Bishop of Manchester rededicates cross in St Peter’s square
- Workmen uncover ancient crypt belong to St Peter's Church
- Crypt dates back to 1788, experts say
- Evidence found of how Mancunians lived in Georgian times
The Bishop of Manchester took part in a ceremony to rededicate the historic cross in St Peter’s Square following Metrolink work which uncovered a secret crypt.
During the recent transformation of St Peter’s Square to expand the tram system, engineers found a crypt belonging to the former St Peter’s Church, in which items such as bottles, clay pipes and hats were found.
The crypt is thought to date back to 1788 when the church was built, in what was then a small Georgian town.
Metrolink resealed the burial vaults and covered the crypt with 750 tonnes of concrete to protect it.
St Peter’s Church was demolished in 1907 and St Peter’s Square cross was erected in 1908
The rededication by the Bishop of the historic St Peter’s Square cross ties in with final works to overhaul the square, which are expected to be finished in the spring.
Bishop of Manchester David Walker, said: “St Peter's Church stood here through the formative years ofManchester's development into the world's first industrial city. It witnessed the massacre of 1819 – the event which serves as a permanent reminder of the importance of upholding Manchester's democratic traditions. The demolition of the church, over a century ago, reflects that the massive redevelopment of the last few years is nothing new to this city, but one more phase in this life. So it is very fitting that we rededicate this spot, sacred both to those who remains are interred here, and to Manchester itself.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “There is sometimes a tendency during major development to fix our sights firmly ahead, but it is sometimes good to take a moment and remember our city’s history and heritage and understand how it fits with our present and future.”