A unique and family-friendly festival at Chetham’s in Manchester - featuring live music, food, drink and medieval entertainment - will celebrate the 600th anniversary of Manchester’s oldest buildings. 

Chetham’s – which is home to the UK’s leading music school, the UK’s oldest public library, and world-class concert venue, The Stoller Hall – boasts medieval buildings dating back to 1421. They’re where the history of modern Manchester begins. 

Now, a two-day festival on Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 September will celebrate the anniversary, the city’s history, and the incredible story of Chetham’s. 

Organisers at Chetham’s have released the full programme of events, with less than one month to go.

Visitors can enjoy the historic courtyard at Chetham’s for food and drink, storytelling, falconry and the chance to take part in some competitive medieval games. 

Live period music from Manchester Baroque and Chetham’s School of Music choristers will set the mood.

Families can laugh and enjoy Horrible Histories performances - revealing the gruesome side of history - in The Stoller Hall, the state-of-the-art 500 seat live music venue at Chetham’s.

Adults and families alike will be invited to explore Chetham’s Library – the oldest public library in the English-speaking world – with special guided tours of the historic site and collections. 

Chetham’s medieval buildings were originally built to accommodate the priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church, now Manchester Cathedral. Today they form part of the wider Chetham’s site in Manchester: home to Chetham’s School of Music, The Stoller Hall, and Chetham’s Library.  

Fran Healey, Festival Director at Chetham’s and The Stoller Hall, said: “It’s exactly 600 years since the first piece of Manchester, as we know it today, was put in place. Since 1421, the city has grown outwards from Chetham’s medieval buildings and the adjacent Manchester Cathedral – resulting in the modern, vibrant city we love today.

 “As with Manchester itself, the story of Chetham’s medieval buildings is a special one. It is a story bursting with intriguing, remarkable people. From the priests who were the first to live here in 1421; to the prisoners of the English Civil War who were locked up here; to wealthy merchant Humphrey Chetham who established a school for poor boys and a stunning public library; to Karl Marx who sat in Chetham’s Library and looked out over the workers of Manchester; to the talented young musicians of Chetham’s School of Music and the performers and audiences at The Stoller Hall today – there are so many vivid personal stories to tell, characters to unpick.

“Medieval Manchester Festival will be a place to discover some of that story - from 1421 to present day - or just to have fun and enjoy the food and drink surrounded by the sight of stilt walkers! We can’t wait to welcome adults and families alike to our courtyard at Chetham’s. Prepare for some medieval entertainment!”

Medieval Manchester Festival takes place from 10am-5pm on Saturday 25 September and 10am-3pm on Sunday 26 September. Tickets cost £3 (or £10 for groups of up to five people), and can be pre-booked via www.stollerhall.com


Chetham's Library
Historic Site
Chetham's Library

Chetham's is a unique cultural institution in the heart of Manchester combining music, education and heritage.



Comments are disabled for this post.