Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of SHIRE HALL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:



SX0766 MOUNT FOLLY SQUARE 629-1/3/92 Shire Hall 26/03/49 (Formerly Listed as: MOUNT FOLLY SQUARE Assize Court)


Assize Court. 1837-1838. By Henry Burt of Launceston. MATERIALS: granite ashlar with channelled rustication to basement over plinth, mid-floor and impost string, moulded eared architraves and moulded hoods to side bays, side elevations also ashlar; rubble at rear; with granite quoins and parapet string; dry Delabole roof behind parapet with moulded parapet and central triangular pediment; granite ashlar axial stacks with moulded cornice. PLAN: overall rectangular plan: central entrance hall with imperial main stair plus smaller stair halls on either side of front with pair of full-height courtrooms behind. Classical style. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys over basement, symmetrical 2:3:2-bay front with central bays broken forward. Original hornless sashes with glazing bars; 3 central windows over 3 round-arched openings with stepped keyblocks. Original pairs of wrought-iron gates with cast-iron spearhead finials, C20 screen behind. Rear is 2:3:2-bays. 3 windows to each side elevation; all original sashes. INTERIOR: complete and virtually unaltered. Principal features include loggia with 3 round arches on granite piers and responds all with iron gates, the central arch leading to a wide cantilevered granite staircase with the landing carried on granite corbel brackets, also in loggia 2 round-arched side entrances leading to secondary staircases. Behind the smaller staircases a pair of identical full-height courtrooms with U-plan galleries at the front (rear of each court). Courtrooms are complete with original architectural features and fittings including judges' benches, jurors' benches and other benches set on 4 deep granite steps. The principal benches are panelled and enclosed like box pews, the rear benches are simple seats with back rails. Courtrooms and front chamber have moulded plaster ceilings and courtrooms have central roses with acanthus leaves. Beside each courtroom, behind central staircase are 2 judges' dressing rooms. The basement is approached by a central granite staircase and 2 staircases lead from the cells to the courtrooms (now blocked off) and 30 small cupboard-like cells with ventilated doors; at the front end of the passage between the cells is a closet with a heated washing trough. Behind the cells on the right is a cavity wall to provide ventilation. This court building was until 1988 the County Court and is an unusually complete and elegant example of its type, and groups with the Judges' Lodgings, Shire House (qv). (Colvin H: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840: London: 1978-: 969).

Listing NGR: SX0716366930


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978), 969


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 21 Mar 2001
Reference: IOE01/03787/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Charles A Perry. Source Historic England Archive
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