The John Rylands Library

Address: 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, England
Telephone: 0161 306 0555

- Free


Slip into this library right in the heart of Manchester and marvel at the architecture.

Whether you like libraries or not, The John Rylands Library is worth a visit to look at the impressive Neo-Gothic architecture – stone carvings and pillars, elaborate vaulted ceilings and colourful stained glass. I do like libraries so also enjoy admiring the old leather bound books and manuscripts. The extensive collection includes the St John Fragment (the oldest known surviving New Testament text in any language) and medieval manuscripts.

John Rylands was a successful Manchester cotton merchant and the library was built for his wife Enriqueta to commemorate her husband. Part of the University of Manchester, the beautiful reading room is still used by students today.

Value for money

Expert tips

Audio tours are available for £2.50 per unit.

As the library is right in the heart of the city centre, it is a great place to visit to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle.

Before you visit, take a look at the events section on the library’s website. There are printing press demonstrations (free), storytelling sessions to keep children entertained (free) and even tours for photographers with access to usually closed viewpoints (£3).

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Culture vultures
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Singles
  • Education
  • Escaping the crowds
  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Design and architecture