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Sheffield Old Town Hall

Sheffield Old Town Hall, seen from Waingate.

Sheffield Old Town Hall stands on Waingate in central Sheffield, England, opposite Castle Market.

The building was commissioned to replace Sheffield's first town hall, which had opened in 1700 to a design by William Renny.[1] This first structure stood by the parish church, on a site with little prospect for extension.[2]

The Old Town Hall was built in 1807–8 by Charles Watson, and was designed to house not only the Town Trustees but also the Petty and Quarter Sessions. The initial building was a five-bay structure fronting Castle Street, but it was extended in 1833 and again in 1866 by William Flockton (1804–1864) of Sheffield and his partner for the project, Abbott; the most prominent feature was the new central clock tower over a new main entrance that reoriented the building to Waingate. At the same time, the building's courtrooms were linked by underground passages to the neighbouring Sheffield Police Offices.[2] The first Town Council was elected in 1843 and took over the lease of the Town Trustees' hall in 1866. The following year, the building was extensively renovated, with a clock tower designed by Flockton & Abbott being added.[2]

By the 1890s, the building had again become too small, and the current Sheffield Town Hall was built further south. The Old Town Hall was again extended in 1896–97, by the renamed Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton, and became Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield High Court. In the 1990s, these courts moved to new premises, and since at least 1997 to present, the building remains disused.[2]

In 2008, it was named by the Victorian Society as one of their top ten buildings most at-risk.[3] The campaign group, The Friends of the Old Town Hall was formed in November 2014 with the aim of forcing the buildings owners G1 London Property to state their intentions for its future use.[4] In September 2015 the building was put for sale with an asking price of £2,000,000.But the sale brochure was withdrawn from the internet after about ten days. [5]


  1. ^ William Renny, a local builder, was paid £2 3s in 1699 for the 'draught' of the Town Hall and £200 for building it the following year; it was demolished in 1810, after the present structure had been built. (Howard Colvin, A Biographicial Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840 3rd ed. 1995, s.v. "Renny, William".
  2. ^ a b c d Pevsner Architectural Guides: Sheffield, Ruth Harman and John Minnis, eds.
  3. ^ "Top ten endangered buildings". Victorian Society. 
  4. ^ BBC News (Sheffield and South Yorkshire Details of Friends of the Old Town Hall.
  5. ^ BBC News (Sheffield and South Yorkshire Details building for sale for £2m.

External links

  • BBC South Yorkshire feature "Sheffield's old and derelict Town Hall"
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