The Hanging Ditch Bridge

Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre is the custodian of the Hanging Ditch Bridge, a scheduled ancient monument dating back to 1421. The bridge is open to the public and is free to see so please stop by on your next visit to the centre.

For many years, the bridge was completely hidden, remembered only in the name of the area where it had stood, until its rediscovery and subsequent excavation as a result of demolition work carried out in the 1880s.

At that time, the bridge was opened to the public and in three months had about 32,000 paying visitors. It was then covered up during the Victorian expansion of Manchester. More than 100 years later it was rediscovered, and following restoration work went on display in 2002 as a main attraction of Manchester Cathedral’s newly built Visitor Centre.

Today the bridge is largely hidden by modern buildings, but it can be seen in the basement of Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre. The bridge is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The Going Underground exhibition at the Hanging Bridge can be seen on the Cathedral Visitor Centre's Facebook page:

Going Underground

To read the Hanging Ditch report by the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit (1997) please follow the link below:

Archaeological Report