City Police and Sessions Court, Manchester (now part of Manchester Crown Court). Listed Building. Thomas Worthington (1826-1909). 1867-73, extended to Aytoun Street in 1993-960. Red brick with sandstone dressings, slate roofing, and, for the clocktower in the north-west corner, "an elaborate stone top stage with corner tourelles and arcaded belfry" ("City Police Courts"). Minshull Street. The original building "is informed by Worthington's absorption of Ruskinian principles and his knowledge of European Gothic ... The design has a vigorous urban quality imparted by the flat areas of brickwork, deeply recessed openings and bold outline" (Hartwell 172). As Clare Hartwell goes on to suggest, the mix of uniformity (the neat rows and groupings of the windows) and asymmetry (that stout square corner tower and the much more slender, octagonal campanile chimney) also adds to the vitality of this "complex" structure, as indeed do the new glazed areas (see 172-73). It is a pleasure to find a Victorian building still in use for its original function, not obscured by additions but adapted to modern needs in such an imaginative, sympathetic way.

Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the image for a larger picture.]


"City Police Courts, Manchester." British Listed Buildings. Web. 25 March 2012.

Hartwell, Clare. Manchester. Pevsner Architectural Guides. London: Penguin, 2001. Print.

Last modified 25 March 2012