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Chetham's Library
Vacation Travel Guide

Chetham\'s Library which includes interior views

Visit this well-preserved medieval building and see books that have been read by kings, queens and political revolutionaries.

At Cheltham’s Library see ancient books, literary treasures and the place where The Communist Manifesto was written.

Visit the oldest library in the United Kingdom and walk through cavernous rooms that contain floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with leather and vellum-bound books. There are more than 100,000 printed volumes, of which over half were published before 1851. The collections also include 16th- and 17th-century periodicals, medieval manuscripts and theater programs.

Among the library’s most famous holdings are King Henry VIII’s copy of the works of St. Prosper of Aquitaine and a first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.

Step inside the grand Reading Room with its 17th-century wooden furniture. Sit at the desk in the alcove where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels planned and wrote The Communist Manifesto. Look above the fireplace at the only contemporary portrait of the library’s founder, Humphrey Chetham. The affluent Manchester textile merchant believed that curing ignorance would overcome poverty.

Go on a tour of other parts of the medieval building. See the Baronial Hall with its 17th-century stone floor and open timber roof. Examine the ornate plasterwork of the Audit Room. For details about accessing these rooms, visit the library’s official website.

Chetham’s Library was founded in 1653 and is housed in a pink sandstone manor building that dates back to 1421. The library is free to enter, although a donation is suggested. It is open every weekday, except on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year. The library strongly advises anyone who wants to visit to make an appointment. If you want to read any of the books, your appointment should be made at least one working day before your intended visit.

Situated in Manchester city center, the library is well served by public transport and is a short walk from Victoria train station. On-site parking is only available to holders of disabled parking permits. There is a multistory car park in the nearby Manchester Evening News Arena.

Top Hotels Close to Chetham's Library

The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
5 out of 5
Free Trade Hall Peter Street, Manchester, England
The price is $165 per night from May 23 to May 24
Located in Manchester City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Manchester Central (GMEX), Manchester City Hall, and Abraham Lincoln Statue. ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,130 reviews)
"Excellent stay great hotel. The hotel was very clean the staff were very helpful"

Reviewed on Feb 19, 2021

The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
CitySuites Aparthotel
CitySuites Aparthotel
5 out of 5
16 Chapel Street, Manchester, England
The price is $116 per night from May 14 to May 15
Located in Manchester City Centre, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manchester Cathedral, Printworks, and National Football Museum. Exchange ...
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"Best 'hotel' I've ever stayed in, very clean, friendly staff and huge rooms"

Reviewed on Apr 17, 2021

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Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
4 out of 5
4 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, England
The price is $72 per night from May 2 to May 3
Located in Manchester City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Football Museum, AO Arena, and Printworks. Piccadilly Gardens and Deansgate ...
4/5Very Good! (993 reviews)
"Fantastic service, staff were always on hand to help. Very clean and welcoming, good facilities. Would definitely stay again"

Reviewed on Dec 24, 2020

Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Chetham's Library

The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
5 out of 5
Free Trade Hall Peter Street, Manchester, England
The price is $165 per night from May 23 to May 24
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
CitySuites Aparthotel
CitySuites Aparthotel
5 out of 5
16 Chapel Street, Manchester, England
The price is $116 per night from May 14 to May 15
CitySuites Aparthotel
Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
4 out of 5
4 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, England
The price is $72 per night from May 2 to May 3
Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
The Midland - Manchester
The Midland - Manchester
4 out of 5
16 Peter Street, Manchester, England
The price is $111 per night from May 23 to May 24
The Midland - Manchester
Staycity Aparthotel Manchester Piccadilly
Staycity Aparthotel Manchester Piccadilly
4 out of 5
8B Gateway House, Piccadilly Station Approach, Manchester, England
Staycity Aparthotel Manchester Piccadilly
Hotel Brooklyn
Hotel Brooklyn
4 out of 5
59 Portland St, Manchester, England
The price is $90 per night from May 19 to May 20
Hotel Brooklyn
ibis Styles Manchester Portland Hotel
ibis Styles Manchester Portland Hotel
3.5 out of 5
3-5 Portland Street, Manchester, England
The price is $38 per night from Apr 30 to May 1
ibis Styles Manchester Portland Hotel
The Lowry Hotel
The Lowry Hotel
5 out of 5
50 Dearmans Place, Manchester, England
The price is $135 per night from May 17 to May 18
The Lowry Hotel
Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter
Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter
3.5 out of 5
41 Rochdale Road, Manchester, England
The price is $47 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.