Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Derby Hall (Bury)
It was originally the central part of a larger development that included the Derby Hotel on the left, and the Athenaeum on the right (both also designed by Smirke). These other two buildings were demolished in 1965 and 1971, respectively.
Stanley intended the building to be Bury's Town Hall (and for many years it was known by this name) however because of a disagreement between the Tory peer and Bury's Liberal controlled town council, it was never used for this purpose. Instead it was used as a magistrates court, a police station, and even a jail.
In 1925 the Derby estates were sold, and the building was purchased for £12,500 by Bury council: it was at this time that it became known as The Derby Hall. The main room upstairs served as a civic hall, hosting dances, banquets and other occasions.
In 1936, despite much local opposition, the stonework of the ground floor was knocked out to make a large glass window for a showroom for the local electricity board. This remained for forty years, when it was in turn replaced by the three archways that stand today.
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