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ing from the models submitted to their discretion and judg
ment *. THE Town-HALL, formerly called the Exchange, is a large regular pile of building, which was erected about the year 1750, from designs by Wood, of Bath; and its decorations strongly remind us of the showy buildings of that city. The ground-floor was intended for an exchange, and calculated to accommodate the merchants with Insurance Offices, &c. A consideralle addition was made to this building some years back, and great progress was made in extending the offices; when the whole of the interior was destroyed by fire, in the year 1705. In consequence of this accident, the corporation resolved to rebuild it on a more extended and improved plan, and to appropriate the whole to judicial and other offices, for the police of the town, for a mansion for the mayor, a suite of public assembly-rooms, and for all the offices devoted to the business of the corporation f. The ground story, on the south side, consists of a handsome entrancehall, leading to a flight of stairs, a committee room, and a private room for the mayor; on the east side, are a vestibule, rooms for the magistrates and juries, and the town-clerk's offices; on the north side an entrance-hall, leading to the town-hall, or general sessions-room, to the rotation office, &c. On the principal floor is a grand suite of rooms, consisting of a saloon, thirty feet by twenty-six—a drawing-room, thiriy-three feet by twennty-six —a ball-room, ninety feet by forty-two—a second ballroom, sixty-six by thirty feet—a card-room, thirty-two feet by twenty-six, &c. The summit of this building is terminated by a dome, which is of modern construction, and ornamented with several columns. Round the frieze, and in the pediment of the - southern
* The design and description of one of these models, by G. Bullock, display peculiar novelty and originality; and what constitutes its superior excellence, is the strict adherence to historical propriety and rational consistency in all its parts. It is truly English Art, employed to dignify English valour, According to the periodical publications, this design has been adopted.
* In the annexed Print, two fronts of this building are dislpayed.
southern front, is a profusion of sculptured decoration, but exe-
systematically built, and partakes of a classical style. The body is formed by a doric range, bearing an attic entablature; with a parapet ornamented with vases. The windows for affording light, both to the aisles and galleries, are disproportionably large. On the south side is a wide handsome terrace, raised on six rustic arches. Though the eye may be reconciled to this by the situation of the ground, yet the mind is disgusted at its appropriation; for, like the outer court of the temple, in the degenerate days of the Jewish Church, this place is devoted to those who buy and sell. At the extremity of this terrace are two wings, consisting of octangular buildings; one of which is appropriated to the clerk of the market, and the other to a cell for confining delinquents! ! The steeple consists of five tiers, or portions, ornamented with pilasters of the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders; and above the tower rises a lofty, tapering, octangular spire.
ST. THOMAs's CHURCH, built in 1750, is better proportioned, but whimsical in its appearance. The body consists of a rustic base, having two tiers of windows; the upper calculated for a drawing-room, and the lower for a prison: nor is the large semicircular Venetian window, at the east end, in a happier style. The double Ionic pilasters attached to the sides, as they appear to have nothing to support, add little to its decoration. The tower is lofty, terminating in a well-proportioned spire, nearly half the height from the base: but its immediate and appropriate support consists of four couplets of Corinthian columns, on which, as though ashamed of their station, stare four crocket pinnacles, combined with vases. How far it might have been the design of the architect to hide the want of affinity between the dissimilar parts, in a Gothico-Grecian building, I cannot pretend to determine ; the transition is less abrupt, though equally absurd. Nor can that motley style of architecture, observable here, and in other large places, so destructive of all genuine taste, be sufficiently reprobrated. To such incongruous designs, divested of all beauty, convenience, and harmony of parts, every lover of the arts must be decidedly hostile. For though a certain latitude, for the display of genius and science, may be, and ought to be, allowed; yet