Built 1884-6 to plans by James Campbell Walker, with later additions. 3-storey, irregular-plan, Scottish Baronial town hall on corner site, with finialled, pedimented dormers, crowstepped gables and prominent, 4-stage, pyramidal-roofed corner tower with finialled, conical-roofed bartizans; two plain, later blocks to left, now internally connected. Yellow sandstone ashlar. Base course; stepped string course forming 2nd-floor cills; continuous 2nd-floor hoodmoulds; stepped string course, clock faces with prominent voussoirs, louvred, pedimented dormers, and louvred vents halfway up roof to each side of upper stage of tower. Weathervane to roof of tower.
PRINCIPAL (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: 4-bay principal section to right, with 3 steps to recessed door in round-arched architrave to left bay; slightly projecting, tripartite central window at 1st floor with crest above, flanked by bipartite windows with shallow, corbelled, balustraded balconies; canted window at 1st floor of tower to right. Lower, 6-bay extension to left (arranged 3-3), with round-arched openings at ground floor, rectangular windows above, and deep parapet broken by pedimented dormer offset to right.
SIDE (CROSS WYND) ELEVATION: Roughly 8 bays on steeply sloping site, with facade stepping out and up towards rear. Pedimented wallhead dormer to 2nd bay from left; 1st-floor bartizan in re-entrant angle between 2nd and 3rd bays; gabletted dormer with overhanging eaves to 3rd bay; 4 storeys to gabled 5th bay; 4-storey, conical-roofed, circular tower to 7th bay. Irregularly fenestrated to ridge-roofed section to outer right, with crenellated parapet to left.
Plate glass and multi-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof with metal ridges; fish scale slates to bartizans.
INTERIOR: Glazed ceramic wall tiling to entrance lobby. Central stone stair with elaborate, swirling, foliate-patterned, wrought-iron balustrade and polished timber handrail. Various secondary stone stairs, some with simple metal balustrades and timber handrails. Council Chamber with highly ornate timber chimneypiece bearing Hawick coat of arms; matching furniture; timber-beamed ceiling. Former Police Court with panelled detailing to central, ridge-roofed skylight. Galleried principal function room with slender cast-iron columns (see NOTES). 6-panel timber doors and half-glazed, timber-panelled doors with stained glass in principal public areas; 4-panel timber doors in office areas. Some tongue-and-groove panelling to dado height.
44 HIGH STREET: 3-storey and attic, ridge-roofed tenement and shop, with 9 bays to ground floor, 4 bays above, and 2 canted dormers. Painted, tooled ashlar with raised, painted, polished dressings. Base course; plain fascia; eaves course. Arcaded, plain-pilastered ground floor, with door to 2nd bay from right and pend entrance with rectangular fanlight to outer left. Regular fenestration to upper floors, with raised ashlar margins and projecting cills.
Fixed plate glass to ground floor; 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows above. Grey slate roof with metal ridge. Coped sandstone ashlar stack
Statement of Special Interest
An outstanding late-19th-century Scottish Baronial town hall, situated on a prominent corner site at the centre of Hawick's High Street and with a tower that has a commanding presence over the whole town.
James Campbell Walker (1821-88) was an Edinburgh architect who trained in the office of the highly prominent architect William Burn (1789-70) and his successor David Bryce (1803-76), setting up practice on his own account in 1856/7. He won the commission for Hawick Town Hall in a competition of 1883, and his plans were executed by builders John & William Marshall at a cost of £16,000. Like Dunfermline Town Hall - a commission Campbell had secured in a competition of 1875 - Hawick Town Hall is in a Franco-Scottish style which is strongly reminiscent of Bryce's work.
The principal function room has a false ceiling concealing the original plasterwork of the basket-arched roof, which is still visible from the stage. The building originally housed a police station as well as municipal offices; the cells remain along a corridor towards the rear. The lesser function hall was added at the rear in the 1950s or 1960s. List description revised and category changed from B to A following resurvey (2008).