Morley Town Hall
Morley Town Hall is a grand grade I listed building, with a clock tower in Morley, West Yorkshire, England. Built when the newly formed 1885 borough council, with the first Mayor of Morley, Joseph Schofield, ran a competition to design an impressive Town Hall building. Of the 73 entries submitted the winning design from Holtom & Fox, a firm of Dewsbury architects, was selected. Holtom & Fox received £100 and supervised some of the building work.
The town hall's main steps have a colonnade with a Roman frieze on the pediment. It is situated on Queen Street in the centre of Morley. It bears a strong resemblance to Bolton Town Hall. It is a Grade I listed building. The building retains many original features, including halls, a courtroom and holding cells, all of which contribute to the building being chosen often as a local filming location. ITV shows Emmerdale and Heartbeat both use the hall for both interior and exterior shots.
The building cost over £41,000 to build and the dome is 160 feet high.
The original clock was completed on 20 April 1895, and was known as "Sam Rhodes Clock" named after Councillor Samuel Rhodes who was responsible for installing the clock. The official opening ceremony was performed on 16 October by the Rt. Hon. H. H. Asquith Q.C., M.P. the Morley born Liberal politician and Home Secretary.
The town's previous clock had been blown from the top of the Local Board Offices during a gale twenty years earlier. The people of Morley were in favour of the new clock, which would be seen for miles. The clock chimes the Westminster Quarters made famous by Big Ben in London, and its belfry contains the wartime air raid siren. Access to the clock is no longer permitted for health and safety reasons.
On the morning of Friday 18 August 1961, a fire broke out in the nearby Albert Mills which, before demolition, were used for storing paper. As the mill burned, sparks and burning paper were blown against the dome of the town hall and set alight its timber construction. Within two hours the dome was destroyed and the clock put out of action. The fire was reported on national television and film footage is available within the Yorkshire Film Archive. Restoration was completed 14 December 1962.