Burgh Halls comprising town house and old county hall, merged 1962, see also Kirkgate, Burgh Halls (former Old County Hall) listed separately.
Town house: John Smith, 1668-1670; restored after fire by Thomas Brown,1848; entrance steps replaced by iron loggia, 1810; steps restored by W Scott, 1906, interior alterations by Rowand Anderson, Kininmonth and Paul, 1962-1963. 2-storey and raised basement, 7-bay, rectangular-plan classical town-house with 6-stage tower at rear. Coursed, cream Kingscavil sandstone, ashlar dressings calcinated due to fire (restored in places) and ashlar to entrance facade. Cill course at 1st and 2nd floors, eaves course, cornice, blocking course. Lugged architraves and pediments to windows and (slightly larger) to doorcase at principal floor. Crown, fleur-de-lis, thistle, and rose in tympani; burgh crest of black greyhound chained to oak tree in entrance tympanum.
S (entrance) elevation: grand double ashlar staircase up to principal floor; stairs with base course, rusticated quoins, balusters and dies, 4 wrought-iron lamp standards; central doorpiece at ground with moulded architrave, cornice flanked by stairs; main entrance flanked by windows 1st; frieze over inscribed 'Destroyed by fire 1847 Restored 1848 Adam Dawson of Bonnytown Provost'.
W (side) elevation: 2-bay. Former entrance to prison at street level, later Fire Station, now blocked as windows, retains former Fire Station sign. Principal floor window left blocked.
E (side) elevation: 2-bay, (single-storey Masonic Hall abutting); window to each bay of principal and 1st floor.
N (rear) elevation: central tower flanked by 3 bays to right, left bays blocked by County Hall. To right, basement round-arched opening now blocked, restored windows at 1st, calcinated above.
Tower: 6-stage; coursed rubble, upper 3 stages coursed and squared; string courses dividing. N facade; square-headed windows to 3rd stage, round-headed in upper stages, clock face to S, E, and W facades. Blocked-up door at 2nd stage of return to right inscribed 'doorway to debtors prison struck out 1792 built up 1812'. Balustraded parapet. Louvred ventilator to roof.
12-pane glazing pattern in sash and case windows. Piended grey slate roof.
Interior: barrel-vaulted basement to left. Good chimneypieces 1st and 2nd floors.
Statement of Special Interest
A Group with former Old County Hall listed separately. In 1650 the old town house was demolished by Cromwell. In November 1667 designs by John Mylne, Master Mason to Kings Charles I and II, for a new town house were approved (facsimiles of original plans and contract in Master Masons). Following his death in December of that year, a new design by John Smith was approved in January 1668. In April 1670 a contract was draw up between the Magistrates of Linlithgow and James Young to quarry stone from Kingscavil for the town house.
The town house illustrated in 'Theatrum Scotiae' is depicted with a staircase to the main entrance at principal floor, a flat roof and balustraded parapet, and the tower surmounted by a steeple and weathervane, added in 1678. The staircase was replaced in 1810 by a iron loggia to give more market accommodation. The town house in 1845 (New Statistical Account) contained the jail, sheriff court-house and town-hall. In 1847 the building was badly damaged by fire and the front was renewed by Thomas Brown. A pitched roof replaced the former flat roof; the balustraded parapet and tower spire were not replaced. In 1857 the clock was erected on the tower by MacKenzie of Glasgow. In 1906 W. Scott replaced the loggia with the present stair. A 1966 photograph of the town house shows a wallhead chimneystack to the W elevation, since removed.
In 1962 the town-house and old county buildings adjoining on the N facade were altered, both buildings converted into a suite of halls for the use of the Burgh.