Hanging Ditch Bridge – Manchester, England - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

Hanging Ditch Bridge

The construction of this bridge dates back to the 15th century. 

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Located in the basement of Manchester Cathedral’s Visitor Centre is a rare example of architecture from the Middle Ages. Listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Hanging Ditch bridge dates back to 1421. It was originally built to link the cathedral to the city center.  

The red sandstone bridge was thought to be lost until it was rediscovered during excavations in the 1880s. It became a curiosity of the Victorian age, attracting 32,000 paying visitors in just three months.

The Hanging Ditch bridge was covered again during the expansion of the city center before being rediscovered more than a century later. It was unveiled in 2002 as part of the interior of the visitor center.

Know Before You Go

It isn't currently possible to access the bridge within the building, but it can be seen from the exterior. One can also get closer views by using the walkway that takes one to the Visitor's Center toilets.


Calling it a bridge is a bit misleading, as it doesn't cross over any body of water. However, one can cross over from Manchester Cathedral to the Visitor's Center, via a walkway adjacent to 1881 Cafe.

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August 2, 2022

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