Visit by the Alston Hall College course on 'Civic Pride'

Grid Ref: SD 895 132
Date 28 July 2011

A party on an adult education course at Alston Hall near Longridge, led by the tutor, David Brazendale, visited Rochdale Town Hall. It is a magnificent edifice in the Gothic style and speaks of the wealth of the cotton industry that made it possible. The Town Hall was built in the Gothic Revival style at a cost of £160,000 which Wikipedia would have us believe translates in 2021 to £15 million. It would cost most of that in 2021 for the inital feasability report, design and planning stage together with the site clearance. It opened on 27 September 1871, a year after the Franco-Prussian War. The architect was William Henry Crossland and initially the edifice had a 240-foot clock tower with a wooden spire holding a gilded statue of Saint George and the Dragon. This was destroyed by fire on 10 April 1883. A new 190-foot stone tower clock tower, similar to that on Manchester Town Hall was designed by the latter's architect, Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1887.

Exterior   Tower
Exterior   Clock Tower
Entrance   Cenotaph
Entrance   Cenotaph opposite the Town Hall


Ceiling in the Small Exchange with unfinished decoration
One of the huge armorials on the floor of the Entrance Hall
Fan vaulting in the Entrance Hall
Coats of Arms
One of several windows showing the arms of European countries before the Great War.
Thomas Henry
Part of the freize in the Reception Room showing Thomas Henry, a chemist, working on dyes.
Ceiling panels showing cotton, wool, agriculture and industry
Emblems of towns
One of several panels showing emblems of local towns and cities
Window   Vaulting
Window on the Grand Staircase   Vaulting above the Grand Staircase
Great Hall   Civil War characters
Arriving at the top of the Grand Staircase   Cromwell flanked by Charles I and Charles II
Wall detail   Gothic Window
Detail of Wall Decoration in the Great Hall   Gothic window in the Great Hall
Spiral staircase   Panel
A spiral staircase descending from the Great Hall   Ceiling with peacocks in the Mayor's Parlour
Great Hall
The Great Hall with hammer beam roof, rose window and organ
Angel in the beams
Great Hall flying angel
Golden Lion
Golden Lion on the exterior photographed from a balcony
Council Chamber
Freize in the Council Chamber
Shields of the past mayors in the Council Chamber
Windows in part of the building designed by Alfred Waterhouse
Fire place
The fireplace in the Mayor's Parlour


Town Walks

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