Saturday, March 01, 2014

Old and new landmarks

Travelling into Manchester on the A56, crossing the river Medlock on the Bridgewater Viaduct (the road on the right) the original landmark was Castlefield Congregational Church. Now it is overshadowed by the Beetham Tower.

Castlefield Congregational Church originally opened as a Congregational chapel in 1858, and was designed by the local architect Edward Walters. It is Grade II listed.

For a time it was the offices of Artingstalls Auctioneers. The building was converted to a sound recording studio in the 1980s and owned by Pete Waterman. Rick Astley recorded "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the chapel. Waterman sold the building in 2006 to Bluetree Estates for conversion to offices. After a leasing deal fell through in 2010 the building was put up for sale again and remains unoccupied.

Beetham Tower is a 47-storey mixed-use skyscraper completed in 2006 and named after its developers, the Beetham Organisation. It was designed by Ian Simpson. At a height of 168 metres (551 ft), it is the tallest skyscraper in Manchester, the ninth tallest building in the United Kingdom and the tallest building outside London.

The Hilton Hotel occupies space up to level 22 and a four-metre cantilever marks level 23 where the Cloud 23 bar is located. Above this level are apartments from level 25 to the triplex penthouse apartment on level 47. The structure is one of the thinnest skyscrapers in the world and was designed to be a slender tower. A blade structure on the south side of the building acts as a façade overrun accentuating its slim form and doubles as a lightning rod.

In the foreground left is a footbridge over the river Medlock. Either side of the two landmarks are arches of the Castlefield Viaduct which carries the railway line west from Deansgate. The one on the left, over the Rochdale Canal, was featured in my post of February 1st 2014.

A coloured version of this photograph can be found on Geograph.

A contribution to The Weekend in Black and White;
Scenic Weekends,
Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo and
Inspired Sundays.


  1. They don't belong in the same picture. :)

  2. Very interesting. I'm visiting from Inspired Sundays.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  3. I like the juxtaposition of the church tower with the skyscraper. I remember the Rick Astley song - it was a favorite of mine when it came out. Thanks for sharing in InSPIREd Sunday.

  4. gorgeous shot, Gerald. looks like an interesting area. ( :

  5. WOW! You got a lot of mileage out of one post here, Gerald - 4 memes in one! That took some planning. :-)
    «Louis» thanks you for linking to Sunday Bridges.

  6. Black and white seems to show off the contours and lines of architecture so well. I'm going over to visit it in colour for comparison's sake. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. Beautiful photo! What a contrast!!

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  9. The elements don't seem to belong in the same photo; what a remarkable shot

    much love...

  10. All those structures create a wonderful mass of tones and shapes. Like an impromptu gathering.

  11. thinking it would be a great housing conversion - until you mentioned the rails nearby !
    luv the old architecture - thx for sharing an inSPIREd shot