Description: County Hall
Date Listed: 19 January 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 250413
OS Grid Reference: SU4978597051
OS Grid Coordinates: 449785, 197051
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6700, -1.2815
SU 4997 ABINGDON MARKET PLACE
583/1/180 County Hall
1678-1683. Ashlar. By Christopher Kempster, one of Wren's masons.
Woodwork by Avery Hobbs. Two storeys, cellars and attics, with a
square staircase tower on the south side. Four bays by two, faced
with fine ashlar, Burford stone to impost level of ground floor,
mostly Headington stone above. The Hall stands on a stylobate of
three steps. Open arcaded Market Hall on ground floor, Sessions Hall
on the first floor lighted by arched window in each bay. Giant
pilasters of two storeys support entablature and wooden eaves cornice
of lead roof. Roof has pedimented dormer window above each bay and a
baluwtraded flat frond which rises a cupola with a weathervane. The
grand order, the pilasters of the ground floor arcade, and the tower
square a plinths with a simple cavetto. The order has pedestals,
moulded bases, pilasters without entasis or fluting, and composite
capitals. Its entablature has a plain frieze and carries the
modillions of the wooden eaves cornice of roof, renewed in 1896.
The proportion of this order differ very slightly from the first design,
since the decayed stone was cut away in the restoration work before
Each bay of tile grand order embraces one arch of the Market Hall arcade.
The Keystones of the round arches bear sculptured masks with symbolical
headdressed. In their present form these date from 1853. The arcades
spring from plain pilasters with moulded imposts. Round headed windows
on first floor, moulded architraves, scrolled keystone with acanthus.
box stone used in the 1853 restoration. Also repaired in 1952. The
County Hall was tile scene of many great election struggles. A.M.
Drawings in Details 1, 69-71 and Architectural Review XIII (1903),
16 and VCH: Berks IV, 433.
The County Hall with Nos. 5 to 9 (consec) Market Place form a group
Listing NGR: SU4978997051
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.