The Church and Friary of St Francis, known locally as Gorton Monastery, is a 19th-century former Franciscan Friary in Gorton, Manchester. The Franciscans arrived in December 1861, and carried out most of the building work themselves. It was completed in 1872 but closed for worship in 1989.
It is a Grade II listed building, classed as High Victorian Gothic architecture
In 1997, Gorton Monastery was placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World alongside Pompeii, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings.
The church and associated friary buildings underwent a £6 million restoration programme supported by funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and European Regional Development Fund. The project was completed in June 2007 when the restored buildings opened as a venue for conferences, business meetings and community events.
30 members of Whitley WI enjoyed a visit to this monastery where the theme was that of an Old Style Music Hall. Many members dressed in the fashion style of the times … It is amazing what we can find in our wardrobes.
The entertainment was of a very high standard; we sang along to songs from the past, experienced magic moments courtesy of Mr Trick, waved flags and somehow fitted in a three course lunch.
So much fun, in a beautiful historic building…but without the thoughtfulness and superb organisation from Chris our Culture Club leader, it wouldn’t have been possible. Sincere thanks from all who went.