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The Former Public Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Preston, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7593 / 53°45'33"N

Longitude: -2.7036 / 2°42'12"W

OS Eastings: 353712

OS Northings: 429445

OS Grid: SD537294

Mapcode National: GBR T99.DJ

Mapcode Global: WH85M.FRTX

Entry Name: The Former Public Hall

Listing Date: 21 March 1973

Last Amended: 3 December 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1292350

English Heritage Legacy ID: 391998

Location: Preston, Lancashire, PR1

County: Lancashire

District: Preston

Town: Preston

Electoral Ward/Division: Town Centre

Built-Up Area: Preston

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Preston St John and St George the Martyr

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Preston

Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 03/09/2014

941-1/11/115

PRESTON
FLEET STREET (North side)
THE FORMER PUBLIC HALL

(Formerly listed as: THE PUBLIC HALL)

21-MAR-1973

II
The former Corn Exchange of 1822-24 remodelled as a meeting hall and entertainment complex known as the Public Hall in 1881-82, partly demolished in 1986, and now used as a public house.

MATERIALS: Red brick with sandstone dressings beneath a slate roof hipped at the north and south ends.

PLAN: The building is T-shaped in plan.

EXTERIOR: The building is constructed in the Georgian style with the main east or front elevation having a projecting central range of three bays with a gable above and matching flanking ranges each of three bays to either side. There are sandstone decorative features that include a plinth, chamfered quoins, impost bands, a first floor sill band, a plain frieze and a moulded cornice. The centrally-placed entrance has a doorway with a Tuscan doorcase surmounted by two plaques. Both plaques have raised lettering; the lower reads, 'CORN EXCHANGE / ERECTED BY THE CORPORATION / MDCCCXXII / NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW ESQE MAYOR', while the upper plaque reads, 'ENLARGED AND RESTORED / MDCCCLXXXII / EDMUND BIRLEY ESQRE'. Set into the gable above is a carved sandstone plaque depicting the city's crest of a lamb and flag in relief. All windows apart from the ground floor lunettes are modern Georgian style. The ground floor windows in both flanking ranges are protected by reused elaborate open-work cast iron screens with anthemion patterns in the fanlights and were manufactured by Rothwell, Hick & Rothwell of Bolton. The roof is hipped at the north and south ends and the centre is surmounted by a louvred cupola with a front-facing clock face and a domed roof, topped by a weather vane. Both returns are of two bays with ground floor round headed windows and upper floor windows matching those on the front elevation. The plinth, impost band, sill band, frieze and moulded cornice have all been carried around both returns. The south return has a modern fire escape door inserted into a former window aperture. The rear elevation is a mid/late 1980's build with a projecting central range with gable. Brickwork, windows, quoins and decorative banding match the rest of the building.

INTERIOR: Now a public house. There are two floors connected by a modern centrally-placed staircase. The ground floor consists of a large open room with a bar to the rear, seating to the centre and right and an open area to the left. Toilets are located in a corner to the right and there is a cloakroom in the corner to the left. The ceiling has plasterwork detail and is supported by Roman Ionic columns. The upper floor has a large open room with a bar to the rear with seating to the right. There is a modern inserted fire escape behind doors to the left. A door to the right leads into the 1980s extension where there are toilets, offices and a second fire escape.

HISTORY: The Public Hall, Preston, was originally constructed as the Corn Exchange between 1822-24 and consisted of a number of large rooms around an open court covered by a glass roof. In 1842, at the height of Chartist agitation, a demonstartion outside the Corn Exchange by striking cotton workers saw the military open fire on the protestors killing four people. A statue of the Preston Martyrs by Gordon Young was unveiled outside the Corn Exchange in the late 1980's to mark this event. The building was remodelled as the Public Hall in 1881-82 and was furnished with a hall and galleries for the purpose of meetings and entertainment. In its new format the building could accommodate 3,300 people. The Public Hall functioned as Preston's premier meeting and entertainment complex and hosted performances by artists such as The Beatles until its closure in 1972, after which it lay unused. In 1986 listed building consent was granted for demolition of all but the front entrance and foyer of the building in order to facilitate road improvements. After demolition a new extension was added to the rear of the surviving part of the building in a sympathetic architectural style externally. The building was re-opened as a public house with early features such as elaborate cast iron window screens and lunette windows being reused on the front elevation. New doors and windows were inserted throughout and two former blind windows in the side elevations were opened.

SOURCES:
John Garlington. The Archive Photographs Series, Preston (Chalford Publishing Co., 1995) p30.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The former Public Hall in Preston is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The surviving range of the Public Hall, comprising of the former front entrance and foyer, was the most important architectural element of the former complex
* The building has played a significant role in Preston's agricultural, industrial, social and leisure history for almost 200 years
* Despite partial demolition in the 1980's the building retains its imposing symmetrical Georgian façade and makes a major contribution to the city's street scene.

Listing NGR: SD5369329437

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

Description

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 03/09/2014

941-1/11/115

PRESTON
FLEET STREET (North side)
THE FORMER PUBLIC HALL

(Formerly listed as: THE PUBLIC HALL)

21-MAR-1973

II
The former Corn Exchange of 1822-24 remodelled as a meeting hall and entertainment complex known as the Public Hall in 1881-82, partly demolished in 1986, and now used as a public house.

MATERIALS: Red brick with sandstone dressings beneath a slate roof hipped at the north and south ends.

PLAN: The building is T-shaped in plan.

EXTERIOR: The building is constructed in the Georgian style with the main east or front elevation having a projecting central range of three bays with a gable above and matching flanking ranges each of three bays to either side. There are sandstone decorative features that include a plinth, chamfered quoins, impost bands, a first floor sill band, a plain frieze and a moulded cornice. The centrally-placed entrance has a doorway with a Tuscan doorcase surmounted by two plaques. Both plaques have raised lettering; the lower reads, 'CORN EXCHANGE / ERECTED BY THE CORPORATION / MDCCCXXII / NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW ESQE MAYOR', while the upper plaque reads, 'ENLARGED AND RESTORED / MDCCCLXXXII / EDMUND BIRLEY ESQRE'. Set into the gable above is a carved sandstone plaque depicting the city's crest of a lamb and flag in relief. All windows apart from the ground floor lunettes are modern Georgian style. The ground floor windows in both flanking ranges are protected by reused elaborate open-work cast iron screens with anthemion patterns in the fanlights and were manufactured by Rothwell, Hick & Rothwell of Bolton. The roof is hipped at the north and south ends and the centre is surmounted by a louvred cupola with a front-facing clock face and a domed roof, topped by a weather vane. Both returns are of two bays with ground floor round headed windows and upper floor windows matching those on the front elevation. The plinth, impost band, sill band, frieze and moulded cornice have all been carried around both returns. The south return has a modern fire escape door inserted into a former window aperture. The rear elevation is a mid/late 1980's build with a projecting central range with gable. Brickwork, windows, quoins and decorative banding match the rest of the building.

INTERIOR: Now a public house. There are two floors connected by a modern centrally-placed staircase. The ground floor consists of a large open room with a bar to the rear, seating to the centre and right and an open area to the left. Toilets are located in a corner to the right and there is a cloakroom in the corner to the left. The ceiling has plasterwork detail and is supported by Roman Ionic columns. The upper floor has a large open room with a bar to the rear with seating to the right. There is a modern inserted fire escape behind doors to the left. A door to the right leads into the 1980s extension where there are toilets, offices and a second fire escape.

HISTORY: The Public Hall, Preston, was originally constructed as the Corn Exchange between 1822-24 and consisted of a number of large rooms around an open court covered by a glass roof. In 1842, at the height of Chartist agitation, a demonstartion outside the Corn Exchange by striking cotton workers saw the military open fire on the protestors killing four people. A statue of the Preston Martyrs by Gordon Young was unveiled outside the Corn Exchange in the late 1980's to mark this event. The building was remodelled as the Public Hall in 1881-82 and was furnished with a hall and galleries for the purpose of meetings and entertainment. In its new format the building could accommodate 3,300 people. The Public Hall functioned as Preston's premier meeting and entertainment complex and hosted performances by artists such as The Beatles until its closure in 1972, after which it lay unused. In 1986 listed building consent was granted for demolition of all but the front entrance and foyer of the building in order to facilitate road improvements. After demolition a new extension was added to the rear of the surviving part of the building in a sympathetic architectural style externally. The building was re-opened as a public house with early features such as elaborate cast iron window screens and lunette windows being reused on the front elevation. New doors and windows were inserted throughout and two former blind windows in the side elevations were opened.

SOURCES:
John Garlington. The Archive Photographs Series, Preston (Chalford Publishing Co., 1995) p30.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The former Public Hall in Preston is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The surviving range of the Public Hall, comprising of the former front entrance and foyer, was the most important architectural element of the former complex
* The building has played a significant role in Preston's agricultural, industrial, social and leisure history for almost 200 years
* Despite partial demolition in the 1980's the building retains its imposing symmetrical Georgian façade and makes a major contribution to the city's street scene.

Listing NGR: SD5369329437

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