Colchester’s historic Town Hall needs vital repair work to a section of ceiling in Moot Hall.
Essential maintenance work will be carried out on the landmark Grade I listed building, in early 2023, to fix an area of ceiling plaster near the balcony in Moot Hall. Plasterwork will need to be removed and replaced with like-for-like traditional lath and plaster. While Moot Hall will need to close until the repair has taken place, the rest of the Town Hall will be open as usual.
It has been many years since this part of the Town Hall has required any restoration but as it is a Grade I listed building, Colchester City Council has a legal duty to ensure it is maintained and preserved in a good state of repair.
Some paintings currently on display in Moot Hall, including the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Richard Stone, have been temporarily removed by specialists from Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service and safely stored until they can be re-hung once repairs have been completed.
The familiar chimes of the Town Hall clock have also been temporarily switched off, to prevent vibrations further damaging the area of plasterwork.
Cllr Mark Cory, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “We are fortunate to have at the heart of our civic life one of the best examples of late-Victorian municipal architecture in the country. This repair is essential as part of our ongoing maintenance of Colchester Town Hall.
“Given the cultural significance of the Town Hall, and in line with expert advice, the work will help maintain the building for many more years to come.”
The cost of the repair is unknown at this time and will be carried out by a specialist contractor in consultation with English Heritage.
Moot Hall is a popular wedding and corporate hire venue. Colchester Events have contacted hirers of Moot Hall and all bookings have been moved to another venue. Only Moot Hall is temporarily closed – the rest of the Town Hall remains open as usual for weddings and hire.
Page last reviewed: 21 December 2022
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