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Shire Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bodmin, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4704 / 50°28'13"N

Longitude: -4.7188 / 4°43'7"W

OS Eastings: 207163

OS Northings: 66930

OS Grid: SX071669

Mapcode National: GBR N2.MRQS

Mapcode Global: FRA 170T.7FJ

Plus Code: 9C2QF7CJ+5F

Entry Name: Shire Hall

Listing Date: 26 March 1949

Last Amended: 7 January 1994

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1025049

English Heritage Legacy ID: 368033

Location: Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Bodmin

Built-Up Area: Bodmin

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Bodmin

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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629-1/3/92 Shire Hall
(Formerly Listed as:
Assize Court)


Assize Court. 1837-1838. By Henry Burt of Launceston.
MATERIALS: granite ashlar with channelled rustication to
basement over plinth, mid-floor and impost string, moulded
eared architraves and moulded hoods to side bays, side
elevations also ashlar; rubble at rear; with granite quoins
and parapet string; dry Delabole roof behind parapet with
moulded parapet and central triangular pediment; granite
ashlar axial stacks with moulded cornice.
PLAN: overall rectangular plan: central entrance hall with
imperial main stair plus smaller stair halls on either side of
front with pair of full-height courtrooms behind. Classical
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys over basement, symmetrical 2:3:2-bay front
with central bays broken forward. Original hornless sashes
with glazing bars; 3 central windows over 3 round-arched
openings with stepped keyblocks. Original pairs of
wrought-iron gates with cast-iron spearhead finials, C20
screen behind. Rear is 2:3:2-bays. 3 windows to each side
elevation; all original sashes.
INTERIOR: complete and virtually unaltered. Principal features
include loggia with 3 round arches on granite piers and
responds all with iron gates, the central arch leading to a
wide cantilevered granite staircase with the landing carried
on granite corbel brackets, also in loggia 2 round-arched side
entrances leading to secondary staircases. Behind the smaller
staircases a pair of identical full-height courtrooms with
U-plan galleries at the front (rear of each court).
Courtrooms are complete with original architectural features
and fittings including judges' benches, jurors' benches and
other benches set on 4 deep granite steps. The principal
benches are panelled and enclosed like box pews, the rear
benches are simple seats with back rails. Courtrooms and front
chamber have moulded plaster ceilings and courtrooms have
central roses with acanthus leaves. Beside each courtroom,
behind central staircase are 2 judges' dressing rooms.
The basement is approached by a central granite staircase and
2 staircases lead from the cells to the courtrooms (now
blocked off) and 30 small cupboard-like cells with ventilated
doors; at the front end of the passage between the cells is a
closet with a heated washing trough. Behind the cells on the
right is a cavity wall to provide ventilation.
This court building was until 1988 the County Court and is an
unusually complete and elegant example of its type, and groups
with the Judges' Lodgings, Shire House (qv).
(Colvin H: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects
1600-1840: London: 1978-: 969).

Listing NGR: SX0716366930

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