The Town Hall in Torquay was opened in August 1913, the foundation stone having been laid two years before. This fine block of buildings, erected at a cost of some £30,000, is English renaissance in style. Above the main entrance in the centre rises a clock tower 200 feet in height. There is a grand hall on the second floor, capable of seating 1,200 with an additional 300 in the gallery. Local materials were used almost entirely, the quarries at Barton, Beer, Ipplepen and Ashburton being freely drawn on, while local marbles figure largely in the internal decorations. The art collection is one that is very in keeping with the building, celebrating all things civic, mayoral and traditional. The most interesting portrait is that of Sir Francis Layland-Barratt by Sydney Morrish (1844–1917) not only because it is a well-executed piece, but because in the Torre Abbey collection there is a painting by Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838–1904) of Sir Francis Layland-Barratt as a much younger man. The comparison is enlightening.
Torquay Town Hall
Torre Abbey, The King's Drive, Torquay, Devon TQ2 5JE England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit