Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The English Urban RenaissanceCulture and Society in the Provincial Town 1660-1770$

Peter Borsay

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202554.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 23 February 2017

(p.325) Appendix 2 Provincial Town Halls and Mayoral Residences 1655–1770

(p.325) Appendix 2 Provincial Town Halls and Mayoral Residences 1655–1770

The English Urban Renaissance
Oxford University Press


  1. (i) County or Town Hall.* Built 1678–c.82. Open-arcaded ground floor with large sessions hall above; hipped roof, balustrade, and cupola. Cost c.£2,800. Used for assizes and public functions, therefore as much a county as a town hall.

  2. (ii) Guildhall or Borough Buildings.* Contains the council-chamber built 1731–4, and the Bear Room or small council-chamber built 1759.1

BATH. Guildhall. Built 1625. Open-arcaded ground floor with accommodation above. Sash-windows added and interior wainscotted, 1710 and 1718. Extended 1724–6. Demolished and rebuilt* on a new site in High Street, outside the area of the street, c.1777.2

BEDFORD. Market house and town hall. Built c.1683, but never completed. Converted into a workshop. Arcaded ground floor; above, ‘rooms which were designed for the session and public business of the town’.3

BEVERLEY. Guildhall.* Refaced and remodelled c.1760. Fine court-room and jury room. Present facade of 1832.4

BLANDFORD FORUM. Town Hall.* Built 1734, after earlier one destroyed in the fire of 1731. Ground floor has open loggia on street side; court-room and council-chamber above.5

BRACKLEY. Town Hall.* Built 1706. Arched ground floor windows, originally forming an open arcade; hipped roof and cupola.6

BRISTOL. Council House. Either newly built or substantially rebuilt 1701–4. Two lofty storeys of five bays, with rooms on each floor. Cost £1,147.7

CARLISLE. Town Hall.* Built 1717. Open ground floor. Later much altered.8

CHICHESTER. Council House.* Built 1731–3. Open-arcaded ground floor; council-chamber above; assembly rooms added to rear 1781–3.9

(p.326) DEVIZES. Old Town Hall or the Cheese Hall.* Built 1750–2. Arched ground floor windows, originally forming an open arcade. Built to replace the old guildhall, and referred to originally as a ‘public hall’, it is unclear whether it was used for council meetings. In 1806–8 a new town hall* was built nearby.10

DONCASTER. Mansion House.* Built 1745–8. Entrance hall and grand staircase on ground floor; splendid ballroom on first floor. Cost £8,170.11

EYNSHAM. Town Hall.* Built late 17th cent. Originally open-arcaded ground floor (now blocked up), with room above.12

FARINGDON. Town Hall.* Built late 17th cent. Arcaded ground floor.13

HEREFORD. Guildhall. Built soon after 1759.14

HIGH WYCOMBE. Guildhall.* Built 1757. Open-arcaded ground floor with two rooms above; cupola.15

LEEDS. The Town or Moot Hall. Partly rebuilt and extended 1710–11. Open-arcaded ground floor with accommodation above; cupola. Cost £210.16

LICHFIELD. Guildhall.* Rebuilt c.1707. Cost £83.17


  1. (i) Exchange and Town Hall. Built 1673–5. Open-arcaded ground floor used by merchants; ‘a very handsome town hall’ above; tower and cupola.18

  2. (ii) The Exchange. Built 1749–54. ‘Spacious covered piazza’ on ground floor; separate town hall, council-room, and assembly room above; dome and cupola.19

MORPETH. Town Hall. Built 1714. Reconstructed to original design after fire of c.1875.20


  1. (i) Exchange and Town Court. Built 1655–8. Arcaded ground floor, containing a weigh-house and a house for the collection of the town revenues; a separate court-room, town chamber, and withdrawing-room above. Cost over £10,000.21

  2. (p.327) (ii) Mansion House or mayoral residence. Built c.1691. Cost £6,000.22

PETERBOROUGH. Guildhall.* Built 1671. Open-arcaded ground floor; accommodation above.23

PORTSMOUTH. Guildhall. Rebuilt 1738. Open-arcaded ground floor; hall, record room, etc. above; cupola and dome.24

PRESTON. Town Hall. Repairs and improvements 1705 and 1716. Addition of a cupola 1718–19. Substantially rebuilt 1727–8. Guildhall built at cost of c. £1,650, adjoining to the town hall, 1760–2. Repair of the jury room 1763.25

ROCHESTER. Guildhall.* Built 1687. Open-arcaded ground floor; hall above.26

ROTHERHAM. Town Hall and Grammar School. Built 1739–43. School on ground floor; hall above. Cost £550.27

RYE. Town Hall.* Designed 1743. Open-arcaded ground floor; council-chamber above; parapet and cupola.28

SALISBURY. Council House. Fairly extensive repairs 1734 and 1757. Burnt down 1780.29

SHEFFIELD. Town Hall. Built 1700–1. Ground floor used for shops and prison cells; room above used for quarter sessions, manor court, and meetings of the town trustees. Cost £220.30

TAMWORTH. Town Hall.* Built 1701. Open-arcaded ground floor; accommodation above; cupola.31

WARWICK. Court House.* Built c. 1724–30. Kitchen in basement; mayor's parlour on ground floor; assembly room on first floor. Cost £2,254.32

WIGAN. Town Hall. Built 1720–3. Cost well over £2,000. Demolished 1882.33

WINCHESTER. Guildhall.* Built 1713. Arcaded ground floor, originally open. Now Lloyds Bank.34

(p.328) WINDSOR. Town Hall or Guildhall.* Built 1689–90. Arcaded ground floor; accommodation above. Cost £2,000.35

WORCESTER. Guildhall.* Built 1721–3. Nine bays in centre, with three-bay wings (two bays deep); ground floor containing long entrance hall; grand assembly room above; lantern.36

YARM. Town Hall.* Built 1710. Arcaded ground floor, originally open; accommodation above; hipped roof and lantern.37

YORK. Mansion House or mayoral residence.* Largely built 1725–30. First used for public entertainment Oct. 1727; first occupied by mayor 1730; state-room not finished until Feb. 1731. Kitchens and offices in semibasement; dining-room, robing-room, and butler's pantry on ground floor; state or banqueting room on first floor; bedrooms on second floor.38

Explanatory Note: It is not always easy to distinguish between a town hall and (a) a county hall, or (b) a market hall. Most town halls of this period would in fact have accommodated a market or other commercial activities on the ground floor. The buildings listed here are ones that appear to have possessed some type of civic function.


(1) Oswald, Old Towns Revisited, 18–25; Gilyard-Beer, County Hall, Abingdon.

(2) Wood, Bath, 213–14; Council Minutes, 26 June 1710, 16 May 1718, 1 Dec. 1724, 10 May 1725, 26 June 1726, BCA; McIntyre, ‘Rise of a Resort Town’, 231.

(3) Fiennes, Journeys, 340.

(4) BE Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, 184–5; Hall, Beverley, 49–50.

(5) RCHM, Dorset, iii, Part 1, 22–3.

(6) BE Northamptonshire, 117.

(7) Bristol Common Council Proceedings, 23 Oct. 1699, Bristol AO; Ison, Bristol, 90–1.

(8) Mortice, Stuart and Baroque, 149.

(9) BE Sussex, 172.

(10) BE Wiltshire, 209, 212–13; Cunnington, Devizes, 220–2; R. Sandell, Devizes Town Trail (Devizes, n.d.).

(11) BE Yorkshire: The West Riding (Harmondsworth, 1979), 183–4; Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(12) BE Oxfordshire, 601.

(13) BE Berkshire (Harmondsworth, 1975), 141.

(14) Lobel, Atlas, i, Hereford, 11.

(15) BE Buckinghamshire, 163–4.

(16) D. Linstrum, Historic Architecture of Leeds (Leeds, 1969), 20; Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer; Cossins, Plan of Leeds.

(17) P. Laithwaite, The History of the Lichfield Conduit Land Trust (Lichfield, 1947), 57–8; BE Staffordshire, 194.

(18) Fiennes, Journeys, 184; Tupling, ‘Lancashire Markets’, 4–6; Chandler, Liverpool, 195.

(19) Enfield, Liverpool, 58–9; Chandler, Liverpool, 202.

(20) Morrice, Stuart and Baroque, 173.

(21) Bourne, Newcastle, 125; Brand, Newcastle, i. 29–30; Fiennes, Journeys, 210.

(22) Bourne, Newcastle, 127; Brand, Newcastle, i. 56.

(23) BE Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough (Harmondsworth, 1968), 326.

(24) N. W. Surry and J. H. Thomas (eds.), Portsmouth Record Series: Book of Original Entries (Portsmouth, 1976), p. xviii.

(25) Council Minutes, 3 Dec. 1705, 4 July 1709, 27 July and 13 Aug. 1716, 26 June and 31 July 1718, 31 Mar. and 9 July 1719, 6 Feb. 1726/7, 10 May and 20 Sept. 1728, 28 Sept. 1759, 22 Feb. and 20 June 1760, 11 May 1761, 13 Apr. 1762, 22 Apr. and 1 June 1763, PCMSS; White Book, 4 Aug. 1727, 2 May, 20 June, and 9 Aug. 1760, 23 Apr. 1761, PCMSS; Hewitson, History of Preston, 356–7.

(26) BE West Kent and the Weald (Harmondsworth, 1969), 472.

(27) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(28) BE Sussex, 597.

(29) VCH Wiltshire, vi. 87, 109.

(30) Grady, ‘Public Buildings in the West Riding’, Gazetteer.

(31) BE Staffordshire, 278.

(32) Kemp, History of Warwick, 173–7; Styles, ‘Corporation of Warwick’, 72.

(33) Tupling, ‘Lancashire Markets’, 7 n. 1.

(34) BE Hampshire, 715.

(35) BE Berkshire, 301.

(36) Green, History and Antiquities of Worcester, ii. 6–11; BE Worcestershire, 323.

(37) BE Yorkshire: The North Riding, 407.

(38) House Book, 9 Oct. 1727, 2 July and 5 Dec. 1729, 1 Feb. 1730/1, YCA; VCH York, 543–4.