Type Sculpture , Statue
The pediment of this Neo-Classical building has two figures representing Justice and Liberty seated either side of a clock. They are depicted in classical dress, Justice holds a set of scales and a sword, Liberty holds a sword and ??.
The Shire Hall was built to replace an Elizabethian building. Together with the Judge's lodging, it was built in 1798-99 at a cost of £5,000. The administrative functions being carried out by the commissioners and the justices could no longer be accommodated in the Elizabethan Shire Hall and this gave rise to its replacement with the development of the new Shire Hall.
When the new Shire Hall was constructed, a single figure of Justice was placed centrally in the pediment. In 1850 a clock was installed in the pediment, paid for by public subscription and lit gratuitously by the gas company. The single figure was then replaced by the two sculptures by John Felix Rossi RA, representing Justice and Liberty.
The building was used for meetings, dances and as courts, it now houses an art gallery, café and shops.
The principal use of the Shire Hall was to house the local function of the judiciary. The images used in the sculpture are ones used traditionally to symbolise Justice and Liberty.
PMSA recording information