Gorton Monastery
The Church and Friary of St Francis, known locally as Gorton Monastery, is a 19th century former Franciscan friary in Gorton, in east Manchester, England. The Franciscans arrived in Gorton in December 1861 and built their friary between 1863 and 1867. The foundation stone for the church was laid in 1866 and completed in 1872; it closed for worship in 1989. It is believed to be one of the finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in the world. It was designed by Edward Welby Pugin (1834”“1875), whose father helped design the Houses of Parliament.

Modern developments
In the 1970s E.T. Spashett, consultant architect to the Benedictines and architect of the Church Army Chapel, Blackheath, re-designed the accommodation over the cloisters, combining cells to make small dormitories and studies, and designing a new iron gate for the cloisters. This work included a large, reflective, gold, cross-shaped window (now lost), which at certain seasons caused a gold cross-shaped reflection on the public roadway. The gate and the new three-windowed cells still exist. In 1997, Gorton Monastery was placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World alongside Pompeii, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings. The church and associated friary buildings underwent a £6 million restoration programme supported by funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and European Regional Development Fund. The project was completed in June 2007 when the restored buildings opened as a venue for conferences, business meetings and community events. In November 2010 the Monastery will be used to host a live concert by Canadian alt Country act The Cowboy Junkies. This may herald a new future use for the building.