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Happy birthday Todmorden Town Hall!

Todmorden Town Hall 142nd birthday - resized

Visitors to Todmorden Town Hall will be able to celebrate its 142nd birthday and discover its fascinating history at the next tour of the iconic building.

On Sunday 2 April from 2pm, volunteers will run a guided ‘taster’ tour of the Town Hall, telling stories of its past to mark its anniversary.

Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:

“Todmorden Town Hall has a special place in many local people’s hearts and has become an increasingly important community meeting place. We hope that lots of people join us to celebrate its birthday on our fun and fascinating tour.”

The Town Hall turns 142 on Monday 3 April. Here are just some examples of the stories that shaped the building:

  • Earlier attempts were made to build the Town Hall in 1860 and Burnley architect, James Green, even appointed. Sadly due to the economic climate following the cotton famine it was not feasible to build the Town Hall. 15 years later John Gibson designed the building we see today.
  • When the building opened in 1875 the Yorkshire and Lancashire border ran down Walsden Water, so for 13 years the Town Hall sat half in Yorkshire and half in Lancashire.
  • In 1891 the Fielden family handed the building to the people of Todmorden and the Local Board thanked the Fieldens for a ‘most honourable and noble gift’. To this day is belongs to the people and is the People’s Palace.

All ‘taster’ tours run on the first Sunday of the month and start at 2pm on the bridge opposite the pediment at the top of Halifax Road. 

A ‘total’ tour of Todmorden Town Hall is also coming up soon. On Sunday 21 May at 2pm visitors will be able to see the Grade I listed building’s impressive ballroom, the old Magistrate’s Court (now Todmorden Town Council Chamber), the grand staircase and the heritage centre. There will also be special access to the usually hidden caretaker’s flat and the former holding cell.

The tours are part of the ‘Telling the Story’ project, which has been made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £45,700 and a Council contribution of £3000. 

To book on a total tour please visit https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/Todmordentownhall(external link)

If you’d like to find out more, or if you’re interested in becoming a Town Hall volunteer, please contact Daniel Jessop, Volunteer and Events Co-ordinator: daniel.jessop@calderdale.gov.uk / 01706 548105 / 07912 891370.

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