Manchester Monastery - © Ben Rowe/Time Out
Designed by Edward Pugin and built between 1863 and 1867, this spectacular piece of ecclesiastical architecture, which was originally the Monastery of St Francis, served as a focus for the local community for over a century.
Falling attendances (and declining numbers of monks) meant it was abandoned by the Franciscan order in 1989, and thereafter stripped of its contents by successive property developers, vandals and art thieves. A decade later, it was on the World Monuments Fund list of the globe's 100 most endangered sites.
Much of the pilfered statuary has since been recovered, and a £6.5 million renovation in 2007 saw the building restored to its former glory. It now houses concerts, weddings and conferences, and runs regular tours.