Manchester’s hotspot that beat The Blitz to host The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan

These excavated images show the changing face of a historic Manchester hotspot that hosted a galaxy of stars.

The Free Trade Hall in Peter Street started its life in 1853, when the public hall was built on the site of the Peterloo massacre.

Built to commemorate the abolition of the controversial maize laws in 1846, the listed building in Manchester city center became the leading concert venue of its time.

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The building was designed by the famous architect Edward Walters and owned by the council and was home to the Hallé Orchestra shortly after the opening.

But the venue suffered bomb damage during the Blitz and was officially reopened by the Queen at a ceremony in 1951.

For beautiful, historical photos from the past, take a look at and see what you can discover

During his lifetime Sir Winston Churchill was among the prominent guests who had spoken to the public there.

But it was also the rock music that attracted the audience. Pink Floyd played Free Trade Hall five times, as well as the Rolling Stones, Genesis and more.

These photos, the majority from our archive Mirrorpix, show some of these monumental moments, and also what the venue looked like at different times.

The free trade hall was closed by the municipality and sold to private builders in 1997, after Halléen moved to Bridgewater Hallen. It is now the Radisson Edwardian Hotel.

Here are 30 fascinating pictures of the Free Trade Hall.

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