Derby Hall, Greater Manchester facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsThe Derby Hall
The Derby Hall, with Athenaeum House on the right
|Town or city||Bury|
|Client||Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby|
|Design and construction|
The Derby Hall was built in the late 1840s at the instigation of Edward Smith-Stanley, the 13th Earl of Derby.
It was designed by Sydney Smirke, an architect best known today for his work on the circular reading room at the British Museum. The building has a central Venetian window and a pedimented portico with four attached columns.
It was originally the central part of a larger development that included the Derby Hotel on the left, and the Athenaeum on the right (both also designed by Smirke). These other two buildings were demolished in 1965 and 1971, respectively.
Construction of the building began at Christmas 1848 and was completed in October 1850.
The hall was opened on 6 November 1850 with a concert which was attended by 600 people.
The building was originally known as the Public Rooms, although it quickly became known as the Town Hall. At its opening, it contained a magistrate's court, a police station, the Earl of Derby's estate offices and a large assembly room.
Stanley hoped the building would become the meeting place for Bury's council; however, owing to a disagreement between the earl and the local authority, it was never used for this purpose.
In 1925, some of the Derby estates in the town were sold and the building was purchased for £12,500 by the borough council; it was at this time that it became known as The Derby Hall. The main room upstairs served as a civic hall, hosting dances, banquets and other occasions.
In 1936, despite much local opposition, the stonework of the ground floor was knocked out to make a large glass window for the showroom of the local electricity board. This remained for forty years, after which it was replaced by the three archways that stand today.
Since 1979, the building has been operated by a registered charity called Bury Metropolitan Arts Association, which uses it as a theatre and concert venue known as The Met.
Derby Hall, Greater Manchester Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.