The John Rylands Library Manchester.

 

We at ST Minibus hire Manchester like to remember our roots and with our modern day obsession for ipads and kindles, it’s easy to forget the pleasure of a real book, paper pages bound together and intricate illustrations. If you fancy being surrounded by some of the oldest and rarest scriptures in the world, then the John Rylands Library on Deansgate is the only place to go. Built in the 1890’s in a neo Gothic style, the John Ryland is regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The architecture (both internal and external) and the collections held there are of real international significance. The library is listed in the Top 101 things to do in the UK before you go abroad – so well worth a visit.

The library opened to the public in 1900 and was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband John. In 1972 the library merged with the University of Manchester library and is now maintained by the university, serving thousands of visitors and readers per year. The library was granted Grade I listed status in 1994 and its magnificent and ornate façade dominates the local landscape to this day. The library was built on a rectangular plan and was designed to look like a church. It is built from Cumbrian sandstone and the exterior is made of red Barbary stone from Penrith, so it was certainly a bold and unique building for its time.

When the library first opened in 1900, it held around 70,000 books and less than 100 manuscripts. By 2012 this had grown to over 250,000 printed volumes and more than one million manuscripts! The library’s current collections include medieval illuminated manuscripts, a fine paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible and personal papers belonging to historical figures such as Elizabeth Gaskell, John Dalton and John Wesley. Some of the library’s artefacts date back to 2500 BC – but the library also collects examples of modern fine printing and digital archives.

And After Why Not?

When you have finished admiring the building and its contents, you can head to Café Rylands for refreshments. Located in the beautiful library surroundings, this is a café with a difference – it offers fresh, local produce all ethically traded and very different to anything else in the area. There are regional pickles and preserves served with local cheeses & local breads, afternoon teas – and a full licence means you can enjoy a glass of wine with your lunch! The café also runs tasting events which are themed around recipes found in the library’s historic cookery books. Maybe get a minibus to take you into town after, here at ST minibus Manchester we don’t mind taking you from the library to a restaurant maybe make a day of it and take in the sights of Manchester museum after and a spot of shopping whatever your requirements we can help. The cost for a 8 seater minibus from central Manchester to the John Rylands library fall within our minimum fare tariff so there is no excuse not to visit.