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Open House 2023: Guided tours – Step Free Access
We’re offering exclusive, step-free access tours of Stanley Arts as part of a Heritage Programme in partnership with Open House and as part of Open House Festival.
The Halls and Trade School next door (now the Harris Academy South Norwood) were designed by Stanley himself; the final result is a building which, according to art historian, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, is “one of the most eccentric efforts anywhere at a do-it-yourself free style”.
On its completion in 1903, Stanley invited all the workmen to a supper at the Halls followed by an entertainment to which the wives and relatives of the men were invited. Stanley said that if “the building was not the most beautiful in the world, it was, at least, one of the most substantially built.” He hoped that the Halls would become a pleasant home of entertainment for all of them.
The buildings were completed in stages, with Stanley Public Hall (the main hall and art gallery) opening in 1903, the clock tower and Upper Stanley Hall added in 1904 and the Technical Trade School in 1907. The Assembly room and Society Rooms, alongside offices and the venue secretary’s accommodation, were added in 1909 to complete the complex.
The tour will explore many of our public facing spaces as well as taking you behind the scenes to see areas of our magnificent building which are not usually open to the public.
Bookings need to be made via the Open House website. Please note, you must create a free account in order to book.
Please note that this tour is specifically with people with limited mobility, wheelchair users and buggies in mind. For the full tour, please book onto a later time, find out more here.