The Town Hall was built in 1851 for use as a Corn Exchange by a joint stock company, the architecture of which is said to be in the Italian style.
The architect was probably Isaac Charles Gilbert, architect and surveyor of Nottingham.
The Corn Exchange was officially opened in July 1851, and was the venue of weekly corn markets, the County Court held once a month, and the Petty Sessional Magistrates’ Courts held on alternate Wednesdays. The Local Board of Health meetings were also held there. The event of the original opening was celebrated by a public dinner at which the Duke of Newcastle and several of the nobility and gentry from the surrounding area were present. The building changed from a Corn Exchange to a Town Hall in 1895 when the Local Board of Health was replaced by the Worksop Urban District Council.
The top floor of the building, interestingly enough, housed “the spacious assembly room”. This was, in fact, the room used by the County Court and was also used for concerts, lectures, etc.
On the ground floor, adjoining the Corn Exchange, was a room housing the Library of the Reading Society and Mechanics’ Institute, above which there was a well-stocked newsroom which held daily and other papers.
It was said that the Library contained some 2,000 volumes and had been formed partly by donations of money and books by principal noblemen and gentlemen of the district.
To the rear of the building was housed the butchers’ shambles and markets for miscellaneous articles were held in various parts of the surrounding open space.
The Town Hall was used to ‘house’ employees up until the opening of Queen’s Buildings in 1981. The front area (facing Potter Street) was renovated some time between 83-85. The ‘Town Hall Steps’ were removed and the front arches were made into windows. This area now accommodates the Chairman’s Room, the bar area and the Chairman’s ante-room. The main access to the Town Hall was moved to the side of the building facing the courtyard/car park. Points of interest which have been retained in the refurbished Potter Street frontage are the Arms of the Duke of Newcastle and the illuminated clock at the top of the building, which was, in fact, a gift from the then Duke of Newcastle.
In October 2006 the whole of the Town Hall was shut for refurbishment and essential wiring works. It was officially re-opened in August 2007.
Last Updated on Friday, October 28, 2022