The Baedeker guide recommends visiting the building, a “massive structure in the classical style” whilst in Manchester. It was constructed between 1864 – 74 by Mills & Murgatroyd and at the time had a Corinthian portico and a campanile 180foot high.
Edwardian visitors should go on a tuesday or friday (cotton market days) between 1pm – 2pm to witness “the scene of great bustle and apparent confusion”. It continues by informing the reader that “Strangers are admitted to the galleries on application to the keeper”.
The third Royal Exchange building described by the Baedeker guide was extensively extended and altered just four years later in 1914 to become the building standing today. The function of the building has since changed to become a theatre.