Rochdale Town Hall
Often hailed as one of the UK’s greatest municipal buildings, Rochdale Town Hall is a Gothic Revival wonder designed by William Henry Crossland and opened in 1871.
The clock tower, soaring over the Esplanade and the River Roch, is a replacement, as the original burnt down in 1883, to be redesigned by Alfred Waterhouse along the same lines as Manchester Town Hall.
Take some time to appreciate the main facade from the car park, where the portico with three pointed arches is crested by four gilded lions. Further up you can make out Rochdale’s coat of arms, along an embattled parapet decorated with gargoyles.
Public tours are given on the first Monday of the month, and it’s a chance to grab with both hands, to explore the labyrinth of corridors, the Great Hall, Mayor’s Parlour and old Magistrates’ Retiring Room and enjoy a 15-minute recital on the James Jepson Binns organ installed in 1913.