Friday, 1 March 2013

Shodfriars Hall interior.

The outside of Shodfriar’s Hall is one of Boston's most photographed sites, but what of the inside? Here are a few pictures to give an idea of its interior.

The building comprises two conjoined buildings of different dates and styles, a fifteenth century L-shaped structure and a substantial red brick extension of 1874.

 The older of the two (described by Pevsner as ‘the ghost’ of a timber framed building) was heavily restored or, more correctly, reconstructed and much altered by J Oldrid Scott in 1874.

The hall was employed for much the same mix of uses as an old circuit theatre, that is, dances, public meetings and concerts, with occasional theatricals, the main difference being that touring theatre companies usually played for only a few nights on each visit.

There were big open fireplaces. A proscenium was inserted in 1905 and replaced by a presumably more permanent one in 1915 when the hall was also reseated and the public entrances improved, making regular theatrical presentations possible.

 It finally closed as a performance centre in 1929 and became a billiards hall.

 Since then, it has had continuing uses as snooker hall, night club, restaurant and shops.

The balcony, now disused, still has turned and twisted wooden balusters. A proposal to convert Shodfriars into an arts centre in 1944 proved abortive.

1 comment:

  1. i used to play snooker a lot at the hall in the early sixties, happy days.