Platt Hall

Exterior of Platt hall

Platt Hall is an 18th century textile merchant’s house in Platt Fields Park, three miles south of Manchester city centre. A Grade II* listed building, it’s one of the city’s finest surviving examples of Georgian architecture, designed by John Carr of York and Timothy Lightoler in the English Palladian style.

During its 250-year lifespan, Platt Hall has been many things – a domestic house, an art school, a police headquarters, a tea room. During WW1 it provided sanctuary for Belgian refugees and then accommodation for conscientious objectors. In 1947 it became the city’s Gallery of Costume, the world’s first dedicated museum of dress. Now it’s changing again.

Platt Hall Inbetween

Platt Hall Inbetween is our project to shape the next chapter in the Hall’s history. With funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we are working with a range of partners to develop the Hall as a vital and dynamic resource – part museum, part making space, part conversation space – for the communities that surround it.

We’re hosting conversations, explorations and investigations – getting to know the area and its communities better, researching the varied history of the building and its surroundings, and exploring lesser-known aspects of the collections together.

The building may be closed to general visitors, but we have an active programme of events including a volunteer-led community garden project, regular ‘collections chat’ events, a programme of collections and community exhibitions in the windows, and ‘Museum on My Street’, a mobile museum on a bike.

Platt open day with bike
Object handling

We’re now applying for further funding to move into the next phase of Platt’s development. Our long-term aim is to make the building fully accessible and open once more, with a new kitchen/café, making and gathering spaces and accessible collections.

In the meantime, we’re developing our programme to include the expansion of the community garden, social prescribing activities for health and wellbeing, and creative making events that draw on the richness of skills and talents held locally. Central to all of this is the development of the Platt Hall Collection as a resource for curiosity and creativity that reflects and represents the diverse communities that live in this part of the city.

To find out more, get involved, or for project updates and collections stories, visit Platt Hall Inbetween and @mag_platthall

The Costume Collection

Manchester’s world class collection of fashion and dress is still currently held at Platt Hall. It was a sad day when the Gallery of Costume closed its doors in 2017. But the collection had long outgrown the space available, and a moth infestation had placed it at further risk of long-term damage.

Now, we are hard at work preparing for its relocation to bespoke new storage at Queens Park Conservation Centre, alongside a dedicated Fashion Gallery which will open at Manchester Art Gallery in 2022.

Costume at Platt Hall

This major conservation and re-housing project will provide the collection with state-of-the-art accessible storage in a stable and protective environment, ensuring the collection’s preservation for future generations. Bringing it back into the context of the city’s wider art and design collections at Manchester Art Gallery also offers exciting opportunities to do new things with it.

Dress and textiles will still have a place at Platt Hall, alongside other areas of the city’s collections. So, by 2024 when the project is complete, the city’s costume collection will be accessible to a much wider audience, spread throughout the city across all of Manchester Art Gallery’s sites.

Dress storage crop

For behind-the-scenes insights into the conservation of the costume collection, and glimpses of some of its highlights and hidden gems, visit the collections care page at Platt Hall Inbetween and @mag_platthall.  You can also see more about the history and scope of the costume collection here.

What’s happening at Platt Hall

While the Hall is not open to drop into, there are various ways you can get involved.  


It’s amazing what a difference a season makes, some collective action and a little bit of funding. The Coronation Fountain is now overflowing with flowers of every hue. Tuesday volunteer gardeners have put in a huge number of hours, transforming the outside spaces around the Hall on the north side of the park. Come and join the celebrations!

Centenary Event Shakespearean Gardens
Stalls, activities, games, storytelling and music. Celebrate the transformation of this special space and the 100 years it has been part of the park.

Saturday 6 August
2 – 5pm

Fly with me

To mark the one-year anniversary since the fall of Kabul, Good Chance Theatre (creators of The Jungle and The Walk with Amal) will launch Fly With Me, an immersive, multi-city one day festival of kite flying. Spread across the UK and Europe, Fly With Me invites people everywhere to build and fly their own kites in an epic act of solidarity and welcome to the people of Afghanistan.

Saturday 20 August
Afternoon, north side of the park

More events at Platt Hall

Baby Stay and Play In partnership with Rusholme and Fallowfield Sure Start. Indoor and outdoor creative play for local pre-school children, parents and carers.

Mondays during term time.
11am-12pm and 1-2pm

The Garden Project  
Dig and plant with neighbours. Open to anyone living or working in the local area. In partnership with The Friends of Platt Fields Park. All training, tools, brews and biscuits provided.

Every Tuesday
drop in between 11am – 4pm
March – October

Make Space – workshops for adults  
Creative making workshops led by makers and creatives from the local area.

Look out for the autumn programme starting in October 2022.

Weekend Days
Platt Hall holds occasional family weekend opening days with lots of creative activities inside and outside the Hall.

Partnership work
Platt Hall works in with organisations across Rusholme, Fallowfield,
Longsight and Moss Side. Get in touch for a conversation.

Keep in touch
Sign up to hear news from Platt Hall through the website

Follow Platt Hall on Instagram and Twitter @mag_platthall


Find out more
Platt hall garden