Derby Hall, Greater Manchester
|The Derby Hall|
The Derby Hall, with Athenaeum House on the right
|Town or city||Bury|
|Client||Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby|
|Design and construction|
It was originally the central part of a larger development that included the Derby Hotel on the left, and the Athenaeum on the right (both also designed by Smirke). These other two buildings were demolished in 1965 and 1971, respectively.
Construction of the building began at Christmas 1848, and was completed in October 1850.
The hall was opened on 6 November 1850 with a concert which was attended by 600 people.
The building was originally known as the Public Rooms (although it quickly became known as the Town Hall). Upon opening, it contained a magistrate's court, a police station, the Earl of Derby's estate offices, and a large assembly room.
Stanley hoped the building to be the meeting place for Bury's council, however because of a disagreement between the peer and the local authority, it was never used for this purpose.
In 1925 the Derby estates were sold, and the building was purchased for £12,500 by Bury council: it was at this time that it became known as The Derby Hall. The main room upstairs served as a civic hall, hosting dances, banquets and other occasions.
In 1936, despite much local opposition, the stonework of the ground floor was knocked out to make a large glass window for a showroom for the local electricity board. This remained for forty years, when it was in turn replaced by the three archways that stand today.
- The Manchester Courier, and Lancashire General Advertiser, Saturday 5 October 1850, p. 5
- The Musical Times, 1 December 1850, p. 106