Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

North Devon (District Authority)
Lynton and Lynmouth
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SS 71880 49514



SS7149 LEE ROAD, Lynton 858-1/4/23 (North side) 03/09/73 Town Hall


Town hall. Cornerstone laid 1898, opened by the donor, Sir George Newnes, 15 August 1900. Architects Read and Macdonald, London. Squared rubble with limestone ashlar dressings, timber-framing, tile roofs. A neo-Tudor design with Art Nouveau details, the upper floor is in close-spaced framing with decorative bracing in the Cheshire tradition, and the ground floor in stonework. PLAN: near-symmetrical with a full-width public hall at upper level, approached by a grand imperial staircase, with secondary access at the half-landing level. The ground floor has the Council Chamber to the left, and library to the right, with other smaller rooms. A wide external stone stair, with quarter-landing, to the right (S and E side), giving direct access to the hall. EXTERIOR: windows are casements, with leading, having moulded transoms and mullions, in wood with ovolo-mould to the first floor, and stone to hollow chamfer below. The S front has 3 gables over multi-light casements. Each side of the central gable is an octagonal stone turret, with small single or double lights under crenellations, and between these a bold balcony is brought forward, carried on large scrolled stone brackets, to a balustrade with splat balusters and heavy square newels with steep obelisk finials; this continues to the right as the stair balustrade, returning by a quarter-landing to the right. The ground floor has a raked buttress over a small moulded arch to the left, then 4-light to the Town Clerk's office, and 1:1:2-light to the turret base. Beyond the doorway are two 2-light. The main entrance is framed by a very wide elliptical moulded arch dying to jamb-stops, over a full-width flight of shallow stone steps to heavy framed doors to a segmental arched head, with Art Nouveau embellishment and fittings, and with a small door to the left, and 2-light casement to the right. The wall supporting the quarter-landing to the right has battered sides. Gables have decorative barge-boards with wooden finials; the main roof is hipped with returns, to a U-plan at the rear, the side gables being continuous with the outer slopes. The left return has 2:3:2-light casements to the first floor, above a flat-roofed 7-light bow, to the Council Chamber. On this side is a large external stack with paired diagonal flues to cappings and frieze. The return to the right has, at the upper level, a very large decorative carved stone panel, including the Royal Arms, above a fine doorway in a moulded stone elliptical arch with Art Nouveau detail with a panelled timber door including a shell-hood motif. To its right is a large 4-light window, to the library. Beyond, the building steps down slightly, and has simpler detailing. The rear is complex, and includes a wide dormer, and various lights, one group of 7 of these to a wide, flat cusped elliptical arch. At the half-landing level is an octagonal extension in stone, with a door on the E side, There is a further large ridge stack towards the rear of the right half, with 4 diagonal flues. INTERIOR: richly panelled and fitted, and appears to be little modified. The square entrance hall has 4 large square piers and responds with strapwork panelling. To each side are fine panelled doors with pulvinated friezes and pedimented heads, and a dentilled frieze is carried all round at the head of the panelling and at the ceiling level. The inner vestibule doors, with undulating head, are glazed with Art Nouveau enrichment. The Jubilee Room (originally library) to the right is panelled, and has a deep square embayment to the window, flanked by the lobby and a store. From the main hall, centrally left, opens the long Council Chamber, with a 7-light bow. It has a wide stone fire surround with elliptical arch under a wide polished wood mantel to undulating head, and an eared surround. The room opposite is now used as the library, originally a recreation room. It has a fire surround in green faience with a bold bolection-mould surround. 4 full-width steps lead to the wide main imperial stair in polished hardwood and Jacobean detail, with solid string, twisted balusters and large square newels carrying fine heraldic lions rampant. The panelled walls have a dentil cornice. The half-landing opens through an elliptical arch to a semi-octagonal lobby, with door. At the top landing are 7-panelled doors to the main hall, and to rooms each end; those to the hall are pedimented. A secondary stone tight-well stair, with simple iron balustrade, to the right of the main stair. The hall, hipped at the W end, is in 4 bays with arch-braced trusses plus queen-posts and on deep hammer-beam brackets, with iron rod ties. There are 2 ranges of wind-bracing. The centre has a flat ceiling, and the purlins have elliptical arch bracing. On the street side the hall opens into the 2 turrets, with a door to the balcony or the head of the external stair. HISTORICAL NOTE: a very striking building, and one of the finest Domestic Revival examples of its type in the country, in which no expense was spared; the cost is recorded as »20,000. Sir George Newnes, a major benefactor to the town, employed the contractor Bob Jones here, as in other major public works. Stones each side of the main entry record, to the left: 'This Town Hall presented by Sir George Newnes, J.P. was opened by him on 15th day of August 1900', and to the right: 'Erected by Sir George Newnes Baronet J.P. and presented by him to Lynton and Lynmouth for ever'.

Listing NGR: SS7188049514


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

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Legacy System:


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: 30 Sep 2002
Reference: IOE01/09137/16
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Robins. Source Historic England Archive
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