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Barrow In Furness, Town Hall 1893

Barrow In Furness, Town Hall 1893

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Caption for Barrow-In-Furness, Town Hall 1893

Towards the end of the 19th century it was decided that the town needed a town hall commensurate with its new affluent status. The outdoor market on Duke Street was selected as the appropriate location, and an open competition was declared, inviting architects to propose designs. The winner was W H Lynn, an Irishman renowned for his public buildings as far afield as Belfast, Chester and Australia. There was an immediate setback: the designs were entered under codenames, and each architect submitted a sealed letter with their true identities alongside their plans. Lynn had forgotten to do so, and Barrow Council had to publicise for the architect 'Ira' to unveil himself to them. The design was Victorian Gothic with an imposing tower dominating the structure. The building work began in 1882, and by 1885 the town hall was almost complete. Disaster struck even as the date stone was added. It was revealed on inspection that cracks existed at the base of the tower. The tower had to be remodelled and rebuilt from the usable existing stone, which included the 1885 date stones that can still be seen today. This meant that the town hall was not completed until October the next year; however, this delay presented a fortunate possibility, if a further delay was acceptable. In the summer of 1887 it was the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and it was decided to officially open the town hall on this occasion. On 14 July 1887 the Marquis of Harrington, later the 8th Duke of Devonshire, turned a golden key that symbolically opened the town hall. The town hall has changed very little in its external appearance right up to the present day. There exists a rather persistent but erroneous myth among the locals of Barrow-in-Furness that the town hall was built back to front. The front of the town hall was always designed to be on Duke Street, but because there was space at the back for carriages and motor vehicles, the rear entrance was used more often.

Memories of Barrow-In-Furness

Who Am I

My grandfather was born in Barrow around 1886 in the Roose area to a Sarah Elizabeth Bracewell, within 2 months she had left him and disappeared leaving him with a family called Martin who bought him up. Can anyone add anything so I can find out where I came from!!

A memory of Barrow-In-Furness

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