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Town Hall

A Grade I Listed Building in Milkstone and Deeplish, Rochdale

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Latitude: 53.6157 / 53°36'56"N

Longitude: -2.1589 / 2°9'32"W

OS Eastings: 389584

OS Northings: 413253

OS Grid: SD895132

Mapcode National: GBR FVCM.DL

Mapcode Global: WHB8X.TC4Y

Entry Name: Town Hall

Listing Date: 25 October 1951

Last Amended: 12 February 1985

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1084275

English Heritage Legacy ID: 358886

Location: Rochdale, OL16

County: Rochdale

Electoral Ward/Division: Milkstone and Deeplish

Built-Up Area: Rochdale

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Rochdale St Chad, St Mary and St Edmund

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Listing Text

(south east side)
25.1O. 1951 Town Hall
(formerley listed as
Town Hall and Police
G.V. I Station)

Town hall. 1866 - 71, W.H. Crossland; tower 1883 by A.
Waterhouse. Ashlar, Westmorland slate roof. The reception
room, Lord Mayor's Parlour, the Small Exchange, members
lounge and committee rooms are placed to either side of the
entrance hall (or the Exchange). The grand staircase rises
to the first floor Great Hall and small staircases terminate
the essentially axial plan. To the south-west of the hall
on the upper floor is the Council Chamber (formerly Court
room) and retiring room. Gothic revival in an elaborate
form with Continental antecedents. Facade of 14 bays is
asymmetrical but balanced with linking bay and tower added
to left. Outer bays have triangular gables and are of 3
storeys, although they differ in treatment. The next 2 on
left and 3 on right have an arcade across the ground floor,
then tiers of plate glass windows, mostly mullioned with
cusped heads, and end above a corbelled balcony in a stepped
gable richly panelled with blind tracery. The central seven
bays (containing the Hall) are flanked to left by a slim
octagonal stair turret with stone spirelet and to right by
an octagonal stair tower with tall 2-light pointed windows
and a steep pyramidal slate roof with cresting. The central
3 bays have a heavily buttressed porte-cochere supporting
heraldic beasts and acting as a balcony to the Hall which is
lit by tall 3-light windows with geometrical tracery.
Battlements behind which rises an immense slate roof with
central wooden fleche. The tower, a version of that at
Manchester Town Hall rises sheer from the plinth through 3
stages to the broader clock stage where gables surmount each
face flanked by pinnacles. Above this a short octagonal
lantern carries a stone spire. The whole facade is richly
carved with naturalistic foliage in the style of Southwell
Minster. The main feature of each return wall is a tall
semi-octagonal stair tower with lead windows and pyramidal
slate roofs. The rear is comparatively plain, but the
centre is occupied by the great stair hall of 3 bays with
weathered buttresses and very tall 3-light windows, roofed
separately. The entrance hall is 5 x 3 bays with
quadripartite red and white stone vaulting, fine carved
capitals of Southwell Minster type carved by Thomas Earp,
polished granite columns and Minton floor tiles; it forms an
undercroft to the hall and was intended as an Exchange. The
reception room has 3 pierced diaphragm arches, 2 Tudor
arched fireplaces with castellated mantles and heraldic
panels, and wall paintings depicting the various machines
used in textiles. The Lord Mayor's Parlour has a similar
fireplace, chamfered beams carried on corbels representing
the sections of an orchestra, William Morris stained glass
depicting the seasons and months of the year, and wall
paintings. The members lounge has a vaulted ceiling carried
on granite corner columns. The Small Exchange has the
industries of Rochdale represented in the stained glass and
ceiling paintings. The vaulted stair hall has one flight
which returns in two with clustered columns rising between
the flights. The heavy marble handrail rests on a stone
arcade, the upper landings are supported on flying ribs and
the stained glass represents the towns with which Rochdale
traded. The Great Hall has a painted timber roof with
angelic hammer beams: Henry Holiday's wall painting of 1870
depicts King John signing the Magna Carta, the stained glass
is by Bayne of Heaton But and Bayne and includes two
rose windows to the gables. A large organ is housed in
three pointed arches. The Council Chamber and Court Room
are elaborately decorated with carved timber fittings. Most
rooms have original painted wall pattern designs by Best of
Rochdale and oak linenfold panelling of varying designs.
The design was selected by competition in 1864 and is an
important early departure from High Victorian heaviness.
The Builder 7:4:66, 7:10:71, and 12.2.76. B.o.E.

Listing NGR: SD8958413253

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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