Clarence Hall Gems – No 5

Posted: 29th August 2022

The Clarence Hall is not only a lovely old building, but it is also a classic example of Victorian architecture and decor.  Thanks to Hall Trustee and Director, David Jeremiah, we’re looking at several of the “Clarence Hall Gems”, as we call them.

As the Hall is refurbished over the coming months, every effort will be made to retain its unique character by way of removing, refurbishing and reinstating original fittings.

The Gem to seek out this month is found way overhead!

Adorning the roof are a collection of things called finials.  These are a prerequisite for Gothic Revival buildings and would have cost a pretty penny.   They were put there as a sort of full stop.  Their sole purpose is to add that touch of class to the façade, to draw your eye.  They have been there, come snow, rain, or blazing sun, in the most exposed of positions, and in defiance of the passing of time – and they still look good.

The two “spikes” on the Tower are made of wrought iron (with lead aprons) and would have been gilded. Unfortunately, the gilding has long gone but it is our intention to apply a gold resin coat when we tackle the roofing.   The two small pagodas on the crest of the Hall roof also serve as vents and, I believe, are made of teak and brass.  They, like the crowns on the Tower spikes, are there to remind us that Queen Victoria and her Indian Empire was very much in vogue when the Hall was built.

So, the next time you pass the Hall, look up.  Just think how many people would have looked at those finials.  You can do likewise with the added bonus of appreciating their provenance!