Local residents are being invited to take part in Chester Town Hall’s 150th birthday celebrations, with free personal tours around the building to hear about its history.
Chester Town Hall has a rich history and on Tuesday, October 15 visitors are being offered the chance to meet the Lord Mayor and take a guided tour of the building with the Guild of Chester Tourist Guides. The first tour is now fully booked.
A cake cutting event at 12.30 pm will also be open to the public. School children will also be taking part in the tours and will bring recyclable flowers they have made with them on the day to decorate the Town Hall.
The tours are limited to 40 people each. To reserve a place for free please visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/cheshire-west-and-chester-council-19844509948
The Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Mark Williams said: Chester Town Hall is one of the famous landmarks in the city and it is an honour to lead the 150th celebrations to mark the anniversary of the official opening of the building.
“The celebrations start on the 29 September when HRH The Princess Royal unveils a commemorative plaque I then look forward to opening the doors on 15 October to mark the moment 150 years to the day that the Town Hall was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales.
“Come and wander around the splendid rooms of the Town Hall, including the Lord Mayor’s Parlour and hear about the civic regalia and the history of the town hall”
The birthday celebrations will begin when HRH the Princess Royal unveils a plaque on her visit on Sunday, 29 September.
HRH will be in Chester to inspect the ship’s company of HMS Albion in the city’s town hall square and residents are invited to view the unique event from Town hall square. The plaque will be unveiled by the Princess Royal with the Lord Mayor of Chester before she attends a special celebration event at Chester Cathedral, hosted by the Commanding Officer of HMS Albion.
Chester Town Hall was built 1865-9. It was opened on 15 October 1869 by HRH The Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, later King Edward VII. The building is a High Victorian reinterpretation of the 13th century Cloth Hall at Ypes in Belgium, built from buff and pink sandstone.
Today the Town Hall is still regarded as the symbolic expression of civic government and civic pride. Many civic events are hosted there throughout the year, maintaining the historic traditions for which Chester is justly proud.
The building is also a popular wedding venue, together with hosting community and cultural events and welcoming tourist visits to the City.
The internal features of the building reflect the history of the City of Chester, depicting its Roman, Norman and Saxon roots. The Porch entrance is a prime example of this featuring many sculptures, including Hugh I receiving the earldom of Chester from King William the Conqueror in 1077.
The steel and bronze gates which open up onto the Town Hall Square celebrate the granting of the Lord Mayoralty to the City of Chester by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992.
The Assembly Room where the Reception will be held is the largest room in the building. Above the stage is painted the former armorial bearings of the City with the Latin Motto which can be translated as ‘Let the ancients worship the ancient days’.
The armorial bearings are also shown in the circular stained glass window. The room features portraits of the Grosvenor family of Eaton Hall near Chester.
On the back wall in the Assembly Room is a painting of HMS Chester.