The Plaques

Peterloo Commemorative plaque

Campaigners, political events and riots, social welfare

Manchester has been home to some influential figures in the world of politics and modern democracy. They worked against oppression, poverty and inequality, and for free trade, equality and education. They influenced world history through causes that are still dear to many Mancunians. Some plaques record historic or more recent events in Manchester’s political history or the sites of uprisings or suffering.

Cobden, Peterloo, Engels, Wilkinson, Chadwick, Jones, Barton Arcade & the Catenian Association, Pan African Congress, Caribbean Focus, 1930s Unemployed March, Fenian Ambush, Pioneer Quay, Pankhurst, Little Ireland, Wright, Owen, Mitchell, Rights of Man, Smith, Shudehill Fight, Japanese Mission to Manchester.

Social welfare, administration and education

The growing population of the city needed a raft of social welfare and municipal services to support working people. Schools, clubs, hospitals and hostels, often provided by churches and faith groups, sprang up across the city in the 19th century and early 20th century. Parks were laid out for recreation. Monumental buildings, like the Town Hall were built as symbols of civic pride and to manage justice and local administration.

Vine Street School, British Deaf History Society, Manchester Poor House, Junior Art School, Provincial School of Anatomy, School of Chiropody, The Town Hall, Manchester Coat of Arms, Commission of the Peace, Orford Road burial ground, Palatine Court, Salford Hundred Court, York Hotel, Queens Park, Philips Park, Wythenshawe Hall.

Inventors, explorers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs

As Manchester emerged as the world’s first industrial city, its universities nurtured enterprise and invention, inspired and stimulated by the growing market for new products in the 19th and 20th centuries. Scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the physical world took place in Manchester. As our city led the world into the future, its scientific and industrial pioneers developed new technologies and achieved revolutionary technical innovations. Plaques also mark some groundbreaking structures such as the world’s first railway station at Liverpool Road.

Sadler, Fairbairn, Royce, Dalton, Alcock and Brown, Paulhan, Roe, Adamson, Kingdon-Ward, Fairbairn, First Aerodrome in Manchester, Rutherford, Raffald, Royal Hotel, Liverpool Road Station, Rutherford, Soho Foundry, Gresley, First Gas Works, Co-operative Insurance, Adamson, Manchester Ship Canal Meeting, First Automatic Traffic Signals in the North West.

Peace loving and nuclear free

Manchester City Council designated Manchester the world’s first Nuclear Free City in November 1980. A number of the city’s plaques celebrate peace and promote a nuclear free future, as well as commemorating the victims of nuclear attacks.

Nuclear Free City and Nuclear Free Zone, Hiroshima

Leisure and culture - theatre, art, architecture, music, writing and sports

The city is home to world class orchestras and sports teams and these plaques commemorate some of the city’s greatest musicians, artists and performers, as well as theatres and historic buildings.

Gaiety Theatre, Ainsworth, Burnett, Halle, Madox Brown, Portico Library, Carroll, Gaskell, Bronte, Lane, Beith, Spring, Wilkinson, Peak District and Northern Counties Footpaths Preservation Society, Rugby League, Football League, Valette, 69-77 Lever Street, 4, 6 and 8 Bradley Street.

Religion and faith

The city’s diverse population of immigrant and indigenous communities worship in buildings that reflect their beliefs. Plaques record early places of worship and important figures in the spiritual life of the city.

Wesley, Early Methodist Preaching Room, Wood and the First Church of Christ Scientist, the Cathedral, Cross Street Chapel, Weizmann, Jewish Museum, Church of St Ann, Church of St Cross, de la Warre, Bradford and Barlow, Lee, Green, Temple, Platt Chapel, Catholic Social Guild, Chethams Hospital.

Military history

Some important military events and people with great significance to the city’s history are commemorated.

Prince Rupert, Aircrew Cadets, Worsley, Brereton, Site of Alport Lodge, Stuart, Bradshaw and Rosworm, Smith, Wild, Pals Battalions Manchester Regiment.

Public Art

Peel Monument figure
Find out more about the city’s rich history and lively present through the monuments on our streets and in our squares and parks.