Standing at the ancient centre of Liverpool is the Town Hall on Dale Street. The original building dates back to 1754 but it has been gutted, remodelled, extended, been attacked by canon (thanks to seamen protesting against wage reductions), bomb-damaged and altered many times since then; its neo-Classical dome would once have dominated the skyline but is now overshadowed by taller neighbours.
It is surrounded by the early 19th century quadrangle of Exchange Flags; the surrounding buildings were rebuilt in the early 20th century. The interior is far from classical: it is lavishly detailed, with mahogany panelled walls, elaborate light fittings, murals, marble and tiled floors, marble pilasters, a magnificent staircase and reception rooms. It is both grand in scale and in ambition, and a fitting comment on Liverpool’s vast wealth at the turn of the 19th century. Today, it’s one of the finest buildings of its kind in England.