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Inventory Site Record

Town Hall Square (Hackney)

Brief Description

Hackney Town Hall was built in 1934-37 when a larger building was needed to accommodate the offices of the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney. It is set back from the main road behind a landscaped square that was laid out on the site of the old Town Hall, itself the site of the C16th Church House long used for church, parochial and educational purposes. Now called Town Hall Square, it remains a formal, symmetrical composition with island beds, enclosed by stone parapet walls with four piers surmounted by bronze Art Deco lanterns at the front.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Hackney Town Hall Gardens
Site location:
Mare Street
Postcode:
E8
What 3 Words:
down.hogs.extra
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Borough:
Hackney
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
London Overground: Hackney Central. Tube: Bethnal Green (Central) then bus. Bus: 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 254, 277, 276, D6, W15.
Research updated:
01/07/2011
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hackney.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Hackney Town Hall was designed in 1934-37 by architects Lanchester and Lodge when a larger building was needed to accommodate the local council of the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney. The Metropolitan Borough had taken over from the Hackney Vestry, which had assumed the powers of Hackney District Board of Works in 1894. The gardens in front of the new building were laid out on the site of the old Town Hall, with the new building erected behind this on the site of houses in the former Hackney Grove, land that had once been a paddock. The Old Town Hall had been the old vestry hall and was itself on the site of the Church House dating from 1520, which had been the vicarage and used for church, parochial and educational purposes over the years. There is a record of Hackney Town Hall Garden in the late C19th as a half-acre site owned by Hackney District Board. In 1937 the area in front of the new Town Hall was laid out in a formal, symmetrical composition centred on the Town Hall in the form of two raised planted areas with island beds containing seasonal flower displays, with recesses for seats. The area was enclosed by low Portland stone parapet walls with four massive piers surmounted by bronze Art Deco lanterns at the front. As part of refurbishment works of the adjacent Hackney Empire in 2000/2001, Hackney Town Hall Gardens were renamed Town Hall Square.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Harold Clunn, 'The Face of London (c1950); Hackney Empire Appeal leaflet, April 2000.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ348847 (534926,184696)
Size in hectares:
0.2
Site ownership:
LB Hackney
Site management:
Streetscene
Date(s):
1937
Designer(s):
Lanchester and Lodge (architects of Town Hall)
Listed structures:
LBII: Hackney Town Hall; Civic Garden Walls and Lamp Piers
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Town Hall Square
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
Open Space

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.