UPPER STREET (east side)
Islington Town Hall
Includes: Islington Town Hall RICHMOND GROVE.
Town hall. The rear wing, facing Richmond Grove, 1922, the northern part in Upper Street of 1925. Designed by E.C.P Monson.
The front wing is built of stone and brown brick, roofs obscured by parapet. Classical style. The principal front, to Upper Street has a base of polished granite and upper storeys faced in Portland and other stones; it is divided into three parts.
(1) To the north, steps up to flat-arched, architraved entrance in enclosed porch, forming a centrepiece to a three window range; on the porch the cornice breaks forward on brackets over datestone, MCMXXV; plain pediment surmounted by borough coat of arms flanked by festoons with urn behind. Two storey window openings to either side with ornamental metal panels between floors and Corinthian pilasters to either side; flat-arched window above porch with moulded architrave. Frieze with incised lettering 'ISLINGTON TOWN HALL'; modillion cornice; parapet stepped up in the centre and pierced by a short balustrade to either side.
(2) The central part has the granite base brought forward, and three identical two storey window openings in the upper part flanked by Corinthian pilasters. The window openings have architraves, floating cornices with carved winged heads above and metal panels set low in each opening. Entablature from the first part continues, surmounted by a pedmiment fronting the parapet.
(3) The southern part turns the corner into Richmond Grove; entrance in stepped, polished granite base, single window above to Upper Street with bracketed sill, architrave and cornice on consoles; entablature continues with parapet above, slightly set back and surmounted by a very shallow gable. In Richmond Grove the corner bay, with granite base and Portland stone above, alters to Portland stone ground floor with brown brick and stone detailing above. Cornice continues from Upper Street. Single-storey screen wall links to rear wing.
The rear wing is of stone and brown brick. Three storeys over basement, ten bays in all-but-symmetrical composition of central entrance bay and four matching bays to either side, one small additional bay to west. Basement faced with rusticated Portland stone, windows segmental-arched with keystones. Steps up to entrance flanked by cast-iron lampholders, the entrance set in a two storey centrepiece consisting of flat-arched entrance with cornice and overlight, flanked by three sets of superimposed pilasters, the outer pair supporting an entablature which breaks forward twice, the front part of the cornice supported on scrolled brackets with datestone MCMXXII to frieze; entablature supports balcony to first floor window with railings, the window with architrave and scrolled consoles. First and second floor windows all flat-arched and are, outwards from the central bay (1) architraved with bracketed sills and keystones to first floor; (2) two storey openings with gauged brick heads and stone keystones, with stone garlanded panels between floors; sidelights separated by slim metal columns to first floor and metal pilasters to second; (3 and 4) architraved with gauged red brick heads. Modillion cornice; attic storey has central festooned oculus, then (1) flat-arched with stone architrave, (2, 3 and 4) flat-arched with gauged brick heads; stone cornice and stepped parapet.
Interior: the principal entrance is through that of 1925 fronting Upper Street. Lobby leads through double-height entrance hall with pilasters (of marble to the ground floor), and marble staircase with fat urn-like balusters. Heavy cornice and cove rises to circular central skylight with fan tracery. Statue to Sir Hugh Myddelton a copy of that listed in Islington Green (q.v). The principal rooms are on the first floor. The council chamber is set on the axis of the main entrance. Octagonal, with Diocletian dormers set within dome of roof, double-height with public gallery set over entrance. The chamber is panelled, with Ionic half-columns and pilasters, fixed council seating with elaborate pew ends and fronts carved with swags and upturned volutes still in the manner of the Edwardian Baroque. The upper parts of the chamber with plaster pilasters, volutes (over the oak columns) and roundel reliefs; dentil cornice and moulded ribs to ceiling. Central rosette with elaborate plaster tracery and original pendant light. Behind council chamber, facing Upper Street, the former Members' room and Lady Members' room, with simpler plaster panels to walls and coffered ceilings. Screen of narrow timber panels can be pulled back to unite these rooms if desired. Curved bolection-moulded fireplace remains vestigially Baroque.
The principal committee room is over the 1922 entrance; this with Tuscan columns and heavy voussoirs within vestibule; a dentiled cornice to inner hall; a simpler Imperial stair having cast-iron balustrade between marble piers, and marble-lined architrave surrounds to entrances off upper landing. The principal committee room is capable of subdivision by fixed, folding screens into three rooms if desired. The central one of three bays, those to either side of one. All have oak panelling, cornices, heavy coves and a richly mouled ceiling with circular fan-like plaster traceried semi-domes, whence hang original bronze chandeliers. Wall sconces also original. Double doors, those to central committee room with lavishly-moulded architrave surround incorporating clock. The panelling incorporates the radiator grilles under the windows, these with cast-iron decoration. The other committee rooms simpler, but all panelled, reached off spinal corridor with deep cornice band that serves as capitals when interrupted by projecting marble pilasters; these efine coving of ceiling which rises as a series of semi-domes that are also articulated in the mosaic flooring.
(Historians' file, English Heritage London Division)
Listing NGR: TQ3170884233