old town hall

Address: 54.582427, -1.234991

Origin: 1846

Site Type: Government Building

Condition: In situ

Middlesbrough's old Town Hall was the centrepiece of the town which grew from the industry very closeby. It was designed by a fellow named William Lambie Moffatt, and opened in 1846 for what was then a small area.

You may have heard of William Gladstone, who was Prime Minister for 12 years during the 1800s. In 1862, he visited Middlesbrough during a tour of Northern towns, and visited the town hall for a speech which is still remembered today! He was astonished by the "commercial enterprise" of the north compared with the "lethargy" of the south, and called the town an "infant Hercules", referring to its youth and strength. 

A new town hall was completed in 1889 which is much bigger than this one. Sadly though the old town hall isn't in a great state. There are various efforts to bring it back to life, particularly by the Mayor. Fingers crossed!

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Old Town Hall (2009) taken by Chris on Flickr

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Lowry's 1959 painting of Middlesbrough, featuring St. Hildas Church and the Old Town Hall

Middlesbrough Daily Gazette, 25th August

This is an extract from a local newspaper in 1902 remembering Gladstone's visit to Middlesbrough. Click!