Middlesbrough Town Hall was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 23 January 1889, but our story begins long before that.
A competition to design the Town Hall building was launched in 1882, and in 1883, architect G.G. Hoskins’ ‘Law and Order’ design was chosen as the winner. Hoskins was almost entirely responsible for the architectural design of Victorian Darlington, and would have been well-known in the architecture community.
Not wasting any time, the new Town Hall’s foundation stone was laid on 24 October 1883.
Much like today, the Town Hall had two very different uses. Part of the building was given over to the municipal functions needed to keep the town running, and the other part established itself as a respected entertainment venue.
Middlesbrough Town Hall’s reputation as a respected entertainment venue began with the grand concert hall, which featured a custom-built organ by the prestigious William Hill and Son.
Performers from across the world flocked to the Town Hall, including the Russian virtuoso pianist, Sergei Rachmaninov, who appeared not once but twice, in 1911 and 1939; Dame Nellie Melba; Johann Strauss, and Sir Edward Elgar with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years, the Town Hall has also played host to many great names in music, including blues guitar legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Oasis, Bowie, The Clash, AC/DC, and Robbie Williams.