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.

City of Kingston upon Hull (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 30/03/2017

TA0928NE 680-1/22/24





Also Known As: Guildhall, LOW GATE Guildhall, HANOVER SQUARE

City guildhall, civic offices, and law courts. 1906-1914. By Sir Edwin Cooper of Russell, Cooper & Davis, won in a competition assessed by John Belcher. Built in two stages, beginning with the law courts, by Quibell, Son & Green of Hull. Restored 1948 following wartime damage. Reckoned to be a major work of Cooper.

MATERIALS: ashlar, rusticated, with granite plinth and slate roofs, with numerous coped stacks. Modillion cornice and balustrade to main elevations. Baroque Revival style, described by Pevsner as a tour de force, which it is, inside and out.

EXTERIOR: narrow tapering island site, nine x 33 bays. Two fronts, the main entrance facing east to Lowgate, the much larger Law Courts front facing south to Alfred Gelder Street. Utilitarian rear elevation to north, facing Hanover Square. The Guildhall is set crosswise at the narrow east end, with a plain block of civic offices between it and the Law Courts. These are set lengthwise covering most of the site. The entrance front has a pedimented central portico with paired columns and three windows, set on a basement with three doorways and topped with a square clock tower. This has an arcaded bell stage and stone lantern, plus clock made by Cooke & Johnson for the former town hall built in 1865 (restored by David Stipetic). On each side, symmetrical wings, three storeys, three windows. Returns have single round-arched windows, the left one under a portico. Basements with five windows. Recessed office range, three storeys, has three windows set in rusticated panels, and a basement with three triple windows. Law Courts have a symmetrical front with projecting centre and end bays, the latter topped with massive sculpture groups by A H Hodge. Central entrance bay has a giant arch with paired flanking columns and a hefty sculpture set over the basement door. Flanking ranges, three storeys, 15 bays, have giant columns and pedimented lower windows. Basement has three round-arched doorways. Attics have box dormers. The ornate cast-iron gates to the entrances to the former Police, County and Sessions Courts are by Nelson E Dawson. INTERIOR: layout reflects the exterior. Guildhall, two storeys, has a spinal corridor flanked by offices, leading to a crosswise passage and stairwell. Elaborate marble double staircase leading to a square reception room and a full-width banqueting hall. The reception room has a coffered ceiling with central skylight. Banqueting hall has half-panelling and a segmental vault with skylight. At each end, a round-arched window. Office block has in the centre the council chamber served by barrel-vaulted corridors and flanked by the civic suite. Council chamber has elaborate coffered dome and cross vaults, and original panelling and fitted furnishings. There are three murals in three of the arches painted by Harry Watson from Scarborough.Civic suite has two panelled reception rooms with coffered ceilings, Renaissance Revival style.

Law courts have a lengthwise segment-arched tiled lobby serving the Stipendiary Magistrates' Court. This and the former Sessions Court have barrel vaults with domed skylights and their original panelling and furnishings. Four smaller courts, divided and altered c1960, have similar furnishings. Panelled Magistrates' room similar to the civic suite.

Listing NGR: TA0998328850


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bullock, F H , Visitor's Guide to the Guildhall Hull, (1954)
Neave, David, Neave, Susan, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Hull, (2010), 57-58
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire - York and the East Riding, (1972), 272
Service, A, Edwardian Architecture a Handbook to Building Design in Britain 1890-1914, (1977), 201
Nelson Dawson, accessed . from


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 22 Jan 2006
Reference: IOE01/15141/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Callan. Source Historic England Archive
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