Farnworth Town Hall
Farnworth Town Hall
LocationMarket Street, Farnworth
Coordinates53°33′04″N 2°23′46″W / 53.5510°N 2.3961°W / 53.5510; -2.3961Coordinates: 53°33′04″N 2°23′46″W / 53.5510°N 2.3961°W / 53.5510; -2.3961
ArchitectBradshaw Gass & Hope
Architectural style(s)Neoclassical style
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameTown Hall
Designated29 September 1999
Reference no.1113252
Farnworth Town Hall
Shown in Greater Manchester

Farnworth Town Hall is a municipal building in Market Street, Farnworth, Greater Manchester, England. The town hall, which was the headquarters of Farnworth Borough Council, is a grade II listed building.[1]


Shortly after it had been created in 1863,[2] the local board of health established itself in a small office in Darley Street.[3] After population growth associated with the increasing number of local coal mines led to the area becoming an urban district in 1894,[4] civic leaders decided to procure a dedicated town hall: the site they selected was open land between Trafford Street and Rawson Street.[5]

The new building, which was designed by Bradshaw Gass & Hope in the neoclassical style and built in red brick with stone dressings, was officially opened by the chairman of the council, Thomas Stanley, on 30 March 1909.[6][7][8] The design involved a symmetrical main frontage with nine bays facing onto Market Street; the central section of three bays, which slightly projected forward, featured a semi-circular porch with Ionic order columns; there was a three-light mullioned window on the first floor and a Diocletian window flanked by pilasters in the pediment above.[1] The middle bay in the left hand section featured a carved coat of arms on the first floor with a curved pediment above, while the middle bay in the right hand section featured a mullioned window on the first floor with a curved pediment above.[1] At roof level, there was a central cupola.[1] Internally, the principal rooms were the council chamber and the mayor's parlour, both on the first floor; there was a large stained glass window on the staircase depicting the council coat of arms.[1]

Civic leaders also procured a Carnegie library which was designed by the same architectural firm, built on open land between Carlton Street and Trafford Street (just to the north of the town hall) and completed in 1911.[9] The town hall was subsequently extended to the north to create an additional bay which was set back to maintain the symmetrical form of the building.[1] After the area achieved municipal borough status in 1939,[4] the building became the headquarters of the new borough council but ceased to be the local seat of government when the enlarged Bolton Council was formed in 1974.[10] Although the building was subsequently used for community purposes, it subsequently fell into a state of disrepair.[3]

On 2 July 1992, a security guard, Ian Foster, was fatally shot on the front steps of the town hall after being forced to hand over takings he had collected from an office in the building.[11][12][13] Two men were subsequently tried and convicted of his murder.[12] After an extensive programme of refurbishment works costing £1.3 million had been completed in June 2013, the building re-opened as additional workspace for the council departments of Bolton Council.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Historic England. "Town Hall (1113252)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Links in a Chain : Farnworth 1863-1974". Bolton's Mayors. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "New look Farnworth Town Hall - open for business". Bolton News. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Farnworth MB/UD". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Ordnance Survey Map". 1893. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Ancestors licensees of Bridge Inn". Bolton News. 7 August 2000. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Thomas Stanley". Bolton's Mayors. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  8. ^ Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2004). Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East. The Buildings of England. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-300-10583-5.
  9. ^ Historic England. "Carnegie Library (1113256)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ Local Government Act 1972. 1972 c.70. The Stationery Office Ltd. 1997. ISBN 0-10-547072-4.
  11. ^ "One months toll of victims and accused reported in the press". The Guardian. 4 August 1992. p. 3. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Murdered Ian remembered with flowers". Bolton News. 3 July 2002. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Death Charges". The Independent. 7 July 1992. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Farnworth Town Hall to get new lease of life". Bolton News. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2021.