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Town Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lynton, Devon

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Latitude: 51.2304 / 51°13'49"N

Longitude: -3.8363 / 3°50'10"W

OS Eastings: 271880

OS Northings: 149514

OS Grid: SS718495

Mapcode National: GBR L1.2MYG

Mapcode Global: VH4M9.GB7M

Plus Code: 9C3R65J7+5F

Entry Name: Town Hall

Listing Date: 3 September 1973

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1206608

English Heritage Legacy ID: 376505

Location: Lynton and Lynmouth, North Devon, Devon, EX35

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Lynton and Lynmouth

Built-Up Area: Lynton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lynton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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SS7149 LEE ROAD, Lynton
858-1/4/23 (North side)
03/09/73 Town Hall


Town hall. Cornerstone laid 1898, opened by the donor, Sir
George Newnes, 15 August 1900. Architects Read and Macdonald,
London. Squared rubble with limestone ashlar dressings,
timber-framing, tile roofs. A neo-Tudor design with Art
Nouveau details, the upper floor is in close-spaced framing
with decorative bracing in the Cheshire tradition, and the
ground floor in stonework.
PLAN: near-symmetrical with a full-width public hall at upper
level, approached by a grand imperial staircase, with
secondary access at the half-landing level. The ground floor
has the Council Chamber to the left, and library to the right,
with other smaller rooms. A wide external stone stair, with
quarter-landing, to the right (S and E side), giving direct
access to the hall.
EXTERIOR: windows are casements, with leading, having moulded
transoms and mullions, in wood with ovolo-mould to the first
floor, and stone to hollow chamfer below. The S front has 3
gables over multi-light casements. Each side of the central
gable is an octagonal stone turret, with small single or
double lights under crenellations, and between these a bold
balcony is brought forward, carried on large scrolled stone
brackets, to a balustrade with splat balusters and heavy
square newels with steep obelisk finials; this continues to
the right as the stair balustrade, returning by a
quarter-landing to the right.
The ground floor has a raked buttress over a small moulded
arch to the left, then 4-light to the Town Clerk's office, and
1:1:2-light to the turret base. Beyond the doorway are two
2-light. The main entrance is framed by a very wide elliptical
moulded arch dying to jamb-stops, over a full-width flight of
shallow stone steps to heavy framed doors to a segmental
arched head, with Art Nouveau embellishment and fittings, and
with a small door to the left, and 2-light casement to the
right. The wall supporting the quarter-landing to the right
has battered sides. Gables have decorative barge-boards with
wooden finials; the main roof is hipped with returns, to a
U-plan at the rear, the side gables being continuous with the
outer slopes.
The left return has 2:3:2-light casements to the first floor,
above a flat-roofed 7-light bow, to the Council Chamber. On
this side is a large external stack with paired diagonal flues
to cappings and frieze. The return to the right has, at the
upper level, a very large decorative carved stone panel,
including the Royal Arms, above a fine doorway in a moulded
stone elliptical arch with Art Nouveau detail with a panelled
timber door including a shell-hood motif. To its right is a
large 4-light window, to the library. Beyond, the building
steps down slightly, and has simpler detailing.
The rear is complex, and includes a wide dormer, and various
lights, one group of 7 of these to a wide, flat cusped
elliptical arch. At the half-landing level is an octagonal
extension in stone, with a door on the E side, There is a
further large ridge stack towards the rear of the right half,
with 4 diagonal flues.
INTERIOR: richly panelled and fitted, and appears to be little
modified. The square entrance hall has 4 large square piers
and responds with strapwork panelling. To each side are fine
panelled doors with pulvinated friezes and pedimented heads,
and a dentilled frieze is carried all round at the head of the
panelling and at the ceiling level. The inner vestibule doors,
with undulating head, are glazed with Art Nouveau enrichment.
The Jubilee Room (originally library) to the right is
panelled, and has a deep square embayment to the window,
flanked by the lobby and a store.
From the main hall, centrally left, opens the long Council
Chamber, with a 7-light bow. It has a wide stone fire surround
with elliptical arch under a wide polished wood mantel to
undulating head, and an eared surround. The room opposite is
now used as the library, originally a recreation room. It has
a fire surround in green faience with a bold bolection-mould
4 full-width steps lead to the wide main imperial stair in
polished hardwood and Jacobean detail, with solid string,
twisted balusters and large square newels carrying fine
heraldic lions rampant. The panelled walls have a dentil
cornice. The half-landing opens through an elliptical arch to
a semi-octagonal lobby, with door. At the top landing are
7-panelled doors to the main hall, and to rooms each end;
those to the hall are pedimented. A secondary stone tight-well
stair, with simple iron balustrade, to the right of the main
stair. The hall, hipped at the W end, is in 4 bays with
arch-braced trusses plus queen-posts and on deep hammer-beam
brackets, with iron rod ties. There are 2 ranges of
wind-bracing. The centre has a flat ceiling, and the purlins
have elliptical arch bracing. On the street side the hall
opens into the 2 turrets, with a door to the balcony or the
head of the external stair.
HISTORICAL NOTE: a very striking building, and one of the
finest Domestic Revival examples of its type in the country,
in which no expense was spared; the cost is recorded as
ยป20,000. Sir George Newnes, a major benefactor to the town,
employed the contractor Bob Jones here, as in other major
public works. Stones each side of the main entry record, to
the left: 'This Town Hall presented by Sir George Newnes, J.P.
was opened by him on 15th day of August 1900', and to the
right: 'Erected by Sir George Newnes Baronet J.P. and
presented by him to Lynton and Lynmouth for ever'.

Listing NGR: SS7188049514

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