© Mr Brian Callan LRPS
GUILDHALL, ALFRED GELDER STREET (north side)
KINGSTON UPON HULL, KINGSTON UPON HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE
Mr Brian Callan LRPS
22 January 2006
12 November 1973
Date of last amendment:
12 November 1973
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KINGSTON UPON HULL
ALFRED GELDER STREET
Also Known As: GUILDHALL, LOW GATE
Guildhall, HANOVER SQUARE
City guildhall, civic offices, and law courts. 1906-1914. By Sir Edwin Cooper of Russell, Cooper & Davis, won in a competition assessed by John Belcher. Built in 2 stages, beginning with the law courts, by Quibell, Son & Green of Hull. Restored 1948 following wartime damage. Reckoned to be a major work of Cooper. Ashlar, rusticated, with granite plinth and slate roofs, with numerous coped stacks. Modillion cornice and balustrade to main elevations. Baroque Revival style, described by Pevsner as a tour de force, which it is, inside and out.
Narrow tapering island site, 9 x 33 bays. 2 fronts, the main entrance facing east to Lowgate, the much larger Law Courts front facing south to Alfred Gelder Street. Utilitarian rear elevation to north, facing Hanover Square. The Guildhall is set crosswise at the narrow east end, with a plain block of civic offices between it and the Law Courts. These are set lengthwise covering most of the site.The entrance front has a pedimented central portico with paired columns and 3 windows, set on a basement with 3 doorways and topped with a square clock tower. This has an arcaded bell stage and stone lantern, plus clock made by Cooke& Johnson for the former town hall built in 1865 (restorted by David Stipetic). On each side, symmetrical wings, 3 storeys, 3 windows. Returns have single round-arched windows, the left one under a portico. Basements with 5 windows. Recessed office range, 3 storeys, has 3 windows set in rusticated panels, and a basement with 3 triple windows. Law Courts have a symmetrical front with projecting centre and end bays, the latter topped with massive sculpture groups by A H Hodge. Central entrance bay has a giant arch with paired flanking columns and a hefty sculpture set over the basement door. Flanking ranges, 3 storeys, 15 bays, have giant columns and pedimented lower windows. Basement has 3 round-arched doorways. Attics have box dormers.
INTERIOR layout reflects the exterior. Guildhall, 2 storeys, has a spinal corridor flanked by offices, leading to a crosswise passage and stairwell. Elaborate marble double staircase leading to a square reception room and a full-width banqueting hall. The reception room has a coffered ceiling with central skylight. Banqueting hall has half-panelling and a segmental vault with skylight. At each end, a round-arched window.
Office block has in the centre the council chamber served by barrel-vaulted corridors and flanked by the civic suite. Council chamber has elaborate coffered dome and cross vaults, and original panelling and fitted furnishings. Civic suite has 2 panelled reception rooms with coffered ceilings, Renaissance Revival style.
Law courts have a lengthwise segment-arched tiled lobby serving the Stipendiary Magistrates' Court. This and the former Sessions Court have barrel vaults with domed skylights and their original panelling and furnishings. 4 smaller courts, divided and altered c1960, have similar furnishings. Panelled Magistrates' room similar to the civic suite. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Yorkshire East Riding: London: 1961-: 272; Bullock F H: Visitors Guide to The Guildhall: Hull: 1954-; Service A: Edwardian Architecture: London: 1977-: 201).