Leigh Town Hall
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Leigh Town Hall stands facing the parish church across the Civic Square at its junction with Market Street in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. It was designed for the Municipal Borough of LeighThe Municipal Borough of Leigh, a local government district in Lancashire, England, was created in 1899 and abolished in 1974. by James Caldwell PrestwichJames Caldwell Prestwich (1852–1940) was an English architect. He was born in Atherton, Lancashire and educated at Leigh and Nantwich Grammar Schools. , who had an architectural practice in the town. Work began in 1904 and the building was opened in 1907. It was granted Grade II Listed status in 1987.[1] Nicholas Pevsner described the building as “An exceptionally good building, expressive yet not showy”.[2]

Architecture


The town hall, designed in the Edwardian Baroque style, has two main facades, its main entrance faces the Civic Square and another lined with nine shops faces Market Street. Roughly U-shaped in plan, the building is three storeys high with basements and an attic. It is built in Darley Dale sandstone ashlar under a steeply pitched Westmorland green slate roof with a belvedere and ornamental cupola.[1][3]

terraced row of buildings
Market Street Facade
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The three-storey main facade facing the Civic Square has eight bays of which bays two to eight are symmetrical demarcated by flat pilasters extending from ground level to the roof cornice and from first-floor level, blocked columns with Ionic capitals. The ground floor is solid and plain with an elaborate entrance porch which has paired, blocked columns with Ionic capitals supporting a semi-circular pediment bearing the borough’s sculptured coat of arms. The first bay has a glazed door with a pediment above and a balcony with a stone balustrade outside a first-floor committee room. The balcony is supported on scrolled brackets with acanthus leaves and a carved figure. To the left of the first bay is an octagonal corner turret rising from a carved base surmounted by a dome.[4]

The Market Street elevation is symmetrical with seven bays of which the end bays have gables and oriel windows at first floor level and a round window on the second floor. There is a smaller bow window in the central bay.[1]

Inside is a large entrance hall with scagliola columns and an imperial staircase which accesses the council chamber and mayor’s parlour on the first floor.[1] The council chamber has stained glass windows representing some of the town’s industries; the coats of arms on the staircase windows are all by H. Gustave Hiller.[2]

Citations



Bibliography


Leigh Town Hall (1163007). (n.d.). Historic England. Retrieved from https://HistoricEngland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1163007
Pevsner, N., Pollard, R., & Sharples, J. (2006). Buildings of England: Liverpool and the southwest. Yale University Press.