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The Guildhall Including Ranges Running Parallel to Bull Lane, Rochester

Description: The Guildhall Including Ranges Running Parallel to Bull Lane

Grade: I
Date Listed: 24 October 1950
English Heritage Building ID: 173035

OS Grid Reference: TQ7424068741
OS Grid Coordinates: 574240, 168741
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3910, 0.5030

Location: Corporation Street, Strood, Medway ME1 1LJ

Locality: Rochester
County: Medway
Country: England
Postcode: ME1 1LJ

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Listing Text

TQ 7468 NW
7/105 The Guildhall
including ranges
24.10.50 running parallel
to Bull Lane
Formerly the Guildhall and Court, with municipal offices, now the
County Museum. The original building is of 1695-7 (with original
plaster ceiling donated by Sir Cloudesley Shovell): it was
freestanding with an open colonnaded paved market place over
which stands the Court Chamber served by a rear stair turret.
The Council Chamber was situated in the upper floor of the stair
turret (the floor removed in 1911, the plaster ceiling
surviving). The right-hand wing was acquired in 1838 (late C18
building separately listed, qv, Reference 7/108). A larger
Council Chamber was added to the rear of the 1st floor Court in
1866 (architect: H Andrews). The left-hand wing was added in
suitable late C17 style in 1891-3 (architects: Goldsmith and
Gosling). Increased office space was supplied to rear (towards
Corporation Street) in 1907-8. Further alterations in 1911 and
1979-80. Red brick, the 1907-8 work in gault brick; Kent-tile
hipped roofs. (1) the original building of 1697: 2 storeys,
symmetrical 4-window range. Open-work polygonal bell-turret to
ridge; 2 flat-roofed dormers with 2-light casements. Deeply
projecting modillion cornice, and segmental pediment over 2
central window bays, also bracketted and moulded. Rusticated
quoins, also the surrounds to central window bays which break
forward slightly. Rubbed brick surrounds to side windows; flat
arches, keystones and panelled aprons to all 1st floor windows.
Ground floor open (although subsequently underbuilt in part);
dentil cornice, frieze with triglyphs and paired Tuscan Doric
columns. Single columns within former market place. (2) Side
wings to west: (a) the 1891-3 range fronting High Street stands
well forward and abuts the original work. Sympathetic late C17
style (a simplified version of the original projected design of
Goldsmith and Gosling). 2-storeys and attic, the dormer built
into the roof hip, with 9-pane sash. Deeply overhanging moulded
modillion cornice (at a considerably lower level than that of
Guildhall). 2-window range, symmetrical. Horned sashes (some
glazing bars missing), in reveals, under rubbed brick window
arches with keypieces. Plat band and rusticated quoining. Left
return a regular 5-window range, its details as to front, with
3 hipped dormers with 9-pane sashes. (b) the 1907-8 block, 2
tall storeys and basement also with modillion cornice tall
windows under rubbed red brick flat arches, plat band, and large
hipped dormers. Round window to upper floor above panelled door
with rectangular overlight. Interior: Council Chamber: coved
ceiling with fine plaster work; central oval with fruit and
foliage and centrepiece, rinceau work to angles, and end panels
containing heraldic devices, dated 1695. Large panels to dado;
doorcase with brokcn pediment and panelled double doors. Mayoral
rostrum with contemporary iron balustrade. Rear stairs
contemporary with balusters similar to mayoral rostrum. Plaster
ceiling (to former Council Chamber, removed in 1911), heavier
detailing than to Council Chambers, dense foliage and fruit
frieze and arabesques; palmette and acanthus frieze. Central
putto. The plasterwork around the inserted windows is of 1911,
as is the great doorcase into the Mayoral chamber. The 1864
Council Chamber has an elaborate coved ceiling with plasterwork
decoration. Contamporary stairs to attic. M I Moad, The
Guildhall Rochester, A Brief History (nd).

Listing NGR: TQ7424868738

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.