Llangollen Town Hall

Llangollen Town Hall

This 1860s building was built as a combined town hall and market hall. The ground floor frontage was open (notice the arches) to ventilate market produce before refrigeration was available.

The town’s board was meeting here by 1866, but local shoppers and traders didn’t appreciate the “commodious” market hall initially. In 1868 traders were offered stalls free of charge. “Housewives” were urged to patronise a new weekly market here in 1869.

Police became concerned over crowd safety when the building was used for entertainment. They urged the urban council to remedy structural defects and improve the entrances and exits. Matters came to a head in November 1901, when police stopped the Maggie Morton Theatrical Company staging a performance, disappointing the crowd trying to enter.

The building was renovated and improved in 1905 at a cost of £3,500. It was “no longer a disgrace to the locality”, in one newspaper’s opinion. A reopening concert in August 1905 raised funds for a library and “newsroom” for the town (when many people couldn’t afford to buy newspapers and magazines).

Events held here during the First World War included a “Variety Entertainment” in 1916 in aid of the Red Cross. Also that year, the county’s war agricultural committee told a meeting of farmers here that more food must be produced (German U-boats were disrupting imports). The Llangollen area had only 1,610 pigs, but should have had over 16,000!

Local resident John Tudor’s father told him about an amateur drama production here in the 1920s which required one of the actors to shoot a gun up into the air. Someone lent the group an ex-First World War revolver as a prop, but forgot that it still had a bullet inside – which blew a hole in the slate roof during the performance! There was a brief hush, during which a stagehand up in the rafters shouted: “It’s like the Somme up here!”

Today the town council is based in the building, and the old market hall is occupied by businesses.

With thanks to John Tudor

Postcode: LL20 8PW    View Location Map

Website of Llangollen Town Council