Once the Salford Town Hall, this impressive building dates from 1824 and was designed by Richard Lane.
Mary Appleton the Asssistant Liasion Officer for the court building was our guide as she took us into the cellars of the building to show us some incredible records of life in Salford dating back to the 1840s.
In one of the many underground rooms are literally hundreds upon hundreds of ledgers which detail every court case heard before the Magistrates; these give an incredible insight into life in Salford and we were priviliged to have a look at them.
The ledgers tell stories of petty crime, drunkeness, theft, attempted suicide, army desertion, prositution, every aspect of crime that you could think of and some of the stories are truly heartbreaking.
Mary told us of an Australian woman who was tracing her family tree, one of her ancestors was deported to the country with her young daughter for the heinous crime of theft. She was taken from the court, placed on a waggon and taken to Portsmouth for deportation. Deportation of this kind eventually ended in 1868.
The labryinth of tunnels revealed some amazing sights, huge cast iron ovens for use by the Town Hall staff, marble toilets, long forgotten ledgers, workrooms for the maintenance staff, and some incredible stone busts of Salford dignitaries which had lain in a locked store room for many, many years (however you will have to wait for part two to have a look at these).
There's even some grandiose plans from the 1930s for a new Salford Town Hall to be built on the Crescent, all fascinating stuff.
The second part in this series of four will be posted tomorrow 01 August 2017
Article by Tony Flynn
Video by Tom Rodgers
This article has originally appeared on SalfordOnline on 24th November 2011 and is reproduced here courtesy of history fan, Tony Flynn.