Clear choice over the future of the Town Hall(March 24, 2009)
IT is becoming increasingly clear that those politically in charge of Warminster are not going to accept responsibility for what should be its most famous landmark rather relying on subsidising a businessman writes Paul Macdonald
'Interestingly although the building has been used for many purposes it has never been the town hall,' states the town Conservative Party officially.
The current Town Hall was built in 1830 in Jacobean style by Edward Blore for Lord Bath at its present location.
The old Town Hall, dating from 1711, stood in the High Street in front of what is now The Athenaeum but was knocked down in the mid 1800s as it was considered it obstructed the traffic too much.
The new Town Hall was the venue of most of the social and business events of the town.
Lord Bath conveyed it to the Urban District Council as a gift to the town at the beginning of the 20th century.
By 1907 the lower room was in use as a court room for monthly Petty Sessions, Quarter Sessions and County Courts. Public meetings could easily be accommodated in the building. Dances became popular for decades.
It was taken over in the mid 1970s by Wiltshire County Council and the building continued to be used as the magistrates court
In 1991 JP's sessions were transferred to Trowbridge and this century they were transferred to Chippenham. View how another town in Wiltshire looks after its town hall here http://www.calne.gov.uk/townhall.asp