Greenwich Town Hall, London

Greenwich Town Hall is a municipal building on Royal Hill, Greenwich, London. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]

Greenwich Town Hall
Greenwich Town Hall
Coordinates51°28′41″N 0°00′39″W / 51.4781°N 0.0109°W / 51.4781; -0.0109
ArchitectClifford Culpin
Architectural style(s)Art Deco style
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated13 November 1990
Reference no.1213855
Greenwich Town Hall, London is located in Royal Borough of Greenwich
Greenwich Town Hall, London
Shown in Greenwich



The building was commissioned to replace the old town hall on Greenwich High Road.[2] By the 1930s, it was inadequate for the council's needs and civic leaders decided to build a new town hall: the site they selected for the new building had previously been occupied by the old Greenwich Theatre.[3]

The foundation stone for the new building was laid by the mayor, Councillor Harold Gibbons, on 18 June 1938.[4] The new building was designed by Clifford Culpin in the Art Deco style, built by William Moss & Sons and was completed in 1939.[1] The design involved an asymmetrical main frontage with eleven bays facing onto Royal Hill; the central section had a doorway on the ground floor and there was a window on the first floor with the borough coat of arms above; there was a smaller window on the second floor. A 55.9 metres (183 ft) high tower was erected to the north east of the main block facing onto Greenwich High Road.[5] The principal rooms in the complex included the council chamber itself.[6] At the foot of the tower was a doorway with a canopy showing the signs of the zodiac to a design by Carter & Co.[1] The architectural historian, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, wrote that Greenwich Town Hall, which shows the influence of Hilversum Town Hall in the Netherlands, was "the only town hall of any London borough to represent the style of our time adequately".[7]

The south east wing of the building contained an assembly hall known as the Borough Hall.[1] It served as an events and concert venue and performers included the band, The Who, in September 1964.[8]

The building remained the headquarters of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich until the borough was merged with the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to form the London Borough of Greenwich, with its new local seat of government at Woolwich Town Hall, in April 1965.[9]

After the town hall ceased to be the local seat of government, it was extensively altered to create floors in the area of the council chamber in 1974.[1] Renamed Meridian House, to reflect the fact that the prime meridian goes through Greenwich,[10] it became the home of GSM London at that time.[11]

Meanwhile, the Borough Hall continued to be used as a concert venue: the rock band Squeeze gave their first performance there in 1975,[12] as commemorated by a blue plaque on the side of the building.[13] The Borough Hall went on to become the home of Greenwich Dance from 1993[14] until the organisation moved out in 2018.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England. "The Borough Hall and Meridian House (former Greenwich Town Hall) (1213855)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ "About us". Greenwich West. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  3. ^ The Era 29 May 1864, p 10 New Greenwich Theatre
  4. ^ Dedication stone of the north east elevation
  5. ^ "Meridiam House". Emporis. Retrieved 25 April 2020.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Greenwich Town Hall, Royal Hill, Greenwich, London: the Council Chamber". Royal Institute of British Architects. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  7. ^ "London's Town Halls". Historic England. p. 61. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  8. ^ Neill, Andrew; Kent, Matthew (2009). Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the WHO 1958–1978. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 304. ISBN 978-1402766916.
  9. ^ "Local Government Act 1963". Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Greenwich Town Hall". Manchester History. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  11. ^ "About GSM London". GSM London. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Squeeze debut gig". London Remembers. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  13. ^ "PRS for Music honours Squeeze's first gig". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Greenwich Dance Agency - the first 10 years - LondonDance". LondonDance. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  15. ^ Chamberlain, Darryl (13 April 2018). "Borough Halls to remain arts venue despite Greenwich Dance departure, council says". 853. Retrieved 22 March 2019.