History of the Town Hall
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In 1744 further alterations were made to the building and the shops continued to be leased to individuals by the Bishops of Durham and were subsequently sub-let as shops to traders. The lease did not pass to the Town Corporation until 1939 when the shops were finally purchased and occupied by the then Stockton Council. This is the first time when the whole of the Town House was in municipal hands.
The Town Hall can claim one particular spot in world history - it was at a dinner held here in 1810 (to celebrate the opening of a new "cut" in the River Tees) that a Leonard Raisbeck, Recorder of Stockton, first suggested a railway or canal to link Stockton with the "interior country". The result, opened 15 years later, was the famous Stockton & Darlington Railway and, on September 27 of that year, a celebratory dinner took place at the Town Hall after George Stephenson had driven its opening train into the town.
During the early 1800s concern was expressed at the continuing use of the Town House as a jail where the cells were only five feet tall and offenders were passed into the cells sometimes through what was then a hatchway in the pavement outside. As a result, a Police Station was erected in West Row in 1851 and subsequently transferred to a new building in Church Road in 1871.
The building was substantially renovated in the 1880s, when the present layout of the Council Chamber was adopted.
© Stockton Borough Council