Town Hall Tuesday – The Finished Building!

25/09/2018

So after a really exciting Heritage Open Weekend, with over 2500 people visiting the building, I thought it would be time for a long overdue Town Hall Tuesday update – this time about the final building.

So, cast your minds back to August 2016, when Brackley Town Council staff moved out of the Town Hall and the building began being emptied ready for restoration to begin in January 17…

Many discoveries were found along the way. Some were scary – one of the bells cracked as soon as it was removed, and we were told it would have happened fairly imminently had it been left to hang, which could have resulted in it falling then coming through the bell tower, and through into the attic, or worse, the Upper Hall! It became obvious that although there were 4 layers of flooring in the Upper Hall, none of them touched the walls in all places, so although many people thought the floor was sprung; it was, in fact, about to fall!

Some discoveries were really exciting – a time capsule of wrappers, jars and building material hidden behind a wall behind the gents’ toilets, some fascinating archaeology under the flooring on the ground floor, the old projector cupboard from when the town Hall hosted a cinema in the 1950s and 60s.

The Time Capsule found behind a wall on the Ground Floor.
The excavation of some cell’s and a Policeman’s office.

The team who have worked on the building have been incredible – we have had experts who have worked on The White Tower at the Tower Of London, the palace of Westminster and many more buildings, Brackley Town Hall has been so lucky to have experts in their field ensuring it’s place in history and the lives of Brackley residents for many more generations to come.

So for those of you who didn’t make it along to the Open Days, here are some images taken of the building, by project photographer Cheryl Torrington.

The new Southern entrance includes steps engraved with a timeline of the Town Hall. Access from the front of the building is still possible.
The bistro area on the Ground Floor, features the original stone flooring which has been taken up, recorded and painstakingly replaced stone by stone.
The Civic Hall is now a function room fit for the grand building it sits within!

 

The oak panelling that surrounds the Civic Hall was once church pews at St Peter’s. It took 18 months to strip the 1960s gloss and return them to their former glory!

 

The new staircase that surrounds a lift has a lace pattern laser cut into it. The pattern is called the Paisley Pear and was, historically, a locally made lace pattern.
The attic, that was used very little before, has been transformed into a beautiful Holiday let.

So many people have been involved with the restoration, it would be impossible to mention them all, but we are so grateful to every expert, consultant, volunteer, visitor and participant who gave their time and expertise to the project.

The building will be open to the public once the bistro and council staff have moved into the building – hopefully by late autumn. There is an exhibition, curated by residents, in the stairwell for all to see – so make sure you pop by once we’re open to see that, even if you don’t need a coffee or the council!

 

The Civic Hall is available for hire, so please contact the council if you are interested (01280702411), the holiday let is not available yet, but will be soon – watch this space for information!

Town Hall Heritage Group Meeting

16 Oct 18

A group for those interested in keeping the Town Hall heritage alive. This will be our first meeting (Tuesday 16th October in the Town Hall at 7:30pm.) The aims of the group will include communications, looking after the council records and putting on events or tours to celebrate the Town Hall and Brackley’s past. These … Continue reading Town Hall Heritage Group Meeting

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