Concert Hall Images

Concert and Music Venues in Ayrshire ~ 1800 - 2013

1.  Sandgate

2. Main Door 



Ayr Town Hall

1. The Sandgate, Ayr, looking towards New Bridge Street and the Town Hall spire.  

Date: April 2010
Photographer: ©Mike Bailey.

2.  New Bridge Street, with main entrance and former entrance below the spire. 

Date: September 2010
Photographer: ©Mike Bailey.

3.  New Bridge Street elevation, with council chamber in upper storey and access to rear court. 

Date: September 2010
Photographer: ©Mike Bailey.

Public Services located at the Town Hall

The demolition of the New Tolbooth and the creation of the town buildings saw some of the burgh's administrative and ceremonial functions relocated to the new structure.  In addition to shops at ground level, some of the town's administrative offices were located at street level.

Ayr Burgh Police Force was established in 1839 and served the town until the amalgamation with Kilmarnock Burgh Police and the Ayrshire Constabulary in 1968.  From that time the town was policed by the Ayrshire Constabulary, with an office in Charlotte Street.  In 1975 the Strathclyde Police Authority assumed responsibility for all areas of the newly formed Strathclyde Region.

Post Office Directories for Ayr show a Police Office at 29 and 25 New Bridge Street, below the council chamber.  The reconstruction in 1881 provided an extensive police station and court facilities..  The police cells constructed at this time are still in existence.  For many years they were used for storage of Library material.  There has been a recent proposal to explore a conversion to an arts facility.

Other municipal facilities that have been located at the town buildings include Ayr Water Office (Town's Buildings, High Street), Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths for the Parliamentary Burgh of Ayr (1 High Street) and Ayr Corporation Tramways (which occupied 1 High Street after the Registrar moved to Buttermarket Court.)  The Burgh Fire Service was also located at 29 New Bridge Street, with extensive facilities in the courtyard adjacent to the concert hall.  It is not clear when the Burgh Fire Service was established but a Firemaster was in place in 1909.

Among the traders occupying premises within the town buildings were J KIllen, Family Linen Warehouse (at 25 New Bridge Street) and James Campbell. Draper (at 5 High Street.)

(Information based on Ayr Directories 1855 - 1912)

Further Images and History.

he New or Over Tolbooth was where the town's business was conducted and the jail was below.

It crowned the rising ground in the centre of the Sandgate. It was built in 1574-5.  In 1614-5 a belfry was erected on it. A steeple was projected for it in 1697, but was not completed until 1726. It was removed about 1823, at which time it was replaced by the new Town Hall

This tolbooth has been completely removed. A plaque on the wall opposite states; "In the Mid Street stood the Tolbooth or old Gaol".

The RCAHMS records provide further information on the building and it's history. There are numerous images available online and these provide information on historical aspects of the facility and the current condition. 

Of particular interest is an upper floor plan for the assembly rooms showing the original layout, the changes introduced in 1881 and after the fire at the turn of the century.

The original assembly room is now the council chamber, used once again for public events and musical soirees.

For further information, please follow this LINK

The Town's Buildings, erected in 1828, at the junction of High Street and Sandgate - the latter in a line with the New Bridge - were originally a tasteful structure, surmounted by a beautiful spire 226 feet high, and were greatly enlarged and improved in 1880-81 at an estimated cost (considerably exceeded) of £19,952, by the addition of a fine new police court and a town-hall with stained-glass portraits of Wallace, Bruce, John Welsh, Burns, Scott, and Shakespeare, and with a powerful organ.

(From F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)