In 1889 the three Ridings (=thirds) of Yorkshire, named East, North and South before 1066, were given independent county status, and all three built headquarters, called County Halls.
East Riding County Council bought the Mechanics’ Institute building in Cross Street (formerly the site of Victorian political shenanigans recorded in a Parliamentary report and in Anthony Trollope’s novel Ralph the Heir). The council used the site to construct a new building designed by Smith & Brodrick of Hull.
Now greatly extended, County Hall, a splendid red brick building in Flemish Renaissance style, still contains the original Council Chamber, little altered over the years. It has classical decorations, with wooden furniture carved by James E. Elwell (d. 1926), twice mayor of Beverley – and father of the Beverley painter Fred Elwell.
There are no less than 10 listed building which make up County Hall in total – the former Gentlemen's Club, Registry Office, Registrar's House, Police Station, Police Hostel & Library, former Hall/Dispensary, The Gables (No.65 Lairgate), the boundary wall to No.65 and the Old Manse.
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