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Town Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Morecambe, Lancashire

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Latitude: 54.0758 / 54°4'32"N

Longitude: -2.8581 / 2°51'29"W

OS Eastings: 343948

OS Northings: 464772

OS Grid: SD439647

Mapcode National: GBR 8PH9.0P

Mapcode Global: WH840.2T89

Plus Code: 9C6V34GR+8P

Entry Name: Town Hall

Listing Date: 8 November 2001

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1389539

English Heritage Legacy ID: 488225

Location: Morecambe, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA4

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster

Civil Parish: Morecambe

Built-Up Area: Morecambe

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Poulton-le-Sands Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Tagged with: City hall

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939-1/0/10010 MARINE ROAD
08-NOV-01 Town Hall


Town Hall and municipal offices. Foundation stone laid 7th August 1931, official opening 7th June 1931. Designed by the Borough Engineer, P.W.Ladmore, with facade design by Alfred William Stephens Cross, MA, V-PIAAS, his son, Kenneth Mervyn Baskerville Cross, MA, FRIBA and C.Sutton.
Red-brown rustic brick in 1:3 English bond, Darley Dale stone details including portico, architraves and aprons to windows, quoins, parapet. White glazed bricks line the upper floor walls facing onto the council chamber clerestory windows and shallow pyramidal glazed roof with ventilator restored circa 1980. Steel framed structure, concrete flooring, internal walls of hollow fire clay blocks, flat roof originally covered with natural rock asphalt. Austral type metal window frames, some replaced.
C18 classical style, symetrical. 2 storeys over raised basement, 13 x 16 bay rectangular plan with grand entrance hall and central single-storey top-lit council chamber.
Single-storey Tuscan portico to the central 3 front bays: a flight of 6 wide steps; paired columns in antis; triglyph frieze; balustrade with urns. Paired pilasters flank central entrance doors, with semi-circular sockets for ceremonial halberds presented in 1905. The facade was surmounted by a tall flagstaff, temporarily removed due to water penetration at base of the supports.
Rear: plain fenestration, stone sills and brick flat arches, open well to bay 7 with steps down to basement, 4 cast iron moulded posts, handrail altered. Left return: right quoined bay with deep eaves and parapet as front; the remainder is slightly lower. Entrance bay 3: ten stone steps with cast iron and bronze handrails, panelled double doors, overlight with geometric tracery, moulded stone surround. Tall 3-pane windows as rear and square-section cast-iron down pipes, Lancashire rose on hoppers. Right return: similar to left, 9 steps to the entrance door bay 14, left handrail replaced.

Interior fittings survive throughout the building, including panelled doors, window frames with pivot opening or side casement mechanisms, radiators, light fittings. The ground floor layout and individual rooms include: panelled double doors open into a square lobby with original central pendant lamp, glazed screen to main staircase hall. The entrance hall has cream and light blue terrazzo flooring with central mosaic panel of the town shield and motto 'BEAUTY SURROUNDS. HEALTH ABOUNDS'; wheelchair ramps obscure curved corner steps; square section columns with later decoration, cantilevered stone divided staircase: cast iron ballustrade with scrolled panels and ramped mahogany handrails; the stair well lit by 3 round-arched stained glass windows. Double doors to left and right open into the Council Chamber / magistrates' courtroom: 4 corner columns carry a deep moulded beam which supports clerestory walling with roundels and square windows with original yellow and blue geometric patterned glass; walls: moulded 'acoustic' plaster wall panels , ceiling of square glazed panels and decorative bands in red, green, yellow and blue. Original glass cube pendant lights. Wall gas lights here and elsewhere in the building in the form of bronze plaques with relief decoration of laurel leaves supporting torches with white glass globes. A fixed oak partition, 3 glazed leaded glass panels [central door] divided by paired pilasters, screens the entrance to the chamber from the rear corridor and magistrates' rooms. Furniture: original black oak desks, chairs with green hide upholstery, and tables, the latter straight or curved and in units designed to be moved to suit the number of members meeting. Carved motif of coat of arms on chair backs; the tall chairs and mayor's / magistrate's desk survive, with original lights and bells.
The outer rooms are reached from a corridor round three sides of the building which also links the two secondary staircases to rear left and right. The stairs are one straight flight with roll-moulded mahogany hand rails and bronze landing balustrades with scrolled decoration.
Interior, first floor, front: the mayor's private room and anteroom has a built-in oak cupboard, the main front suite of rooms includes the mayor's parlour and two committee rooms separated by folding panelled oak screens; the doors have pedimented surrounds, the panelled plaster ceiling has been removed to reveal steel joists and concrete infill. The left offices include the original open and well-lit drawing office. The right-hand corridor rooms include the original kitchen and general office.
Basement: reached from the rear stairs; includes steel doors to former cell or strong room and base of rear boiler house chimney .

Garage approximately 20m to north-east, brick, concrete pillars support flat lintels, parapet above. Single storey, 5 bays, originally open-sided but now with panelled doors and inserted windows far right.

The building of the new Town Hall was made possible by funding from the Unemployment Grants Committee and planning began in 1930. The work cost over £40,000 and the foundation stone was laid by the then Mayor Councillor J.S.Cordingley, J.P., on 12th August 1931. Heating was on the low pressure hot water system with a gas-fired boiler.
The design team for the facade was father and son, Alfred and Kenneth Cross, with C. Sutton. The RIBA records show that Kenneth Cross [d.1968] worked extensively for local authorities in London [including Westminster, Marylebone, Finsbury, Finchley and Inslington] and for Bournmouth and Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was an expert in the design of indoor swimming baths and wrote two books on public baths. He also designed for the Barbers' Company, the Grocers' Company, the Whitgift Foundation, St John's College, Cambridge, Plymouth Commercial Bakery, and Barclays Bank.
Morecambe and Heysham Municipal buildings were illustrated in The Builder, August 19th 1932 and obituaries of Kenneth Cross, who was President of the RIBA, are in The Times, Building magazine 26th January 1968, p.98; and the RIBA Journal volume 75, 1968.

Listing NGR: SD4395164768

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