Salford: Art & Culture
When it comes to culture, Salford’s got it goin’ on. There is an infamous Tudor building, a world-class theatre complex that attracts over a million people a year, and three friendly ghosts. Can’t wait to get stuck in? Here’s some of our Salford Cultural highlights.
Salford City Culture Must Sees: The Lowry
The Lowry is on a mission to be THE world-class arts centre based right in the region’s cultural quarter. They work with local communities and young people and offer thousands of free creative participation opportunities every year, bringing visitors the brightest visual and performing art talents.
The incredible venue takes its name from legendary artist Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976), who spent most of his life in Salford. The Lowry has over 400 items of his work and an extensive collection of archive photographs, press cuttings and exhibition catalogues. The LS Lowry collection is available for the public to see for free, making a great day out!
A huge part of their aims and ethos at The Lowry is making art accessible to a wide range of audiences. Recently they launched free at-home activities for families to keep the family creative during the winter months, and all year round they run Our Lowry, which runs exclusive ticket offers for Salford residents. You’ll get mint discounts and exclusive free offers on a range of their shows and activities, so make sure you sign up if you’ve got a Salford City postcode.
Salford City Culture Must Sees: Salford Arts Theatre
This charming theatre is in the heart of the community and is the only independent theatre in Salford that’s entirely self-funded.
Just a little bit of history about them: the theatre was originally built for The Salford Players Group, a local group made up of aspiring actors in the community established in 1913. Over the years, many faces emerged in the group. The legendary Sir Ben Kinglsey was once a member – you might know him from Schindler’s List, The Jungle Book, Iron Man 3 or a bunch of other mega box-office hits. The group dissolved, and the theatre was given back to Salford City Council only to be closed.
The venue was then used for a number of things until 2007, when joint Artistic Director’s Roni Ellis and Scott Berry took over. They now run weekly classes for children and young people at affordable prices, inspiring the next generation of creatives in Salford City. They also run a range of creative workshops too. Go and check out a show, when you purchase tickets, you’ll not only be getting a great show, but you’ll be enabling the theatre to keep offering accessible performance training to the young community.
Salford City Culture Must Sees: Salford Museum & Art Gallery
Salford Museum & Art Gallery has been welcoming visitors since 1850 and growing their collection for just as long.
Who doesn’t love a browse around a museum? We recommend tackling one, stopping off at the cafe for a sandwich and a cuppa, then heading back to the other.
The main museum at Salford originally collected artefacts from around the world but nowadays is focussed on social history. They display their collection of amazing things through a reconstructed Victorian era Salford street. It’s called Lark Hill Place, and it showcases thousands of the museum’s objects to recreate the feel of a late-era Victorian street in Salford. It’s wicked, and adults love it just as much as kids.
Keeping very much on theme, the art gallery has over 100 works of art displayed in a Victorian-era gallery style. It’s basically like stepping back in time – but we promise the cafe grub is modern and delicious.
They’re proud to offer a really unique cultural experience at the museum and gallery, and it’s what makes them one of the most visited attractions in Greater Manchester for art and history. Definitely add it to your to-do list.
Salford City Culture Must Sees: Ordsall Hall
If a little bit of live-action history is what you’re into then head over to the oldest building in Salford. Ordsall Hall was first mentioned in records in 1811 (a really, really, reeeaally long time ago) and has had many different uses in its time.
Famously the Radclyffe family resided there and had connections with the Hall for over 300 years. Some family members sat in parliament as Knights of the Shire. Margaret Radclyffe was the favourite lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth and Sir Alexander was High Sheriff of Lancashire 5 times!
Since the Hall was passed on from the Radclyffes, it’s been a working men’s club, a Clergy training school, and now it’s a local history museum.
But don’t be fooled, Salford’s spookiest Hall still has some permanent tenants…
The White Lady is an enigmatic figure in white so they say. Rumour has it she’s the ghost of Lady Margaret Radclyffe who died broken-hearted after her brother’s death in 1599. Then there’s Cecily, a young girl who supposedly roams the Hall and pays special visits when children are around. It is said you can tell she’s there because of the sweet smell of roses in the air. Lastly, Sir John Radclyffe is apparently very keen on the ladies and inhibits the Star Chamber. You’ll have to make sure you give these spooky residents a visit when you go on one of Ordsall’s ghost nights.
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