History

The Old Finsbury Town Hall is a grade II* listed building and is registered with English Heritage as a building of great historical significance. This grand example of late 19th century Civic Architecture is found on the intersection of six Finsbury streets in the heart of Clerkenwell, set in an island bound by Rosebery Avenue, Garnault Place and Rosoman Street. The completed London landmark, then called The Vestry Hall was unveiled bythe Prime Minister Lord Rosebery barely a month after the completion of Rosebery Avenue on the 14th of June 1895.

Evans Vaughan’s design of the Town Hall’s brick and stonework is “free Flemish Renaissance”. There are Baroque influences seen in the female figures and carved frieze above the first floor at the Rosoman Street and Garnault Place junction. Many internal and external details are heavily influenced by Art Nouveau – quite a radical statement considering when the Town Hall was built. The exterior glass and wrought iron canopy above the main entrance on Rosebery Avenue is one such Art Nouveau detail; the stained glass very reminiscent of the Tiffany lamps that were so popular in the early 20th century. The public hall on the first floor has some elaborate Art Nouveau detail, such as the winged figures lining the walls and holding the sprays of light bulbs.

In 1965 the Finsbury Council was absorbed by the newly extended Islington Borough. In October 2005 the Finsbury Town Hall was acquired by the Urdang Academy, a long established performing arts school that was formerly based in Covent Garden. Urdang lovingly restored the building before relocating in January 2007.

This historic monument was lovingly renamed The Old Finsbury Town Hall and is now holding weddings again, continuing a hundred year tradition, as well as banquets and events. From the punk legends to rock legends even famous operatic singers are reputed to have been married here.