Town Hall, 1899-1901 by J Eaton and Sons of Ashton under Lyne.
Reason for Listing
Dukinfield Town Hall, of 1899-1901 by J Eaton and Sons, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic Interest: as a symbolic expression of the town's new civic status awarded upon incorporation as a municipal borough in 1899
* Architectural Interest: as a commanding building dominating the centre of the town, built following an architectural competition to designs by the winning practice of J Eaton and Sons of Ashton under Lyne, who have a number of other listed buildings to their name
* Decorative treatment: for its bold use of richly coloured interior decoration including wall tiles, decorative mosaic and terrazzo flooring, coloured leaded glass to windows and doors of principal public areas, pink granite columns and pilasters with foliate capitals to arcading in the main entrance and stair hall, decorative roof light, and coved and coffered ceilings of former council chamber, mayor's parlour, and lesser hall
Dukinfield was granted a charter of incorporation as a Borough on 2 August 1899. The decision to build a town hall had been taken as soon as the petition for incorporation had been sent to the Privy Council and a competition was immediately organised. A prize of £40 was offered and 21 designs were received, with the eventual winner being the architectural practice of J Eaton and Sons of Ashton under Lyne. The site chosen was the open Market Place to the rear of the Urban District Council offices (shown on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map), which were demolished. The foundation stone was laid on 23 September 1899, and the building was officially opened on 15 June 1901; the cost of the build was £15,000. J R Joyce of Whitchurch made the clock and the five bells were cast by Taylor & Co of Loughborough.
Following the creation of Tameside Metropolitan Council in 1974, the town hall became the new Borough Education Department. During the 1980s the council services moved to Ashton under Lyne, and the Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths for Tameside was located to the town hall. In the early C21 a £3 million refurbishment programme was undertaken during which all the public rooms were renovated.
Red brick with sandstone dressings and slate roofs. Gothic.
PLAN: E-shaped plan with north and south wings and central stair hall projecting to the rear (with subsequent infill). Corridor to rear running the length of each floor with offices opening off the west side. Former council chamber (George Hatton Hall) and mayor's parlour at north end and lesser hall at south end of first floor.
EXTERIOR: main elevation on King Street is two storeys over a raised basement. Symmetrical with ashlar sill, lintel and intermediate bands. Central, tall, square clock tower with ashlar pinnacles with cupolas and steep slated spire, and slightly projecting gabled end pavilions. Flight of steps rise to central porch containing main entrance with wide segmental arched doorway with fielded panel double doors with glazed trefoil upper lights. Over doorway is an ashlar frieze with relief foliate carving. On first floor is a wide segmental arch containing relief ashlar carving of the Dukinfield coat of arms set in terracotta diaper work over a large window with three coloured, leaded glass upper lights, and a central doorway onto the balcony on the porch roof. Gabled pavilions each have terracotta diaper work to apex and wide, shallow canted oriel window on the first floor. Window has stone transom side lights and a six-light stone mullion and transom central window, with decorative coloured, leaded glass to all upper lights. On the ground floor are two paired windows to each side of a single central window; all have stone transoms and shallow trefoil heads, some with decorative coloured, leaded glass, and some lower lights etched with former council offices, such as surveyor. A similar arrangement of windows in the basement has flat-headed, chamfered lintels. To each side of main entrance are three bays, the first and second bays separated by a stepped buttress topped by engaged stone column with big cat sculpture, and third bay slightly projecting. On ground floor two six-light mullion and transom windows are set under segmental arches, with an outer, single transom window. First floor has segmental-arched windows; those located over the ground floor segmental arches are paired, with two lights over a single, wider light. Basement windows are again flat-headed. Brick ridge stacks have had chimney pots removed.
Six-bay south side elevation is more irregular, with a projecting chimney stack to the left surmounted by four diamond-set brick and stone stacks, a wide doorway with a segmental-arched overlight with decorative coloured, leaded glass and narrow side-lights, and first-floor oriel window to the right. Oriel window and other windows are similar to those in the front elevation. Mullion and transom window over the doorway has a relief carved foliate tympanum. Doorway now reached by a modern step and ramp arrangement. A blue circular plaque commemorates John Gollard (1942-1993), composer and musician. Five-bay north side elevation is similarly detailed, with projecting chimney stack with four diamond-set stacks to the right, and centrally placed first-floor oriel window. Basement has modern door and windows to the police station.
INTERIOR: main entrance opens via porch into stair hall. Porch has a mosaic floor incorporating the Dukinfield coat of arms and motto INTEGRITY, with half-glazed and panelled double inner doors with glazed overlights, the lights all being of Art Nouveau inspired coloured, leaded glass, similar to that used in the upper lights of the outer elevation windows. Features of note include coloured, leaded Art Nouveau glass used extensively throughout the building, including the arched side windows of the stair hall, windows in the rear walls of the principal corridors, doors, overlights, and glazed screens to principal rooms, and the ground-floor double-doors and glazed screens between the corridors and stair hall; those to the first floor have plain glass. Stair hall and corridors have walls tiled with cream and green glazed tiles in a chequerboard pattern up to dado level, and terrazzo flooring with coloured borders. Most rooms opening off the corridors have wide, nine-panelled doors with moulded architraves. Main stair rises in a single, central flight to a half landing before returning in two outer flights to first floor, with a moulded wooden handrail and metal balustrade with a scroll motif. Arcade of three segmental-headed arches on both floors with paired pink granite columns and pilasters with capitals forming into large square tops with foliate decoration. Above is a square, coved and coffered ceiling with a large central roof light with coloured and painted glass. Former council chamber (George Hatton Hall) and Lesser Hall both have coved and coffered ceilings; the Lesser Hall is now sub-divided by a partition wall and screen. Former mayor's parlour, in the north-west corner of the first floor, has a moulded cornice and coffered ceiling. Other rooms have moulded cornices, some now hidden by modern suspended ceilings. Former council chamber has panelling to dado level and a large wooden memorial, while the mayor's parlour and Lesser Hall have carved timber mantelpieces incorporating mirrors in the over-mantels; the mayor's parlour has a 1930s fire surround, and the Lesser Hall fireplace has been blocked. A number of other rooms have simpler original timber moulded mantelpieces with later fire surrounds.
SUBSIDIARY ITEMS: in front of the building is a stepped, brick area wall with stone coping and iron railings. A circular blue plaque commemorates Lieutenant Colonel Robert Dukenfield (1616-1689), Lord of the Manor and a commander in the Parliamentary forces during the Civil War.
The 1936 Jubilee Hall attached to rear (east) side, and modern infill of light wells are not of special interest.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.