Dated 1576; forestair dated 1617; 3rd stage and belfry rebuilt (see Notes) 1743-4. 4-stage, rectangular-plan tolbooth tower with ogee-roofed octagonal belfry. Harled with irregular stone quoins and stepped string courses to 1st and 2nd stages, quoin strips and band course to 3rd stage, ashlar belfry. Base course and cavetto cornice. Clock faces in stone panels with segmental open pediments breaking cornice; round-headed keystoned openings to belfry. Town Hall by Campbell Douglas and Sellars, 1885. Dressed squared and snecked rubble with ashlar quoins. Base course, ground floor cornice, 1st floor cill course, cavetto eaves cornice and deep blocking course. Architraved surrounds, corniced 1st floor door and windows, stone transom and mullions.
TOWER (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: 1st stage with small timber door to left and adjacent window to right, further window above with datestone over lintel and stepped string course giving way to blank 2nd stage; 3rd stage with glazed oculus at centre close to band course and clock above. Round stair tower to NE angle with narrow lights to bottom and top of 2nd stage, ending part way up 3rd stage. W elevation with forestair from N, boarded timber door high up 1st stage, small window to 2nd stage and clock to 3rd stage. E elevation adjoining building (listed separately) at 1st and 2nd stages, clock face to 3rd stage and stair tower to right with narrow light to 2nd stage. Set-back, octagonal belfry to top stage with louvered opening to each face, cavetto cornice and stone ogee roof with weathervane finial.
TOWN HALL (VICTORIA STREET) ELEVATION: 3 symmetrical bays with transomed window (converted from door) to centre at ground and bipartite windows in flanking bays. Side of forestair (see above) to outer left with blocked window and moulded panel with shield and stylised tree. 3 tall windows to 1st floor and 2-leaf boarded timber door on return to left. Deep blocking course giving way to piended roof at left and gable to right adjoining irregular terrace.
Tolbooth windows barred. Town Hall with 6-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. Coped ashlar stack.
INTERIOR: Tolbooth 1st stage entered from N (High Street), blocked to S, no internal access to upper stages. 1st stage and above vaulted with stair-turret to NE angle, NW angle with shaft for clock-weights. Iron gates to 3rd and 4th stages, latter also with inner wooden door. 1876 bell in belfry. Town Hall (Council Chamber and Court Room) with decorative plasterwork ceiling and cornice; boarded timber dado with panelled frieze; timber fireplace with corniced over mantel; panelled soffits; and round-headed arch with scroll-pedimented panel. Magistrate's Room off to S.
Statement of Special Interest
In 1617 the Town Hall was built alongside the old Tolbooth, the upper stages of which were wrecked by an explosion in 1656 and not rebuilt until 1707. The building housed the public weights-and-measures office, guard-house and prison; the Town Council met here weekly after 1617. A clock was introduced as early as 1592, and the current mechanism and clock faces were installed in 1876. An etching dated 1853 and a photograph of 1897 both show a tall round-headed window high up on the 1st stage of the N (High Street) elevation.
Tolbooth de-scheduled 13 June 2001.