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three rusticated arches, that form the entrance into a large and splendid vestibule, composed of thirty-two Doric columns, with their proper capital and entablature, from which spring richly ornamented groined arches. The columns are so arranged as to make three avenues, the middle one being 16 feet wide, and the others 13 feet each. The architectural beauty of this arcade claims particular attention.
In the east wing is the news-room, the interior architecture of which is of the Ionic order, and consists of three avenues, formed by two ranges of eight columns each. The shafts are composed of one entire stone, and (including the base and capital) each measures 20 feet 9 inches. The walls are decorated with pilasters, according with the columns, above which rises a beautiful arched ceiling. The noble colonnade adds greatly to the grandeur of this apartment, which bespeaks the good taste and skill of the architect. The length of this room is 94 feet 3 inches, and the width 51 feet 9 inches. Above this is the Underwriter'sroom, 72 feet long, and 36 feet broad, with a neat arched ceiling. The other parts of these buildings are used as offices, and the outer sides consist of large and commodious warehouses.
In the centre of the area, encircled by this vast and noble pile, was erected in the year 1813, a splendid bronze monument to the memory of the immortal Lord Nelson. It was modelled and
cast by Richard Westmacott, Esq., R.A., from designs, by Mathew Charles Wyatt, Esq. The whole expense, amounting to £9000, was raised by public subscription, pursuant to the resolulutions of a public meeting held on the 15th November, 1805.
A circular basement, composed of Westmoreland marble, supports the monument, on the top of which stand the principal figures. The gallant hero is seen in an erect attitude, looking steadfastly on Victory, who is presenting to him a fourth naval crown, which he receives on the point of his sword, in addition to the three already placed there. By these are designed the glorious achievements of St. Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar. In the moment that doubtful Victory declares him the conqueror, Death is beheld aiming the fatal blow from under the folds of the enemy's flag. At the same instant, from the back-ground, a sailor is perceived grasping a battle-axe, and impatient to inflict vengeance on the foe who had wounded his endeared commander. Britannia, leaning on her spear, with laurels in her hand, as if intended to reward her hero, seems overwhelmed with the sense of her loss, and for a time appears regard. less of glory.
Around the pedestal are ranged four full-sized captives, sitting in a bending posture, manacled and chained, emblematic of the subdued and
humbled condition of those enemies who had aimed to bring England into subjection. In the spaces between these figures are compartments, beautifully decorated with designs in bas-relief, descriptive of some of the admiral's chief naval engagements. The other parts of the pedestal are richly ornamented with laurel festoons, lions' heads, &c.; and in brass letters on the moulding, is inscribed the ever-memorable charge uttered by the bravest of the brave,—“ England expects every man to do his duty."
This superb specimen of the fine arts may fairly be cited as an example of exquisite taste and masterly execution.
THE BOROUGH SESSIONS HOUSE.
In Rumford-street, to the west of the Exchange Buildings, is the Borough Sessions House, which was opened on the 20th of October, 1828. Prior to this time the sessions were held in the Town Hall. The two principal entrances are from Chapel-street, which lead by winding staircases to a large saloon, measuring 23 feet by 174 feet. This part is decorated with four elegant columns, and from it is an entrance into the large courtroom, which is 61 feet long, 39 feet wide, and 23 feet high, and adorned with twelve handsome pilasters, supporting the ceiling, which is divided into compartments, and ornamented with a beau
tiful cornice. A considerable space at the entrance end of the room is assigned to the accommodation of the spectators, and in order that the sight may not be impeded by those standing in the front, a gentle elevation has been preserved by steps 4 inches deep, and 18 inches broad. The farther part is inclosed, and fitted up for the convenience of the magistrates, barristers, and officers belonging to the court, &c.; and above the magistrates' bench is a gallery, having a handsome light balustrade, which is likewise allotted to the use of the auditory. The light is admitted through two neat cupolas, adorned with beautiful stucco-work; from the centre of each is suspended a handsome bronze chandelier, illuminated by gas burners. This apartment is admirably adapted for hearing, and well ventilated. Near the entrance is the bar where the prisoner stands during trial, and it communicates with the cells on the ground-floor, which are assigned to the custody of culprits.
Besides this there is another court-room, of smaller dimensions, and appropriated to the transacting of ordinary business. There are also other rooms for the use of the magistrates, and the officers pertaining to the court.
The extreme length is 174 feet, and the breadth is 59 feet at the south end, and 81 feet at the north end. The architecture is possessed of simple elegance, and the building is in every
respect suited to the purposes for which it was designed.
THE CUSTOM HOUSE.
In an architectural point of view, this edifice is, at the present day, in every respect unworthy of the town. It is a plain brick building, having an entrance by a flight of steps into a vestibule, altogether destitute of ornament, which communicates with several offices on the same floor; and from it a common staircaise leads to the longroom, which with a few offices occupies the upper story. A yard and warehouses form the back part of these premises, The centre of the front is ornamented with the king's arms in bas-relief, on a stone tablet.
But this structure is destined ere long to give place to one of the most magnificent modern edifices that this country will have to boast of, and which is to stand on the site of the Old Dock. On the 12th of August, 1828, the first stone was laid by Thomas Colley Porter, Esq., the mayor during that year. This ceremoney was attended by a most numerous and respectable procession, consisting of the common council and other gentlemen, with most of the artizans belonging to the several trades of the town. In the evening a numerous party of two hundred gentlemen partook of a sumptuous feast, given by the mayor in the large ball-room in the Town Hall.