Landmark Torquay clock tower to be sold at auction houses secret Victorian jail cell and strong room

A Torquay landmark, The Old Town Hall, Union Street has been listed for sale by Network Auctions with a guide price of £175,000-£200,000. The highly prominent Grade II listed Victorian building is well known for its clock tower, which has been wound weekly by the same time-keeper for the past 58 years, but the 170-year-old property houses more secrets – including a 19th Century jail cell, disused public conveniences, a large assembly room and a strong room.

Toby Limbrick, auctioneer, says, ‘The Old Town Hall is an attractive building constructed in 1851-1852. It has been used for a variety of purposes over the years including offices, synagogue, nightclub, bar, café and restaurant. It benefits from a highly visible corner site between the two pedestrian centres of Fleet Street and Union Street and uniquely features a clock tower. This tower has a central store room housing the clock workings and a bell believed to have been manufactured by John Warner & Sons. Despite the various uses of the building over the years, a time keeper attends the bell tower weekly to keep the clock running and showing the correct time.’

‘At the end of the alley, running under the pavement of Abbey Road and accessed via the former male public conveniences, is a 19th Century gaol cell. It is believed the former public toilets were additional cells used to house criminals in the Victorian period.’

‘The property also features a strong room with the original cast iron door.’

‘This is a distinctive property with great potential. It offers a wealth of history and with accommodation across 4 floors of approximately 5338 sq. ft is likely to be of interest to developers and businesses.’

The Old Town Hall, Union Street, Torquay will be sold online by Network Auctions on 9th December. For more information: www.networkauctions.co.uk