops
28-02-2010, 08:50 PM
Wow great pics mate thanks for sharing ??

Gangeox
01-03-2010, 01:49 PM
This really is a great place and you've done some great stuff there, well done :thumb

sqwasher
01-03-2010, 04:04 PM
Cracking photies ojay-this place is somewhere i NEED to see before i die! :coffee