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Sheffield Old Town Hall/Courts

Sheffield Old Town Hall stands on Waingate in central Sheffield, England, opposite Castle Market.

The building was commissioned to replace Sheffield’s first town hall, which had opened in 1700 to a design by William Renny. This first structure stood by the parish church, on a site with little prospect for extension.

The Old Town Hall was built in 1807–8 by Charles Watson, and was designed to house not only the Town Trustees but also the Petty and Quarter Sessions. The initial building was a five-bay structure fronting Castle Street, but it was extended in 1833 and again in 1866 by William Flockton (1804-1864) of Sheffield and his partner for the project, Abbott; the most prominent feature was the new central clock tower over a new main entrance that reoriented the building to Waingate. At the same time, the building’s courtrooms were linked by underground passages to the neighbouring Sheffield Police Offices.
Waingate in 1857: the Old Town Hall with its first clock tower on the left

The first Town Council was elected in 1843 and took over the lease of the Town Trustees’ hall in 1866. The following year, the building was extensively renovated, with a clock tower designed by Flockton & Abbott being added.

By the 1890s, the building had again become too small, and the current Sheffield Town Hall was built further south. The Old Town Hall was again extended in 1896-7, by the renamed Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton, and became Sheffield Crown Court and Sheffield High Court. In the 1990s, these courts moved to new premises, and since at least 1997 to present, the building remains disused.

In 2007, it was named by the Victorian Society as one of their top ten buildings most at-risk

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12 comments

  1. How easy is it to access? Not sure who owns it now as council say they don’t own it

  2. Is this building for sale if so who would I need to speak to in regards
    Thanks
    Richard North

  3. Please read my contact page. Thanks.

  4. hello, i was wondering how i might get in this building as im doing a course at college that requires me taking photos of urban derelict buildings, and i have chosen to take photos of this building. thanks.

  5. No permission, 99.9% of these sites never involve permission. This place is probably still doable, if you get there early in the day.

  6. Nice, loved the pic with the white paint peeling corridor. Did you need permission before entering? I want to have a look around too X)

  7. Well done with your shots of this place! Definitely one of the top places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. So much to see 🙂 Snow cover must have been a nice bonus too 🙂

  8. Finally got round to it, got in this afternoon! What a beautiful place inside!!! We spent a good two and a half hours in there…

  9. It really isn’t difficult and if you look at the moment the access is quiet blatant.

  10. This has been my Number One To-Do for the last few years but every single time I’ve gone to recce it I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME find access to this amazing building so I want to thank you for posting these pics. They’re awesome!!!

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