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DO YOU REMEMBER: Hemel’s Old Town Hall in the early 20th century

 Published on: 20th January 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

This month, we are looking back at the history of one of St Albans’ most iconic buildings, the Town Hall, thanks to an image shared by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies.

The Town Hall, also known as the Old Town Hall, was commissioned to replace Moot Hall in the Market Place, as the original hall had become dilapidated and run down since it was built in 1570.

The Old Town Hall was built in 1826 and designed by George Smith in the neoclassical style, which honours the idea of symmetrical proportions, balance and simplicity.

The Town Hall had its own quarter sessions, or quarterly court dates. This is because King Offa had granted St Albans its liberty, which meant that the city’s residents could have their say in law and order, separate from the wider county.

To this day, the courtroom and cells are fully intact after a full restoration, holding hundreds of years’ worth of memories.

This image is from around 1910 when the building was used as a meeting place for St Albans Rural District Council and St Albans City Council.

The building is now home to the St Albans Museum + Gallery, where the grand floors and wide spaces have been transformed into several state-of-the-art gallery spaces, showcasing 2,000 years’ worth of history.

Photo credit: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

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