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A History of Kingston on Hull
from Bulmer's Gazetteer (1892)

Part 11


The Royal Institution

The Royal Institution, in Albion Street, is one of the chief architectural ornaments of the town, and is a very handsome cut-stone edifice, covering 2,200 square yards, with a façade 160 feet long and 40 feet high, upon a rusticated basement. The style of architecture is Roman, of the Corinthian order, and the centre is deeply recessed. Ten coupled columns stand about 12 feet in advance of the main building, and support an entablature of good proportion, which is crowned by a colossal group of statuary, emblematic of the Arts and Sciences. The wings project slightly, and have pilasters and pediments. It was opened by Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Consort, in 1854. This beautiful edifice is the home of two institutions - the Hull Subscription Library at the western end, and the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society at the eastern end. The Subscription Library was founded in 1775, and is regarded as one of the best between London and Edinburgh, containing upwards of 45,000 volumes, many of which are rare and valuable. Connected with the library is a reading-room, which contains portraits of Charles Frost, F.S.A., Thomas Lee (the founder), and Dr. Birkbeck. The Literary and Philosophical Society was established in 1822, for the purpose of promoting literature, science, and art. The entrance doorway opens into a noble corridor, 90 feet long and 25 feet wide, ornamented with 22 Ionic columns and 14 pilasters, and lighted from the top by three circular domes. On either side of this corridor is an aisle, separated from it by arches of the arcade, the whole forming one large room, containing an extensive, valuable, and well-arranged museum. This museum is open daily to the public, at a charge of 6d., or on Saturday afternoons of 1d. Behind are the council-room, committee-room, laboratory, and lecture-room. The latter is semicircular, with seats descending to the platform, and will accommodate 900 persons. There are also rooms for science and art, classes, in connection with South Kensington and the Cambridge University Extension Scheme. A chemical laboratory is affiliated to the society, as is the Hull School of Art, which occupies a house next door but two to the Royal Institution.

The James Reckitt Public Library

The James Reckitt Public Library, on the Holderness Road, is the only free library in Hull, and was founded in 1889, and is still maintained by Mr. James Reckitt, J.P. Its use is, however, confined to the persons living on the east side of the river Hull. The building is designed in the French Gothic style of architecture, of an early type, and is executed in red brick, with stone dressings. The front - to the Holderness Road - consists of a six-windowed façade, two stories high, with a square central tower three stories high, finished with a lofty pointed roof and vane terminal. The main entrance is in the tower, on the ground floor, under a pointed arch of moulded brickwork and stone voussoirs. The groundfloor windows are also pointed. Above them, at the level of the first floor, is a broad belt of stone, with the name of the library cut on it. The front is enriched by an oriel window over the entrance, and with bold corbelled cornices and parapets to the tower and main roof. The internal arrangements are fitted for the reception of 20,000 volumes, with reference-room, reading-room, lending lobby, committee and other rooms. The reading-room is 50 feet by 32 feet, with half-timber roof, and is well lighted on three sides. The library was opened on 10th December, 1889.

Christian and Literary Institute

Hull Young People's Christian and Literary Institute, in Charlotte Street, was founded in 1860, and transferred in 1864 to the present premises, which have since been frequently enlarged, the most recent addition being the gymnasium, completed in 1888 at a cost of over £1,060. The building contains a good library of about 14,000 volumes; a large reading-room, furnished with over 100 daily and weekly newspapers, and with 50 magazines and reviews; and a ladies' reading room. There are also a large number of class rooms, together with chess, draughts, coffee, conversation, committee, and other rooms. There is a membership of about 2,500. This institution occupies a foremost position in the town in promoting adult education by means of evening classes, close upon 2,000 attending the science, art, and general classes.

Hull Church Institute, The Scientific Institute.

Hull Church Institute was founded in 1845, and its members first met in St. James' Schoolroom, and afterwards in St. John's Infant Schoolroom, Osborne Street. In 1864 the present premises in Albion Street were purchased. It is a commanding cut-stone building, in the classic style, originally erected as a residence by the late Sir James Alderson, M.D. A new newsroom has since been added, and it is we]l stored with newspapers. There is a good library, containing over 6,000 volumes, together with chess and other rooms, besides rooms set apart for science, art, and general classes. There are excellent swimming, cricket, and gymnastic clubs attached to the institution. The number of members is about 1,400.

The Scientific Institute

The Mechanics' Literary and Scientific Institute, in George Street, was founded in 1825, and formerly occupied premises in Charlotte Street, specially built for the purpose. These premises, becoming too small, were sold to Messrs. Forster & Andrews, and now form part of their extensive organ works. The committee then purchased a private residence (formerly occupied by John Stamforth, M.P. for Hull from 1802 to 1812), and altered and adapted it to its present use. On the ground floor there is a lecture room, adorned by several superior busts, and in the entrance hall are two fine statues of John Alderson, M.D., and Daniel Sykes, Esq., M.P. On the staircase are two grand pictures, of colossal proportions, one representing "The Romans teaching the Ancient Britons," by H. P. Briggs, RA., and the other, "Margaret Roper," by C. Landseer. The library contains about 5,000 volumes, and there is a well-supplied reading and news room. This Institute holds the custodianship of the Corporation Library of Patent Specifications, which is open to the public, free.

The Lyceum Library, The Hull Law Library.

The Lyceum Library and Reading Room was founded in 1807, and from 1837 to 1888 occupied a neat building in St. John Street, but, the site being required to widen the street, it was pulled down, and the books removed to No. 2 Storey Street. There is a comfortable reading-room, and the library contains about 15,000 volumes.

The Hull Law Library is situate in Lincoln's Inn Buildings, the locale of the Hull Incorporated Law Society, and contains a very valuable collection of Law Reports and text books, which are of great service to the members of the legal profession.


The Town Hall

The Town Hall. - The ancient Guild Hall of the borough stood at the south end of the present Market Place, and at the north end of the present Market Hall. This building was vacated in 1805, for a private residence in Lowgate, which was converted into a "Mansion House," pro tem. This house was subsequently purchased, and inconvenient and unsuitable as it was, the business of the Corporation was conducted in it for upwards of half-a-century. It was pulled down in 1862, and the present beautiful building (occupying in part the same site), erected at a cost of £50,000, from the design of Mr. Cuthbert Brodrick; a Hull man. The style is Italian or classical. The frontage of the building is 105 feet, and its depth is 220 feet. In the front of the hall (which is faced with stone) there are eight circular-headed windows on the ground floor, and nine similar windows on the first floor, having red Mansfield columns, with carved caps between each, and a handsome carved cornice with ornamental balustrade. In the centre there is an elegantly decorated tower, rising to a height of 135 feet. In the upper part is an illuminated clock with four dials, and in the tympanum above the clock, are symbolical representations of Unity, Strength, and Peace. The tower thus far is square, but the upper portion is circular, and rests on eight Mansfield columns, with Corinthian caps, having red granite panels in the spandrils of the arches, and an ornamental balustrading on the upper stage, with vases on each shaft. The tower is surmounted by a large, highly ornamented stone dome, from which rises a spear-shaped finial, double gilt, and having the three royal crowns (the arms of the town), transfixed on it. Numerous polished granite panels and other ornaments add to the decorations of the front. At each angle of the building, a turret rises 25 feet above the roof. The hall is approached by a broad flight of steps. On entering the vestibule, we have on our right a colossal marble statue of Sir Michael de la Pole, and on the left, a similar one of William Wilberforce, both by Keyworth. On entering the hall, which measures 48 feet by 34 feet, and from which the public offices of the Corporation are entered, we have before us the principal staircase, with Cæn stone balustrades, and Sicilian marble handrail, a foot in breadth, whilst on our right, is a life-sized statue of James Clay, who represented Hull in five parliaments, from 1847 to 1873; and on our left a similar statue of Alderman Anthony Bannister, who was mayor in 1851 and 1855. In the centre of the first landing stands a noble marble statue of King Edward I., the traditional founder of the town. The sculptor, Thomas Earle, of Hull, the friend and pupil of Chantrey, is allowed to have been most happy in his conception of our English Justinian, and the statue could not have been better placed. Inscribed on the pedestal is a portion of the Charter which Edward granted to the town. On the second landing are life-sized statues of Sir William de la Pole, the first mayor of Hull, and Andrew Marvell. There are also marble busts of Aldermen Ayre, Blundell, Wells, King, and Waller. On the same landing, and in several of the rooms, a considerable number of portraits of ancient and modern worthies, M.P's., mayors, sheriffs, aldermen, and town clerks may be seen. The Council Chamber is about 36 feet square and 28 feet high, and it is elegantly and substantially furnished, and its walls are frescoed with scenes from local history. Adjoining the Council Chamber is the Municipal Library, founded in 1884. This library is elegantly fitted up, and contains a valuable collection of books, particularly of a local character. The Banqueting Room is an especially elegant apartment of 57 feet by 28 feet. Its decorations are most elaborate. There are many other large and handsomely furnished rooms adapted to the various requirements of the Corporation.

The Corporation Insignia, preserved in the Town Hall, comprises the following - -The Mayor's gold chain of office, which carries us back to Tudor times. In 1554, Alderman Sir William Knowles presented the Corporation with a fine gold chain, weighing four-and-a-half ounces, to be for ever kept and worn by succeeding mayors. The chain then consisted of single links. In 1568, the widow of Sir William, then married to John Gifford, enlarged it by adding to it a number of links of angel gold of the value of £10. Further links were added by Mrs. Thurcross, widow of Henry Thurcross, who had been mayor in 1540 and 1553. In 1855, Mr. Alderman Bannister presented to the Corporation a handsome boss with a blue stone, bearing in gold the three crowns. This shield is suspended from the chain by a gold brooch, bearing the words "Borough of Kingston-upon-Hull." In 1857, Mr. Alderman Moss altered the chain, and added another shield to it, and two shoulder bosses of gold and blue enamel, bearing the arms of the Admiral of the Humber. There are two state swords, the earlier, of the 15th century, has a richly adorned hilt, the grip covered with blue velvet relieved by silver gilt mounts; the quillons, also silver gilt, are beautifully engraved. The scabbard is of red velvet, and has three silver-gilt rings, and round its extreme end, a silver-gilt point, on each side of which a Tudor rose is impaled with a pomegranate - the emblem of Catherine of Arragon - which points to this being the very sword given to the Mayor of Hull by Henry VIII., in 1541. It measures 3ft. lOin, in length. The other sword bears the date 1636, and was presented by Charles I., on his visit, in 1639. It has a black grip, with longitudinal silver-gilt bands, and a scabbard of crimson velvet mounted in silver gilt, with the crowned rose and crowned thistle. It is 3ft. 2in. in length. The mace is silver gilt, 3ft. 3½in. in length, with crowned head. It is a handsome piece of workmanship. There are two small silver maces, one of which bears date, 1651. It originally bore on the top, the "State's arms," but at the Restoration, the plate was turned over, and the Royal Arms engraved on the reverse side. The other, which has a silver crested head with the town's arms, also dates from the 17th century. These maces are usually borne before the sheriff. There is a cup of maintenance and two ancient silver garters, besides a quantity of silver plate, presented in 1864, and since enlarged. The latest addition to the Corporation plate is a handsome silver-gilt snuff casket, presented by Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, in 1884. The Corporation also possesses two water bailiffs' staves, in the form of wooden oars; one of these dates from the 16th century, and the other of oak, silver mounted, bears date 1617. At the rear of the Town Hall are the Sessions, Police, County, and Bankruptcy Courts, the offices of the School Board, &c.

The Dock Offices.

The Dock Offices are, in the opinion of many, the most magnificent pile of buildings in Hull, and occupy probably the very best position in the town. This elaborate structure was erected in 1871, and occupies nearly a quarter of an acre of ground. The building, being adapted to its site, is in the form of an irregular triangle. The style is Italian, of the Venetian type, and there are three façades, corresponding with the frontages of the building. The entire structure is faced with Ancaster stone, and at the three angles are circular towers, of the composite order, over which are domes covered with lead, and crowned with elegant laterns, the height, with these cupolas, being 100 feet. The ground floor order is Ionic, that of the first floor Corinthian. The panels over the windows and spandrils of the arches are richly carved; a deep and highly ornate cornice, with medallion windows in the frieze, surmounts this order, and there is a double-blocking course over it. The main entrance is in the Junction Street front, with a portico on the ground floor, and projecting pilasters and engaged columns on the first floor. Above the main cornice is a pediment, the tympanum of which is enriched with sculpture, representing Commerce, Prosperity, and the river Humber, and over this is grouped a trophy of the arms of the Hull Dock Co., the town and Trinity House. The entrance to the general public office is in the Quay front, crowned in the centre with another handsome trophy, representing Neptune and Amphitrite supporting the arms of the company. Internally, the principal feature is the entrance hall, with its spacious staircase. The Board Room is on the first floor, and in it are the portraits of several past chairmen of the company. A corridor to the left leads to the proprietors' Court Room, an apartment 70 feet long, 29 feet wide, and 21½ feet high, the highly decorated ceiling of which is supported on each side by red marble columns, 16 feet high, with ornamented capitals; between the columns is a sub-order, in the composite style, over the entablatures of which are placed figures holding shields, in which are emblazoned the arms of the various ports trading with Hull. The General Public Office, on the ground floor, is also a fine apartment, designed in the Doric order, and is 100 feet in length, 29 feet wide, and 18 feet high. The whole building is fireproof, and is heated with hot air. The architect was Mr. G. C. Wray, London, and the work was carried out under the directions of the resident engineer of the company, Mr. R. A. Marillier, C.E. The cost of the building was £90,000.

The General Post Office

The General Post Office stands at right angles with the Market Place and Scale Lane. The principal front, which faces the first-named thoroughfare, is of Spinkwell stone, and most majestic in its proportions. It has a frontage of 50 feet, and at this part is divided into four stories. The entrance porch is ornamented with elaborately carved projecting consoles, with an overhanging cornice, the underside of which is artistically carved. All the windows are deeply recessed. The height of this front is 75 feet. The premises in Scale Lane are of red stock brick, with stone dressings, and have a frontage of 34 feet, and consist of three stories, the total height being 44 feet. On the left of the main entrance is the Public Room, lofty and spacious, with extensive counters, various parts of which are assigned for different branches of the business. Behind are the sorting and letter carriers' rooms, &c. Fronting the main entrance is the principal staircase leading to the rooms for the postmaster, chief clerk, and for the telephone inter-communication; and at the rear of these is the telegraph instrument room. On the same floor, at the Scale Lane side of the building, are rooms for boy messengers and delivery clerks. The Battery Room is on the second floor, and on the third are Telegraph, Store, and other rooms. The area covered by the building is 10,000 feet, and the walls average two feet six inches in thickness. It was opened in 1877. Full particulars of the mails received and despatched, the local deliveries, and other postal information are given in the accompanying directory.

The National Telephone Co.'s Head Office is at Victoria Chambers, Bowlalley Lane, where a free call-office is provided. This company has telephonic communication with Leeds, Birmingham, and other towns.


BANKS. - There are several banking establishments in Hull, the architectural merits of which greatly enhance the appearance of the streets in which they are situated. The Branch Bank of England is in Whitefriargate, and is an elegant stone-fronted building, standing back a few feet from the pavement, erected in 1859, on the site of the old Charity Hall. The Yorkshire Banking Co.'s Bank is in the same street, at the corner of Parliament Street. It is a handsome and imposing structure in the Italian style, of four stories, exclusive of basement. The entrance, which is at the angle of two streets, is approached by a broad, semicircular flight of steps. On each story, except the ground floor, there are four windows to Whitefriargate and six to Parliament Street. The keystones of the ground floor windows are sculptured emblematic heads, of massive proportions. The windows of the other stories are pedimented. The banking offices and manager's room occupy the whole of the ground floor. The basement is mainly occupied by fireproof strong-rooms. This bank was built in 1878. Samuel Smith, Brothers, & Co.'s Bank, erected in 1830, is also in Whitefriargate. In the pediment are sculptured representations of sea and river gods, with various emblems of commerce. The London & Yorkshire Bank stands at the corner of Silver Street, and the Land of Green Ginger. This is a red brick building, with stone dressings, chiefly in the Gothic style. The entrance, at the angle of two streets, is through a deeply recessed doorway. The door is of oak, and from the upper panels project a pair of boldly carved heads, representing King Edward I. and Sir William de la Pole. Pease's Old Bank, in Trinity House Lane, near the corner of Silver Street, is remarkably plain. The London & Midland Bank, in Silver Street, is a massive stone-fronted building. The York Union Bank is at the corner of Bowlalley Lane and Lowgate. The building has a frontage of 38 feet to Bowlalley Lane, and of 52 feet to Lowgate. It is faced with stone, having polished granite moulded plinth doorways, &c. The style is what is known as Flemish Renaissance. The ground floor is devoted to the purposes of the bank, with the entrance doorway at the corner, over which is carried up an octagonal oriel turret. The first and second floors are arranged as offices. The fittings for the bank are in oak, and the ceiling is carton piere. This building was erected in 1891.

The York City and County Banking Co. have their principal bank in Lowgate, and a branch on the Beverley Road.

The Hull Banking Co.'s bank is at the corner of Silver Street and Lowgate. It is an imposing block, three stories high, in the Italian style of architecture, erected in 1870. It is of Ancaster stone, and the street façades exhibit three orders of bold pilasters, with richly-carved capitals, and in each story deeply recessed arched windows. The whole is terminated by a massive cornice, with consoles and balustraded parapet. The principal entrance is at the angle, the doorway having an arched stone canopy, supported on columns of polished grey granite, with carved stone capitals. The banking office is a lofty apartment, 42 feet by 40 feet. Its walls are relieved with pilasters, and are highly decorated. The Hull Savings Bank is at the corner of George Street and Smeaton Street. It is in the Palladian style, and is entirely faced with stone. There are two entrances, the principal one being at the angle, and the other in George Street. Both have porticoes and granite columns. The banking room is 52 by 40 feet, and is elaborately fitted up and decorated.

Colonial Buildings, the offices of the Colonial and United States Mortgage Co., Limited, in Whitefriargate, at the corner of the Land of Green Ginger, is one of the most elaborate exteriors to be found in Hull. The building, which is of the French Renaissance style of the most ornate type, is of stone. The doorway has a massive and elegant canopied head, supported on richly-carved consoles resting on shafts of polished granite. An elegant balustrade runs the entire length of both fronts, and the roof, which is mansard in shape, is enriched by dormer windows, also of stone, the one over the corner being of lofty proportions and richly decorated.

The Custom House, in Whitefriargate, is a large red brick building, with stone quoins and dressings, and has a large courtyard behind. It was built in 1796, for an hotel, and was known as the "Neptune Inn." The long room - formerly the ballroom - measures 52 feet by 24 feet. and is 22 feet high, and in it is transacted the general business. This fine apartment is lighted by five circular-headed windows fronting the street, and has an elegantly decorated ceiling.

The Inland Revenue Office is a large stone-fronted building in Trinity House Lane, erected in 1865. The Stamp 0ffice and the offices of the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy are also in this building.

The Merchants' Exchange is built at the corner of Lowgate and Bowlalley Lane, upon a portion of the land where once stood the Suffolk Palace, the residence of the De la Poles. It was erected in 1865, and is a very handsome building in the Italian style of architecture. The principal entrance is in the circular corner of Lowgate, whence access is gained by a flight of steps to the Exchange Hall, which is 70 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 32 feet high, and is elegantly designed and decorated. The keystone of the arch of the principal entrance is ornamented with a head of Neptune. In the triple-arched window over the entrance, the keystones bear the head of Mercury in the centre and of Peace and War at the sides, and a colossal figure of Britannia surmounts the whole. The keystones of the windows represent mythological subjects, and over the Bowlalley Lane entrance is the seal of the Exchange Company, carved in stone. The front portion of the building is occupied by business offices, and in the basement are extensive dining rooms and restaurant. The Hull Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and the Hull branch of the Shipping Federation have their offices in the Exchange. The building is the property of an incorporated company. The incorporation dates only from 1863, but the existence of an exchange here is of very ancient date. We hear of it first as occupying a chamber over the old Grammar School on South Churchside in 1585. In 1619, the merchants of Hull began the erection of an exchange in High Street, on the site of the existing Corn Exchange. This was abandoned about the year 1780, and we next learn that, in 1794, a three-storied house off Bowlalley Lane was fitted up as an exchange and newsroom, and the passage leading to it from Lowgate was named Exchange Alley. This building - now used as offices - served the purposes of an exchange until the present splendid edifice was completed.

The Corn Exchange, in High Street, was erected in 1855, on the site of the old Custom House. The building has a massive cut-stone front, 60 feet in height, with a finely-arched entrance supported by Corinthian columns. On each side of the columns are entablatures; rising above these is an attic with ornamental balustrades, the centre being occupied by the arms of the town, with vases on each side. The great hall is 158 feet long, 36 feet wide, and is 36 feet high in the centre. The roof is semicircular, and formed of iron and glass. The floor is free from all columns and supports. The front portion of the building is used as merchants' offices. The total cost was about £5,500.

The Local Marine Board, in connection with the Board of Trade, has offices in Posterngate. The chief duty of this Board is to engage and discharge ships' crews, and through its registers seamen may be traced to any part of the world. The offices form a large block of red brick buildings.

Parochial Offices - The offices for united parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Mary are in Posterngate, and consist of substantial brick buildings, erected in 1863. Those for the parish of Sculcoates are in Bond Street, and consist of a neat red brick building with stone and granite facings, in the Gothic style, erected in 1886.

The Pilot Office is in Nelson Street, and is a plain brick building, the upper room of which is used as an observatory, and contains a powerful telescope. All the pilots of the port are licensed by the Board of the Trinity House, but are under the control of the Humber Pilotage Commissioners.

Police - The central police station is in Parliament Street, and there are several branch stations in various parts of the town. The force consists of 1 chief constable, 1 deputy chief constable, 3 superintendents, 7 inspectors, 32 sergeants, 11 detective officers, and 223 constables; total, 278.

The Corporation Fire Brigade is under the charge of the Police, and the Fire Station is in Jarratt Street. Call Stations, with telephonic communications, are placed in various parts of the town.

The Borough Pumping Station is in Harrow Street. A great drawback to the effective drainage of Hull, is its flatness and its near level with the waters of the Humber. From this cause the drains were, formerly, only open for the discharge of sewerage during the few hours each day when the water was at its lowest ebb during spring tides, whilst at neap tide, even at low water, the drains near the river side were full. This defective state of things was remedied when this pumping station was erected, in 1883. The building is of white brick and stone dressings; the chimney shaft rising to a height of 100 feet. This pumping station is most beneficial to the sanitation of the borough, and has conduced to make Hull one of the healthiest towns in the kingdom. The sewerage is pumped from the "Sump," which runs along the south side of the station, and is then forced into the delivery well, from which it finds its way, by means of gravitation, to the outfall on the bank of the Humber.

The Borough Refuse Destructor is in Chapman Street.

Her Majesty's Prison, on the Hedon Road, is distant about two miles from the Town Hall. It was built by the Hull Corporation in 1869, at a cost of £89,000, and was handed over to the Government under "The Prisons' Act, 1878," since which time considerable additional accommodation has been provided. The prison covers 15 acres of land. It is built of red brick, in the debased style of Gothic known as "Carpenter's Gothic," and arranged on the latest principles. Connected with it are the residences of the governor, chaplain, and other officials.

The Borough Lunatic Asylum is at Willerby, six miles from Hull. It forms a complete block of buildings, erected in the form of a double square, at a cost of £50,000.

The Hull Workhouse is a large and well arranged pile of red brick buildings, with stone dressings, on the Anlaby Road. It was erected at a cost of £15,000, in 1852, since which date various additions have been made to it, the most recent being the new hospital, which was finished in 1892. The frontage measures 270 feet in length. The centre of the front is surmounted by an illuminated clock. The building affords accommodation for about 700 inmates. The dining hall measures 80 feet by 40 feet, and is capable of dining 550 persons at one time. The chapel measures 60 feet by 34 feet, and is behind this hall. The wards are well ventilated, and proper provision is made for separating the various classes of paupers. There are infirmaries, numerous courtyards, kitchen, and ornamental gardens, &c., the whole covering an area of six-and-half acres. The Union comprises the united parishes of Holy Trinity and Saint Mary. "The Kingston-upon-Hull Incorporation for the Poor," is a very ancient institution, if not the oldest of the kind in the kingdom, dating back to the year 1698. The Old Charity Hall, which stood in Whitefriargate, upon the site now occupied by the branch Bank of England, proving inadequate for the requirements of the parishes, it was sold, and the present workhouse erected.

The Sculcoates Workhouse is on the Beverley Road, and is a handsome red brick building, with stone dressings, in the Tudor style, erected at a cost of £1,100, in 1844. The front range of the building is the most ornamental, and consists of a sort of barbican tower (in which there is an illuminated clock), and two wings. The area in front is ornamented with a well kept lawn, and with trees, shrubs, and flowers. Beyond this is the main building. Several additions and extensions have been made at various dates, the latest being in 1883, when new buildings were completed at a cost of £14,000.

The Public Hall

PUBLIC HALL: The Public Rooms at the corner of Jarratt Street and Kingston Square, were erected in 1830, and form a handsome block of buildings, in the Grecian style, with cemented fronts. The extent of the principal front is 79 feet, and that of the southern front is 142 feet, the former has four massive pillars supporting a pediment, and the latter has a similar pediment, supported by four semi-circular pillars. The principal hall, used for concerts, bazaars, &c., is 91 feet long by 41 feet broad, and 40 feet high, with a large gallery at the west end, and a fine orchestra, with organ, at the east end. The whole is richly decorated, and will accommodate 1,500 persons. There are several side rooms and retiring rooms. This building was seriously damaged, and narrowly escaped total destruction by fire, on Christmas Day, 1891. In 1888, the adjoining structure, then known as the Protestant Hall, was connected with this building, and the lower hall remodelled for lecture purposes; this, with gallery and platform, affords accommodation for 900 persons. Above the Lecture Hall is the Masonic Hall, which is symbolically decorated, and jointly occupied by the Kingston and De la Pole Lodges of "ye antient craft." Besides Hengler's Cirque, the Artillery Barracks, the Theatre of the Royal Institution, the Sailor's Institute, and the Cobden Hall, described elsewhere, there are the following halls in Hull, used for public purposes. The Central Hall, Pryme Street; the Gladstone Hall, Bond Street; the Salisbury Hall, Margaret Street; the Albert Hall, Midland Street; the Ripon and Wilson Halls, Holderness Road; the Albion Lecture Hall, Baker Street; and the halls in connection with the West Hull and Sculcoates Liberal Clubs.

The Hull Club and the Yorkshire Insurance Co. jointly occupy a handsome Gothic building, in Lowgate, known as Yorkshire Buildings. The building, which is of red brick, with stone dressings, is of three stories, exclusive of basement and attic. The portion occupied by the club has a handsome receding arched doorway, supported on four circular columns, with foliated capitals, a window of three lights on the left, with a fine end window above, running up to the cornice. The club is replete with all modern improvements for promoting the comfort of the members who dine there. The Yorkshire City and County Banking Co., Ltd., and several private firms have offices in the same buildings. There are Conservative and Liberal Clubs in various parts of the town. The Hull Literary Club was formed in 1879, for the encouragement of literary pursuits, and holds its meeting at the Royal Station Hotel, during the winter months. The club has a large number of members, and has done much for the advancement of local literature.

Rifle Barracks. - The 1st East York Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed in 1859, and now comprises six companies, numbering about 600 men. The Londesborough Barracks in Londesborough Street are the head-quarters, and were built in 1864, at a cost of £2,200. The building is of plain white brick with red facings. The drill-room is 120 feet long by 60 feet wide, and at the ends are sergeants' quarters, the armoury, officers' rooms, stables, &c. Attached is a spacious drill ground for outdoor drill. The range for rifle practice is on the Humber bank, west of the town, and is available for firing from 100 to 1,000 yards.

Artillery Barracks. - The 2nd East York Artillery Corps was formed in 1860, and now comprises 12 batteries, numbering over 900 men. The Barracks in Park Street were erected in 1870, for the purpose of the Workingmen's Art and Industrial Exhibition, and were then a series of wooden buildings covered with felting. In 1871, the Artillery Corps (whose head-quarters were then at the Corn Exchange, in High Street) purchased the buildings and leased the ground from the Corporation. The buildings have since been improved by concreting the walls and slating the roofs. They consist of a large drill hall, gun room, repository shed, mess room, adjutant's room, orderly room, band room, officers' and sergeants' billiard rooms, kitchens, &c. The drill hall will accommodate 3,000 persons, and is available for concerts, bazaars, and other large gatherings. Four 40 lbs. R.B.L. Armstrong guns are kept at these barracks, which are said to be one of the most complete volunteer barracks in the kingdom. In the area, in front of the building, are two guns, taken in the Crimean war. The brigade practises on the Humber bank, east of the town, and at Paull Point Fort, where it has two fixed guns of its own, and a battery of position has recently been formed.

The Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal, in Paragon Street, was erected in 1872, on a portion of the site of what was formerly the Queen's Theatre, which was built in 1846, and pulled down in 1870. It has a stuccoed Corinthian front; the interior will hold about 2,000 persons, and is designed after the Globe Theatre, London. It was opened by Mr. Sefton Parry, to whom succeeded Mr. Wilson Barrett, who held it as lessee and manager until 1888, when it was taken over by Mr. Alfred Cuthbert, the present lessee, on March 17th. With a view to make it more secure against fire, Mr. Cuthbert constructed two more exits (making four) from the pit, and two stone exit staircases from the gallery, and a fireproof asbestos curtain was put to the stage front. The wooden dress circle staircase was replaced by a stone one, and all the latest appliances for extinguishing fire were added. There are two hydrants on the stage. The pit can be cleared in three minutes. The Alhambra Palace Music Hall is in Porter Street, and was originally a dissenting chapel, and afterwards St. Luke's church. The front is stuccoed and richly ornamented. The interior is lofty, and there are balconies on three sides. It will seat 4,000 people. The walls are richly ornamented, and the fittings of the lounges and saloons luxurious. Mr. J. Phillips is the proprietor.

The Empire Theatre of Varieties, in Grimston Street, was built in 1840 for a lecture hall in connection with the Mechanics' Institute, and afterwards adapted to the purposes of a music hall. It holds about 1,500 persons. Messrs. Bosco & Downs are the proprietors.

Hengler's Grand Cirque is on the Anlaby Road. It was built of wood in 1870, and will seat 3,500 persons. In 1878, a brick front was erected and two extra galleries put up. The entrances are under a portico, supported by a colonnade of slender wooden columns. This building is occupied for one season each year by Hengler's celebrated equestrian troupe, and is frequently let to dioramas, and other entertainments, and when not so occupied is used for public meetings.

THE FREEMASONS of Hull form a large and influential body, and are included in the province of the North and East Ridings, which has long been presided over by the Earl of Zetland, K.G., who for more than 20 years filled the office of Grand Master of England. The Humber Lodge (No. 57) was founded in 1736, and meets on the first and third Thursday in each month, in a large and commodious hall in Osborne Street, erected in 1827, and considerably enlarged and improved in 1864-5. This hall is fitted up in the most complete manner, and contains a spacious lodge room, banqueting hall, and other apartments, the former of which is richly furnished, and contains several fine portraits and paintings. The Minerva Lodge (No. 250) was established in 1783, and holds its meetings on the second and fourth Wednesday in every month, in a neat hall in Prince Street, which was opened in 1802 and enlarged in 1863. The hall is appropriately decorated, and contains portraits and other objects of interest to masons. The Kingston Lodge (No. 1,010) was instituted in 1864, and meets on the first Wednesday in the month, at the Masonic Hall, in Kingston Square. The De la Pole Lodge (No. 1,605) meets on the second Friday in the month, in the same premises. The Wilberforce Lodge (No. 2,134), founded in 1886, and generally known as the Temperance Lodge, holds its meetings at the Temperance Hall, St. Luke Street, on the second Tuesday in each month. Royal Arch Chapters are attached to the Humber, Minerva, De la Pole, and Kingston Lodges. Mark Masters' Lodges are also held in connection with the three first-named lodges. A Knight Templars Conclave, and Rose Croix Chapter of the Ancient York Conclave of Redemption, meet at the Minerva Lodge premises.

Friendly Societies

FRIENDLY SOCIETIES are very numerous here. The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows has fifteen lodges in Hull, with 3,361 members, and a capital of over £30,000. The Oddfellows' Hall is in Lowgate. It was built in 1852 for a Quaker's Meeting House. The Ancient Order of Foresters has 17 courts, with 2,600 members, besides 12 Juvenile Societies with about 500 members. The Foresters' Hall is in Charlotte Street. The National United Order of Free Gardeners has 15 lodges; the National Independent Order of Oddfellows, 15 lodges; the Loyal United Order of Oddfellows, 19 lodges; the United Ancient Order of Druids, 39 lodges, with 6,500 members; the Grand United Order of Oddfellows, 15 lodges; the Order of Druids, 11 lodges, with 1,450 members; the Loyal Ancient Order of Shepherds (Ashton Unity), 8 lodges; the Kingston Unity of Oddfellows, 16 ledges; the Wilberforce United Order of Oddfellows, 5 lodges; Kingston Independent Order of Druids, 2 lodges; the Sons of Temperance, 11 divisions; and the Independent Order of Rechabites, 3 tents. A large proportion of the above societies meet in the Friendly Societies' Hall, in Albion Street, off Story Street, which was opened in 1888, and enlarged in 1892. The premises are large and commodious. In the rear are the Cobden and St. George's Halls, spacious rooms suitable for holding large meetings, tea parties, &c., with entrance from Story Street.* There are also a very large number of Trades Societies, and a Trades and Labour Council.

* The Friendly Societies' Medical Dispensary is in George Street.

Temperance is well represented in Hull. The Good Templars held their first meeting in Hull in 1874, and have at present 14 lodges. The Band of Hope League was also established in 1874, and has about 10,000 juvenile members. The Temperance Friendly Societies, the Sons of Temperance, the Independent Order of Rechabites, and the Sons of Phoenix, are also strong here, having a large number of divisions and tents. Besides these there are adult and juvenile societies connected with the various churches and chapels in the town. There is also a large number of Temperance Hotels, the most important being the newly erected (1892) Grosvenor Hotel, in Carr Lane, which is one of the most complete in the kingdom. There are also about 20 Cocoa Houses in various parts of the town belonging to the Hull People's Public House Co., Ltd., who also own two high-class cafés, the De la Pole, in Silver Street, and the Wilberforce, in St. John Street. The receipts of this company amount to £25,000 per annum. For a number of years past the directors have paid dividends at the rate of 10 per cent., besides allowing ample sums for depreciation, creating a substantial reserve fund, and giving bonuses to the employees.

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