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IoE Number: 476298
Location: TOWN HALL, VICTORIA SQUARE (west side)
Photographer: N/A
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 26 April 1974
Date of last amendment: 26 April 1972
Grade II*

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BOLTONSD7109SEVICTORIA SQUARE797-1/17/229(West side)

BOLTON SD7109SE VICTORIA SQUARE 797-1/17/229 (West side) 26/04/72 Town Hall GV II* Town Hall. 1866-1873, extended 1938. William Hill of Leeds, architect of original building, assisted by George Woodhouse. Extensions by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope. Ashlar, rusticated to basement storey. Classical temple form, with high tower over pedimented entrance. EXTERIOR: high basement storey and 2 principal floors above, the plan comprising central hall lit by clerestory, with offices etc. forming an outer ring. Entrance front has high podium, and wide flight of steps leading to central pedimented portico of 5 bays with composite columns and high relief allegorical sculpture by W Calder Marshall in the pediment. Central entrance doors with round arched window over, within portico. Outer ranges of 5 bays, 2 storeys with basement, articulated by composite engaged shafts, and with round arched windows to first floor. Baroque tower set back behind pedimented centre on vermiculated base with clock flanked by rusticated panels, and composite pilasters to upper stage with round arched recessed lights and balustrading above. Recessed upper stage with pedimented cornice, terminating in stone dome with elaborate stone fleche. Smaller pedimented towers (possibly concealing ventilation ducts or chimneys) to either side. 4-bay returns articulated by composite pilasters, with round arched upper windows then advanced 5-bay range similarly detailed with entrance in centre. This advanced range was originally central to symmetrical return elevations, but extensions of 1938 (in identical style) formed 9-window range each side, with central entrances in projecting porches. Symmetrical rear elevation of 17 bays with central entrance in porch. This rear range houses office accommodation and is a later addition. INTERIOR: front block (the original building) houses public rooms, council chamber and committee rooms etc. on principal storeys, the basement storey, office accommodation. Rear range devoted to municipal offices. Central hall itself damaged by fire in 1981, and now reconstructed with an inserted ceiling bisecting the room to form 2 public halls. Original scheme, the walls divided by plaster panelling with composite pilasters, and coffered ceiling with vaulting over segmentally headed clerestory windows has been reconstructed, as has the ornate case of the organ. Other rooms retain original detail, with heavy plaster work to ceilings and cornices, pedimented doorcases and panelled doors. Interior decoration all by WB Simpson, and the corridors, intended to be fireproof, have tiles by Minton Hollins. (BOE: Pevsner N: South Lancashire: Harmondsworth: 1969-; Cunningham C: Victorian and Edwardian Town Halls: London: 1981-; Bolton and District Civic Trust: Buildings of Bolton: Bolton: 1983-; The Builder, 31 May and 7 June 1873).

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