Through the use of public subscriptions, along with Queens Park and Phillips Park in Manchester, the original site, Lark Hill estate and mansion, was purchased for the purpose of becoming the first Royal Museum and Public Library to open to the public in November 1850. The story continues with Edward Langworthy, former Mayor of Salford and early supporter of the museum, who died in 1874, leaving a £10,000 bequest to the museum. This bequest was used to build the west wing, named Langworthy Wing. This wing connected the north and south wings. The Langworthy wing was constructed over three storey and “was built of brick with stone dressing with a glass and Welch-slate roof, with a pediment gable.” In the present time it serves as the public entrance. Throughout the years the popularity of the museum significantly increased and it was in 1936 that the original site Lark Hill Mansion was found to be unsound and due to structural instability was demolished. Two years was required for the new wing, which was designed in the same fashion as the Langworthy Wing to be completed and opened in 1938. The decision to “echo the Langworthy Wing in the 1930s is remarkable in the architectural climate of the time and it is tempting to argue that Walker’s addition is the first Victorian revival building in the country. “The building development was a gradual evolution which was commenced by different architects evolving their ideas at different times. Throughout its development the building has achieved “a degree of architectural consistency as a result of nearly a century of evolution.
It is both a museum and an art gallery with casts of antique statues, collection of paintings, Egyptian and Oriental antiques and other significant objects and exhibitions. The piece de resistance, which attracts a huge number of people is Lark Hall Place, an atmospheric re-creation of a typical northern street during Victorian times. The street is set at the turn of the last century, although many of the items are older to show development over time. The ambience is set at teatime on a winter's evening when the street gas lamps have just been lit. The sounds of children playing, horse-drawn carriages and a 'knocker-upper' fill the street. Walk down the street and take a peek inside the any shops and houses, including a toy shop, chemist, grocers, a blacksmiths and an artisan's cottage. Lark Hill Place was originally created in 1957 when many shops and houses in central Salford were being demolished to make way for new developments. Many of the shop fronts that are in Lark Hill Place today were saved and restored. The interiors have been furnished and are full of authentic objects, recreating the way they were used in Victorian times. Visitors can explore the street and dress up in traditional Victorian costumes to really get in the spirit of things! Three disabled persons' parking spaces adjacent to museum entrance. Ramp into the building for wheelchair and pram access. Lift inside the museum to access all floors. Loop in reception and shop area. Accessible toilet available. Baby changing facilities. Tactile statues.
Location : Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WU
Transport: Salford Crescent (National Rail). Bus routes 8, 12, 25, 26, 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 41, 50, 67, 100 and X34 stop nearby. National Express stops here (Salford University).
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday 10:00 to 16:45
Opening Times: Saturday, Sunday 12:00 to 16:00
Tel: 0161 778 0800