Every Thursday Your Herefordshire takes a trip down Memory Lane with local historians, last week we took a look at the history of one of Herefordshire’s business successes, Wyevale Nurseries.

This week we explore the history of Hereford’s Shire Hall with Hereford Focus, which was built in 1819 by Sir Robert Smirke on the site of the old Gaol house, where justice had been served since at least the 15th century.

This image was taken by Jim Hardacre in the 1960’s.

The building closely resembles the look of a Greek Temple, as was the style at the time.

Built of sandstone, this impressive building dominates St. Peter’s Square to the East of the city, and is one of Hereford’s most well known landmarks. It still contains two working judicial court rooms (believed to be some of the countries oldest working courts) as well as meeting rooms and a large concert hall.
To the front of the building stands St. Peter’s Square, now partially given over to bus station, where unfortunate prisoners sentenced in the courts within would receive their punishment.

The Shire Hall is used for large functions and concerts

The entrance hall is hung with portraits of important local landowners, former members of parliament and Lord Lieutenants of the County, plus a portrait of George III on horseback.

It is now a Grade II Listed Building used for some official functions with the rooms available to hire.

An early Three Choirs Festival.

There are plans to involve it in the new university, which will be one of the few in the country to make use of existing buildings rather than using a new, purpose built campus.

Again many thanks to Hereford Focus, the BBC and herefordshirehistory.org.uk, for the use of images, video and text.

If you’d like to share a historical story from Herefordshire please get in touch with Hereford Focus through the Facebook page.