History in Structure

Former Victoria Market, now Stalybridge Civic Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Stalybridge, Tameside

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Latitude: 53.4829 / 53°28'58"N

Longitude: -2.0557 / 2°3'20"W

OS Eastings: 396401

OS Northings: 398470

OS Grid: SJ964984

Mapcode National: GBR GX25.R5

Mapcode Global: WHB9K.DQB8

Plus Code: 9C5VFWMV+5P

Entry Name: Former Victoria Market, now Stalybridge Civic Hall

Listing Date: 6 February 1986

Last Amended: 22 April 2022

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1068023

English Heritage Legacy ID: 212638

ID on this website: 101068023

Location: Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester, SK15

County: Tameside

Electoral Ward/Division: Dukinfield Stalybridge

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Stalybridge

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Stalybridge Holy Trinity and Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Tagged with: Building

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Former market hall, 1866-1868 to designs by Amos Lee. A late-C20 refurbishment with two floors of inserted rooms is not of special interest.


Former market hall. 1866-1868 to designs by Amos Lee. A late-C20 refurbishment with two floors of inserted rooms is not of special interest.

MATERIALS: orange brick with sandstone, white terracotta dressings and blue and white brick dressings. Slate roofs.

PLAN: the large, rectangular building has three parallel pitched roofs running east-west supported inside by two rows of cast-iron columns; the two floors with three staircases and a lift inserted within the space at the east end are not of special interest. The front elevation has a central clock tower over the main entrance on Trinity Street.

EXTERIOR: the front, west elevation is of nine bays. It is built of brick in Flemish bond on a high stone plinth of banded rustication with an entablature of a stone architrave band, orange brick frieze and moulded stone cornice with stone brackets on a white brick band. The frieze has a series of small rectangular ventilation apertures with stone surrounds and cast-iron diamond grilles. Above is a pierced and panelled stone parapet.

The slightly projecting wide central bay is faced in stone with rusticated quoins and giant pilasters flanking the large, round-headed doorway. It has a giant keystone carved with fruit and two rusticated voussoirs and is flanked by relief-carved panels of fruit, flowers and leaves with the Stalybridge coat of arms and motto (Absque Labore Nihil; Nothing without Labour), panelled double doors and a plain fanlight. The parapet above has panels with swagged fruit and VICTORIA MARKET in relief letters beneath a horizontal band of decorative tiling and a modillioned triangular pediment. Behind the pediment is a square tower of polychrome brickwork with clasping stone pilasters with Corinthian capitals and a modillioned entablature. Each face has a round-headed blind arch with alternating stone and brick voussoirs and a shaped stone gablet incorporating a circular clock face and topped by a ball finial. The tower has a steeply pitched fish-scale slate roof with ventilation apertures and ornate cast-iron crowning railings, canopy and finial.

The two outermost bays project slightly and have blind, recessed panels. The three bays to each side of the central bay have blind, round-headed arcading with giant brick pilasters. The moulded stone arch heads have giant keystones and an upper row of alternating blue and white bricks. Bays two and eight have round-headed doorways with moulded stone architraves with giant keystones, panelled double doors and plain fanlights; the doorway in bay two has three steps. The central pitched roof is hidden behind the tower and the two outer slate roofs are hipped at this end.

The south side elevation is of thirteen bays. It is built of brick in English garden wall bond (3:1) with a stone plinth of coursed, rock-faced stone blocks with a squared stone coping. The outermost bays project slightly and are higher: the left-hand corner bay has a stone parapet wrapping round from the front elevation and that at the right-hand corner bay has a stone modillion cornice and a partial brick parapet. Bays two to twelve have pier and panel construction with white terracotta mouldings to the heads of the panels and to the eaves cornice. The central bay projects slightly and has a large, round-headed doorway with a stone architrave with panelled pilasters, moulded head and giant keystone, panelled double doors and a semi-circular overlight with a cast-iron diamond grille. The other bays all have large, round-headed windows with stone sills and orange and white brick aprons separating the lower, square-headed windows with six-pane timber frames from the taller, upper windows with nine-pane timber frames and fanlights.

The north side elevation is of thirteen similar bays with a central doorway and large round-headed windows with aprons separating the lower, square-headed windows, though with a deeper basement level with a stone plinth and coursed, rock-faced stone above with square coping in line with the doorway impost band.

The rear, east elevation is of three bays with three gables. It has a coursed stone basement/plinth level and wide brick pilasters with round-headed panels, a stone modillioned eaves cornices and panelled brick parapets to the outer corners and separating the bays. The gable apexes have small round-headed ventilation apertures and there are circular, cast-iron beam end panels beside the pilasters at parapet height. Each bay has a large, round-headed doorway with stone architraves with alternating smooth and rusticated stones, panelled double doors and plain fanlights. The central bay has a small inserted round window above the doorway and the side bays both have two small, square windows inserted above the doorways.

A modern circular blue plaque is attached to the rear elevation to commemorate Ada Summers, first woman councillor in Tameside, Mayor of Stalybridge (1919) and first woman magistrate to adjudicate on an English Bench.

INTERIOR: the building was originally a full-height hall, the space retained at the west end. Two rows of cast-iron columns with shallow, segmental-arched spandrel beams support the roof structure of the three parallel pitched roofs. The beams have decorative ionic capitals and were cast by W Milburn & Sons, Founders, Stalybridge. The pierced spandrel beams have diminishing circles towards the central key blocks cast with the coat of arms. The roofs have wrought-iron tie-bar roof trusses with horizontal tongue and groove timber boarding and continuous rows of lights to the roofs. The floor is stone flagged.The central west clock tower has an upper round-headed former window with a bracketted sill overlooking the hall. To the immediate right of the clock tower is a doorway leading to the tower stairs with a four-panelled door and overlight with a shaped ventilation grille. Above and to the left of the tower is a timber moulded cornice marking the line of the former small units beneath (spaces beneath reconstructed in present modern form). Along the north and south sides of the hall are similar moulded cornices above the remains of the single-storey shops, with modern glazed partitions inserted in front of the original units. The timber shop fronts are separated by pilasters. A number retain a doorway to one side with an overlight with shaped ventilation grilles and a large window with a row of transom lights and a timber panelled stallriser. The lower external square-headed windows light the units from the outside.

On the modern first floor at the east end is a relocated timber board recording the names of the mayors since 1857 when the Charter of Incorporation was granted.


The first market hall in Stalybridge was on the ground floor of the town hall built in 1831. This was then superseded by a purpose-built market hall built in 1866 to 1868 on Trinity Street. The new market, named Victoria Market, was designed by Mr Amos Lee, the Borough Surveyor. The foundation stone was laid in a ceremony on 6 October 1866 by James Sidebottom, Mayor of Stalybridge. The event was covered by a local newspaper who published a description of the new market hall to be built. It was to cover over 1,503 square yards (1,257 square metres) and be constructed of brick with stone dressings and a wrought-iron roof supported by two rows of cast-iron columns. It was intended to have 28 shops, with a toll-collector’s office in the lower part of the tower at the centre of the front elevation, commanding a view of the whole interior. The stalls were to be arranged in parallel lines transversely across the market. It was proposed that a water fountain be fixed in the centre, with two drinking fountains in the front entrance. The total cost of the land and building was £8,969. An Ordnance Survey map published in 1875 shows the layout of the interior, with rows of twelve shops along the north and south walls, divided by central doorways, and four units against the west wall.

The market was formally opened on 18 July 1868 by the then Mayor of Stalybridge, James Kirk.

The market hall closed on New Year's Eve 1999 and was refurbished as a civic hall, reopening in 2001. Part of the open market hall was kept and two floors of rooms of varying sizes were also built within the original space.

Reasons for Listing

The former Victoria Market, of 1866 to 1868 by Amos Lee, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the well-designed and detailed classical exterior demonstrates a keen civic pride in the provision of a dedicated market building for the town’s citizens;
* the interior retains the original locally-manufactured cast-iron columns, iron roof structure, stone-flagged market hall and remnants of the small shop units to the perimeters.

Historic interest:

* as a spacious covered market built using new structural technologies for the time to construct a wide-span iron roof and enable a large number of stallholders to be grouped together to serve the rapidly expanding urban population.

Group value:

* the former Victoria Market forms a handsome civic group on Trinity Street with the post office and the public library, and stands adjacent to Holy Trinity Church and close to a former Sunday School, all of which are listed.

External Links

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