Listen

Despite its Georgian appearance, the Town Hall is a late 15th century timber-framed building which originally had a jetty along its entire front. Until the 1790s it was part of a coaching inn called The George, before the present George was so-called. There is a video in the Town Hall Information Centre which gives a good idea of what the Town Hall then looked like. In the early 19th century it was converted to a bank. That is when it was entirely encased in brick and given its Georgian façade and portico and its false upper storey with dummy windows.

 

Look at the brickwork: a regular pattern and thin joints have been skilfully faked by filling in the true joints with brick-coloured mortar and then chiselling artificial joints which were in-filled in black.

 

The building housed a number of banks, the latest being Barclays which moved to a new building next door just before World War II. After that came a wholesale tobacconist and later Magnet & Southern then Town & Country building societies. It became Witham's Town Hall in 1994.

 

The drawing below shows the original timber frame of the building buried under the later brickwork and plaster. (The Development of Buildings in Witham 1500 to c1880, Mike Wadhams).

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now