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


Ordnance survey map of VICTORIA HALL
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Statutory Address:

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

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 44130 09827



ST4409 MARKET SQUARE 876-1/7/107 Victoria Hall 06/09/74


Market hall. Probably rebuilt 1742, altered 1836, remodelled 1900 by Thomas Benson of Yeovil to create shops and offices. MATERIALS: coursed limestone rubble with Ham Hill stone dressings, slate roof with various stone stacks. PLAN: rectangular plan with long lower wing to front-right which tapers toward the rear; originally open on ground floor, which was infilled in alterations of 1900. EXTERIOR: the front, facing north, is 2 storeys, 4-window range. A shouldered gable with finials to sides, has a central finial above a simulated bell-turret with an engaged pendant which serves as a keystone to the recessed arch below. This arch, and 2 smaller ones to the sides, rest on 4, engaged, Romanesque-style columns, which in turn rest on corbels interrupting a string course at first-floor level. In the large central arch are three C20 round-arched windows, a taller one to the centre, with a roundel above it and a stone platform, formerly with a balustrade, on brackets below it. The ground-floor has 2 shops; the windows to the centre, and doors to the sides are articulated by Tuscan-style pilasters supporting a cornice. The lower wing to the right, has a wide, round-arched doorcase with a porch of a shouldered segmental-arch on consoles, supported by engaged Romanesque-style columns on plinths. A similar column on the corner to the right of the building, is connected by a small cornice to the column on the right of the door. The double, 8-panel doors have a semi-circular overlight with curved glazing bars and coloured glass. Above this is an altered 2-light casement. The building is on a sloping site and steps which start at the left side increasing to 6 on the right. The right return, facing east, is 3 storeys, 6-window range. A stepped-forward gable to the left, has a stack in the apex, and moulded kneelers to shouldered coping. The second-floor has a continuous dripmould below the kneelers, forming arches with keystones, to 3 recessed panels; the central one is larger with an incised fan-pattern above paired, vertical, 1/2-pane sashes; those to the sides have vertical 2/4-pane sashes, all with a string-course at cill-level. The first-floor of the gabled range has a platband above, and moulded cill-course below, small, paired, square, 2/2-pane sashes in eared and shouldered raised surrounds, which flank a projecting column bearing a plaque on a moulded base above the cill-course. The ground-floor has tall, paired windows flanking the column, with floating cornices and chamfered lintels with carved imposts. The platband continues across the 2 ranges to the right, the cill-band only across the centre; the second-floor of the central range has paired windows, similar to those on the left, the first-floor has a small oval window in an ornamental surround to the left, and a quatrefoil plaque to the right, above double planked doors; paired windows of 3-panes to its left. The right-hand range is gabled, with a bell-turret above a tall, round-arch opening, with various glazing: below that, slightly left, is a 3-light, round-arch, stone-mullioned window. The wall cants back to join the rear of the building with another, plainer, 2-window range. The left return is 2 storeys, 5-window range; it has a filled-in arcade of 5, wide, Ham Hill stone ashlar segmental arches below a platband, with segmental arches to 6/6-pane sashes with horns above each arch. The rear is 2 storeys, 2-window range; gabled, with finials to the shoulders and a stack to the apex; round-arch windows to the first-floor, segmental to the ground-floor, with a C20 fire escape crossing all. INTERIOR: the stone staircase is open-well, open-string, with wrought-iron scrolled balusters and cast-iron newels at the turns and a wooden newel to the base. The hall on the first-floor has a tongued-and-grooved barrel-vault-type ceiling, the trusses of which rest on scrolled stone corbels. There are Baroque-style fireplaces to the west and north walls, and double doors with good brass furniture. Otherwise altered. HISTORY: the main building, probably rebuilt in 1742, had the south piazza added in 1836 after the demolition of the shambles. In 1848-9 it became the museum, reading room and library (which consisted of about 900 volumes) of the newly established Literary and Scientific Institute. Extensively remodelled and the arches filled in by Charles Benson of Yeovil in 1900 to create the Victoria Hall, shops and offices. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South Somerset: London: 1958-: P.139; Victoria County History: Somerset: London: 1978-: P.23).

Listing NGR: ST4413209833


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, (1978), 23
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, (1958), 139


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

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Date: 12 Jan 2003
Reference: IOE01/09070/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Steve Burman. Source Historic England Archive
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