Building record MDR11386 - The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Council House and Riverside Gardens. In 1931 Herbert Aslin, the City Architect, was asked to design the Council House and the space around it to provide Derby with its first public riverside space. The Civic buildings (Council House and Magistrate's Court), structures, parapet walls and street furniture which front the river were designed and landscaped together as a set piece, with the construction of Exeter Bridge. These include some very typical 1930s art deco designs, details and shapes. (1) Corporation Street, The Council House. By C H Aslin for Derby City Council 1937-1941, 1946-7, the centrepiece of the 1931 Second Central Improvement Plan, but not finished as designed due to the war. There was to have been an elliptical plan-form council chamber, with members' offices and secretarial facilities above where the present car park is. The main building's pediment was to have had a stone pylon positioned like Gibb's St Martin's-in-the-Fields, topped by a searchlight. The interior was never fully finished as envisaged, and the present council chamber was put into what was intended as a courtyard, when after the war it was decided to postpone work on the elliptical building. (2) Built 1928-1940 & 1946-47 to designs of C. Herbert Aslin CBE, Borough Architect, as part of his Central Improvement Scheme of 1932. Classical revival, three storeys, brick with stone dressings set round a courtyard topped by a Westmoreland slate roof. Tetrastyle Corinthian portico on NW (entrance) angle, Palmyrene order supporting portico facing Corporation Street, and a good turn of the angle on the river front with oeuils-de-beouf in the manner of Wren’s garden front at Hampton Court and a concave elevation; not built as planned. Originally intended as municipal offices, with a separate building of oval platform to its south (where today the members’ car park is) to house the Council Chamber and members’ facilities. Due to outbreak of war, this was not proceeded with, a projected pylon atop the pediment was eliminated and much of the planned interior detail and intended fenestration (steel Crittall windows were substituted for timber sliding sash windows) was also curtailed in order for the finished shell to be commandeered by the military. On its return to Council control, it was finished inside to a much simpler standard and it was decided to eliminate the separate Council Chamber building and instead place a council chamber into part of the central courtyard as a semi-circular addition. The building was adapted to accommodate this change and opened in 1948. Mayor’s reception suite fitted with crystal chandeliers from the Derby Assembly Rooms in 1963 and Mayor’s parlour fitted in 1946 with Jacobean revival oak paneling removed from Derwent Hall in 1942 when the Upper Derwent Valley was drowned to form Ladybower reservoir by the Corporation acting with those of Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester. (3)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Morris, M (Mel Morris Conservation). 2004. Study to Identify Candidate Buildings for Grant Assistance and a Review of Conservation Area Boundaries, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Derby City Centre - Proposed Extensions to the Conservation Area Boundary - Extension 2, photographs.
  • <2> Unpublished document: 2007. 'Derby Civic Society Suggested Local List Additions', Derby Civic Society Newsletter. No. 85, pp 15-26. pp 16-17.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Derby City Council. 2010. City of Derby Local List. p 14.



Grid reference Centred SK 35463 36328 (94m by 102m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3389
  • EDR3895

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Record last edited

May 1 2019 4:26PM

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