Manchester Cathedral, built in the Perpendicular style, is dedicated to St Mary, St Denys and St George. In 1421/2 Henry V granted a licence to Thomas de la Warre, Rector of Manchester, to refound the existing parish church as a collegiate church, with a warden, eight priests, four clerks and six lay choristers. In 1847 the diocese of Manchester was created, and the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral. Much of the exterior of the building is a late 19th-century reconstruction by Joseph Crowther; he was faithful to the original building, and none of the original styling has been lost. The west front was rather ornately reconstructed by Basil Champneys (architect of the John Rylands Library), in 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. He also added the large south annex in 1902-3. Other alterations and restorations have been carried out by J.P. Holden in 1862-8, Sir Percy Worthington in 1934, and Sir Hubert Worthington after the extensive damage caused by Luftwaffe bombing in 1940.
The Cathedral has what are thought to be some of the finest misericords in Europe. A misericord is the projection on the underside of a hinged seat in a choir stall; when the seat was lifted up, the misericord gave support to the person standing in the stall during lengthy services; the term was derived from the Latin for pity, misericordia. Many misericords are carved with elaborate, and often bawdy, depictions of scenes from secular or religious life.