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Loughborough Town Hall

The Loughborough Town Hall is a building fronting onto the Market Place in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. Built as a corn exchange and ballroom in 1855, it continues to be used for public gatherings, including concerts, exhibitions, musicals and comedy shows. It was designed by architect William Slater and built in 1855.[1] The main hall has a capacity of 522 people.

Corn ExchangeEdit

The origins of the Town Hall lie in the early 19th century, when four Loughborough tradesmen began a movement to provide the town with a public gathering place. It received much more momentum with the involvement of the local MP, C.W. Packe of Prestwold Hall, who donated £500 towards the enterprise.[2] with his backing, other local gentry got on board, and £8,000 was raised for the purchase of land and the building of the hall. The Italianate design, with decorative bellcote was the work of Northampton-born architect William Slater.[3] CW Packe laid a ceremonial foundation stone in October 1854, and the building was completed the following year.[2]

Town HallEdit

The primary uses in its earliest days were as a ground floor corn exchange hall, where local farmers could meet and trade. Upstairs was a ballroom for the use of the gentry. However, from the outset all manor of public gatherings and entertainments were able to make use of the premises. Until 1888 Loughborough had no town charter and was administered by the lord of the manor, and more latterly by local boards with specific responsibility for water and sanitation works, highways, schools, and burials.[2] When Loughborough received a charter in 1888, the new council took on these roles for the town, and was in need of a suitably dignified administrative base. The Corn Exchange company agreed to sell the building for £5,000. It was renamed the Town Hall, and a programme of works costing a further £3,000 was begun. Additions included the Mayor's Parlour and the Council Chamber, and Mr E.B Farnham, MP for North Leicestershire, donated the great external clock. A grand banquet was held in 1890 to mark the re-opening.

TheatreEdit

Alongside its new civic roles, the Town Hall continued to provide a venue for entertainment, concerts and public gatherings.


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lambert, Tim. "A Brief History of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England". localhistories.org. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Mayoralty in Charnwood, 2016". charnwood.gov.uk. Charnwood Borough Council. 2016. p. 16.
  3. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1960). The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland. Penguin Books. p. 176.

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