Sheffield Town Hall

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Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall (27475677653).jpg
Sheffield Town Hall & Peace Gardens
Record height
Tallest in Sheffield from 1896 to 1965[I]
Preceded byCathedral Church of St Marie
Surpassed byArts Tower
General information
StatusComplete
TypeGovernment
Classification
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated28 June 1973
Reference no.1246902
LocationSheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°22′49″N 1°28′10″W / 53.3803398°N 1.4694321°W / 53.3803398; -1.4694321Coordinates: 53°22′49″N 1°28′10″W / 53.3803398°N 1.4694321°W / 53.3803398; -1.4694321
Completed1896
Opening1896
OwnerSheffield City Council
Height
Roof61 m (200 ft)
Top floor61 m (200 ft)
Technical details
Floor count6
Design and construction
ArchitectEdward William Mountford

Sheffield Town Hall is a municipal building on Pinstone Street in the City of Sheffield, England. The building is used by Sheffield City Council, and also contains a publicly displayed collection of silverware. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]

History[edit]

The current building, commissioned to replace the Old Town Hall, was designed by the London-based architect Edward William Mountford in the Renaissance Revival style and constructed between 1890 and 1897.[1] The building was opened by Queen Victoria, using a remote control lock from her carriage, on 21 May 1897.[2] The turning of the key in the lock triggered a light in the building which was the signal for three concealed men to open the gates.[2]

An extension designed by F. E. P. Edwards was opened by the Prince of Wales on 29 May 1923.[2]

The gardens were first laid out in 1938, following the demolition of St Paul's Church. Originally named St Paul's Gardens, they were immediately nicknamed the "Peace Gardens", marking the contemporary signing of the Munich Agreement.[3]

An extension designed in the Brutalist style was added to the east of the Peace Gardens in 1977; nicknamed The Egg-Box after its appearance, it was demolished in 2002.[4]

Exterior[edit]

The design of the exterior echoed to a certain extent the architecture of the adjacent St. Paul's Church of 1720 (now demolished). During construction, the building was criticised for its expensive embellishments. The exterior is built of Stoke stone from the Stoke Hall Quarry in Grindleford, Derbyshire and is decorated with carvings by F. W. Pomeroy. The friezes depict the industries of Sheffield, and the 64-metre-high clock-tower is surmounted by a statue of Vulcan. Bells were never installed in the clock-tower, but in 2002 an electronic bell sound system was added to provide hourly strikes and Westminster-style quarter chimes.[5]

Interior[edit]

The entry contains displays relating to HMS Sheffield and leads to the Main Entrance Hall with a grand marble staircase. This also has an Electrolier an electric chandelier, part of the original lighting of the building. The walls include friezes including a depiction of the slaying of the Dragon of Wharncliffe. On the first landing is a statue of the first Lord Mayor Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk.[6]

The first floor has a gallery running its length which can be divided into four sections by means of powered oak panels descending from the ceiling. The south room is the Lord Mayor's Parlour which is kept permanently divided.[2] On the same floor is the oak-panelled Council Room and its antechamber, which has above its door the advice "Be Ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves", a religious quotation.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Town Hall, Sheffield (1246902)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Sheffield City Council Archived 15 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine Town Hall (accessed 19 August 2010)
  3. ^ Ruth Harman and John Minnis, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Sheffield
  4. ^ "Can you remember the 'Egg Box' – and when Sheffield's Peace Gardens used to look like this?". The Star. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Electronic bells to ring in change at town hall". Yorkshire Post. 10 December 2002. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Sheffield Town Hall;Statue of the 15th Duke of Norfolk". The Courtauld Gallery. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  7. ^ The Baptist Magazine. 25. Baptist Missionary Society. 1833. p. 292.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harman, R.; Minnis, J. (2004). Pevsner City Guides: Sheffield. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. pp. 61–66 & 147. ISBN 0-300-10585-1.