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County Hall, Northallerton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

County Hall, Northallerton
Northallerton County Hall - panoramio.jpg
Northallerton County Hall
Location within North Yorkshire
Alternative names The Walter Brierley Building
Etymology Walter Brierley
General information
Address Racecourse Lane
Town or city Northallerton
Country England
Coordinates 54°19′58″N 1°26′21″W / 54.3329°N 1.4391°W / 54.3329; -1.4391
Current tenants North Yorkshire County Council
Groundbreaking 1903
Cost £33,000 (1906)
Design and construction
Architect Walter Brierley
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated 16 June 1987
Reference no. 1150967

County Hall in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, serves as the headquarters of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC). The building was opened in 1906 and has also been the headquarters of the North Riding County Council, the NYCCs predecessor, up until 1974.

County Hall is at the south western edge of Northallerton (in the parish of Romanby) and is now a grade II* listed building.


Northallerton has been the administrative centre of the North Riding since the end of the 17th century. Many buildings across the town were for the various councils and local offices of the North Riding.[1]

The land that the hall is built upon was formerly part of Northallerton Racecourse in the Broomfields area of the town. The road to the north of the building connecting the A167 and A168 roads is known as Racecourse Lane.[2] Racecourse Lane was the finishing straight of the track and the big grandstand was located where County Hall is now. The racing died off gradually after the railway was built on its south western corner which had restricted its space. The last race meet was held in 1880; after this, the racecourse was abandoned.[3]

As far back as 1891, the council had recognised the need to replace their offices in East Road in the town and the twelve other sites that they occupied that were scattered throughout Northallerton.[4]

Work on the new offices started in 1903, with John Hutton MP laying the first stone in July of that year,[5] with it being blessed by the vicar of Northallerton and the Bishop of Richmond.[6] The hall was opened to the council in January of 1906. The building had extra sections added in 1916, 1930 and 1940[7] and was subject to a £500,000 renovation in 1999.[8] The main building was grade II* listed in June 1987,[9] but many other ancillary buildings have been added to the site since 1906.[10]

As far back as 1895, Walter Brierley and John Demaine were employed to be the architects for the new building; however, the process of acquiring new land and the council members voting on the preferred locations, made for a protracted eight year gap before work was started.[11] In the eventuality, the building was designed by Walter Brierley alone, who by that time was the favoured architect of the North Riding County Council.[12] The interior of the building includes Derbyshire Limestone, and white Sicilian and black Belgian marble in the entrance floor.[13] The external walls are made from local stone (from Whitby and Farndale), with the west facing main entrance side of the building being faced with red bricks from Leicestershire, although local bricks are used internally.[14][6] The roof is finished with slate from Westmorland and the main entrance into the grounds that the hall is set in, has been described as "impressive" as it is lined with hedging, trees and decorative ponds.[15] When built, the council chamber was markedly different as it had Diocletian windows and a cupola that hid an early air conditioning system.[16]

Between October 1914 and January 1919, part of the hall served as a Red Cross hospital helping sick and injured service personnel from the First World War. The temporary hospital had over 60 beds and over 1,600 patients were nursed during that time.[17]

In May 1941, the town of Northallerton was subject to a bombing run by the Luftwaffe. Several incendiary devices were dropped on the town, one of which caused a fire in County Hall though it was soon extinguished with no lasting damage.[18]

In 1974, the government shake up of the counties led to a vast increase in land and population under North Yorkshire, particularly from the newly transferred non-industrial areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire.[19] It was felt that a new headquarters should be situated at York which was to be part of the new county of North Yorkshire. It was decided to retain County Hall as the headquarters purely on grounds of cost; it was £7 million cheaper to enhance County Hall than to move to new premises.[20]


  1. ^ "Parishes: Northallerton | British History Online". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  2. ^ Rhea, Nicholas (26 April 2013). "Headquarters could have ended intiers[sic]". Darlington and Stockton Times. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. ^ Riordan 2002, p. 204.
  4. ^ "County hall to mark centenary". The Northern Echo. 28 January 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Past Lives: Legacy of a North Riding colossus". The Northern Echo. 29 September 2000. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b Riordan 2002, p. 224.
  7. ^ Chrystal, Paul; Sunderland, Mark (2010). Northallerton through time. Stroud: Amberley. p. 18. ISBN 9781848681811.
  8. ^ "County Hall set for 1/2m revamp". The Northern Echo. 14 December 1999. p. 6. ISSN 2043-0442.
  9. ^ Historic England. "County Hall  (Grade II*) (1150967)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  10. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Yorkshire: The North Riding. New York: Yale University Press. p. 272. ISBN 0-300-09665-8.
  11. ^ Riordan 2002, p. 154.
  12. ^ Faulkner, Thomas; Berry, Helen; Gregory, Jeremy, eds. (2010). Northern Landscapes; Representations and Realities of North-East England. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-84383-541-7.
  13. ^ Dooks, Brian. "'Dignified' County Hall to mark 100 years of service". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  14. ^ Kennett, David (February 2017). "Brick in Northern England - Editorial". British Brick Society. British Brick Society (135): 4. ISSN 0960-7870.
  15. ^ "Northallerton Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). December 2010. p. 25. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  16. ^ Kennett, David (February 2017). "Brick in Northern England - Editorial". British Brick Society. British Brick Society (135): 5. ISSN 0960-7870.
  17. ^ "When patients from the trenches and nurses took over committee rooms". Darlington and Stockton Times. 26 September 2006. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  18. ^ Riordan 2002, p. 298.
  19. ^ Chrystal, Paul (2017). The place names of Yorkshire. Catrine: Stenlake. p. 104. ISBN 9781840337532.
  20. ^ Riordan 2002, p. 369.


  • Riordan, Michael (2002). The History of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, from Earliest Times to the Year 2000. Pickering: Blackthorn Press. ISBN 0-9540535-0-8.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 August 2018, at 13:11
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