August 18th 2023


Leeds Town Hall Investigations into the condition of the historic plasters in the former upper half of the Civil Court

M Womersleys were asked to help prepare a proposed plaster repair schedule for some of the former Civil Court within the Town Hall. Our report identified the location of required repairs indicated on outline drawings, a full schedule of required plaster repairs and costs for the repairs.

Leeds Town Hall is a Grade I Listed Building and its list description, dating from 1951, describes the former Civil Court, in the NE corner, as being fitted up in 1863. The two-storey height room had already been subdivided at this time, with an inserted ceiling/floor between the two levels, perhaps done after both incendiary and high explosive bombs hit the building in 1941, after which the Civil Court was deemed unfit for use, despite avoiding the worst of the blast. The upper section of this space, which is the subject of this survey, retains curved and recessed sections on the north and south walls, reflecting the former courtroom layout below, and its walls are divided along their lengths by paired diminishing pilasters, capped with Corinthian styled capitals, a simple freeze and cornice. The wall space is decorated, and subdivided further, by windows with plaster surrounds and roll mouldings. Above the window openings, including blind ones on the west wall, are finished in attractive hood moulds, skewed to accommodate the coved section of the wall above. This itself terminates in a deep stepped corniced area, as the ceiling levels out. The large central lightwell is underdrawn with an ornate ironwork and timber grill, holding glass, and finished with a plaster standing acanthus leaf decorative band.

August 18th 2023

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