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Katharine Street, Town Hall
The present Town Hall is Croydon's third. There is confusion over the date of construction of the very first Town Hall, but it is believed to be either 1566 or 1609. The second was built in 1808 to serve the growing market and trading centre but was demolished following completion of the present Town Hall in 1895.
The present Town Hall designed by local architect Charles Henman was officially opened by TRH the Prince and Princess of Wales on 19th May 1896. Constructed in red bricks from Wrotham in Kent, with Portland Stone dressings and green Westmoreland slates for the roof the building underwent many design changes throughout construction, including the widening of the main staircase to be of 'adequate size and importance'.
Parts, including the former court rooms, have been converted for the Lifetimes Museum and exhibition galleries. The original public library, which for some years was used as the local studies library, is now the David Lean cinema, and the whole complex is known as Croydon Clocktower. After 100 years, a brand new public library occupies the area shown on Charles Henman's original plans as "space available for future extension".
Since the mid-1980s the Town Hall has been completely renovated and restored, and the Mayor's Parlour and the committee rooms have reverted to their original purpose.
Sunday, 1 February, 2015