Luton Heritage Forum

Luton Town Hall

Address : George Street, Luton

Grid Reference : TL0900621329

Site Status : Grade II listed

Conservation Area : This is in the Town Centre conservation area

Statutory List Description : Town Hall. 1935-36, with alterations and additions c. 1960. By Bradshaw Gass and Hope, architects, of Bolton. Portland stone facings to brickwork, with ashlar carved decoration. Copper-clad mansard roof of c.1960. Neo-classical style, with Art Deco detailing. Splayed U-plan, the principal elevation facing south-east along George Street, and flanking ranges extending northwards and to the west, the latter with the semi-circular ended Council Chamber facing north to the rear.

FRONT ELEVATION (south-east): 4 storeys above a basement, 5 bays with advanced wide central bay below a pediment. Diastyle in Antis entrance with Doric columns, with set-back curved flanking ranges of 2 bays rising from a shallow plinth. Main entrance with moulded surround, and bracketed cornice carrying shallow balcony. Above the pediment, stepped base of 144 ft. clock tower incorporates the coat of arms of Luton Borough Council. 3-stage tower with shallow domed cap and finial. 9 foot diameter clock face to each facade of first stage. Flanking ranges with multi-paned metal window frames in moulded surrounds. Shallow 2-light window behind shallow parapet to third floor, and above, to lower 3-light openings to former attic storey, now set below added mansard roof. Similarly detailed flanking ranges, of 7 bays to the north and 11 bays to the west, both with secondary entrances, that to the west with flanking wall mounted bronze lanterns.

INTERIOR: Main entrance with metal framed windows in Art Deco style. Bronze screen doors to entrance hall with gilt coat of arms above glazed bronze doors. Staircase hall with decorative bronze screens as radiator grilles. Elaborately decorated staircase with bronze balustrading and thistle and rose decorative motifs. Principal first floor rooms, including committee rooms, Mayor' Parlour, and the Council Chamber are served from the corridors leading from the stair head. These areas retain original fittings and finishes in timber, plaster and metal, in a mixture of the Neo-classical and the Art Deco styles, as designed by the architects, and are particularly noteworthy in the Council Chamber and in Committee Room 2. Forms a group with the War Memorial (qv)

HISTORY: The design for the Town Hall was selected by competition, for which there were 86 entries in 1930. The earlier town hall of 1847 was burnt down as a result of the Peace Riots' of July 19th, 1919. A notable example of Inter-War municipal architecture, which, although altered, retains much original detail, both external and internal, including architect-designed fixtures and fitting. The building was designed to create a powerful and highly visible landmark in the centre of the settlement, a function which it admirably fulfils despite extensive subsequent re-development in the centre of Luton.

Information provided by Luton Borough Council.

Site Location (OS map and aerial view)

A red marker shows the site's location on the map and aerial view below. Use the slider controls or +/- buttons to zoom in and out, or click and drag the map or aerial view to move around.

To view street level photographs using Google Street View, drag the little orange figure (top left in the aerial view) onto one of the roads. To exit Street View, click the X in the top right corner. NB - when in Street View the red marker's position can be less accurate and may not always point to the correct building. You can blame Google for that, not us!

External Links

Bing Maps view - an angled aerial view centred on the current site, which is marked with a blue dot. Bing enables you to move round and view all four sides of the building (n.b. when viewing from other angles, the blue dot may not always indicate the correct building).

Wikipedia's Glossary of Architecture - you might find this helpful if you are not familiar with all the architectural terms used to describe this site. There are links to other glossaries on our Links page.

Nearby Sites

These are the closest sites to Luton Town Hall and are all within about 100 metres :

George Street
War Memorial [Grade II listed]
60 George Street [Draft Local List]
62 George Street [Draft Local List]
63 George Street [Grade II listed]
Manchester Street
11 & 13 Manchester Street [Draft Local List]
Wellington Street
8 & 10 Wellington Street - 8-10 Wellington Street [Draft Local List]

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