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Great Abel  /

Named after Abel Heywood, Manchester’s radical mayor who championed the building of the Town Hall, Great Abel rings out the Town Hall clock’s hour chimes.  

A true Mancunian radical, Heywood often found himself in trouble with the authorities. Particularly, when as publisher of ‘The Poor Man’s Guardian’ prior to his political career, he refused to pay the restrictive stamp duty levied on newspapers, seeing it as a tax on knowledge designed to maintain the power of the wealthy.  

The original 6 tonne bell was manually hauled into place through a series of trapdoors that run the height of the tower only to crack after 5 years service.  The 8 tonne replacement installed in 1882 saw the original melted down and reinforced to cast the new bell which still marks each hour to this day.

Reality Hack/Hidden Manchester for URBIS gallery by Andrew Brooks

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