Bank Hall was originally built in 1750 for Thomas Patten and his family. At the time, it was set in open fields which extended down to the River Mersey. It remained with the Patten family until 1872, when the town council bought the hall, along with the 13-acre grounds surrounding it.
The building has been the Warrington Town Hall ever since. The grounds were opened to the public in 1873, becoming the town's first public park, now known as Bank Park. At that time, the high perimeter wall, which had been added by the family to provide privacy as the population of Warrington began to grow, meant that Town Hall and the newly created public park could not be seen from Sankey Street. A situation which continued until the 1890s when the wall was replaced by railings including these magnificent gates (Warrington’s famous “Golden Gates”).
The cast iron gates were made at Ironbridge by the Coalbrookdale Company for showing at the International Exhibition in London in 1862 and are said to be amongst the finest in England. It is believed that they were originally commissioned as a gift for Queen Victoria, to be used at Sandringham. She declined them and they were returned to Coalbrookdale where they stayed from 1863 to 1893 until Mr Frederick Monks, a member of the council, saw them on one of his many visits to Ironbridge as a director of the Monks Hall Foundry. He donated them to the council and, after being formally opened on Walking Day on 28 June 1895, they have graced the Sankey Street frontage to the town hall and Bank Park ever since (Link
The Famous Golden Gates, Warrington Borough Council).
On each side of the gates, there is an ornate screen containing four columns is. On top of each column is a statue of Nike, the goddess of victory. In the centre of the archway over the gate are the arms of Warrington Borough Council.
The Town Hall is a Grade I listed building (Link
The National Heritage List for England). The gates, which are 16.5 metres wide and measure 7.6 metres to the top of the central arch, are listed Grade II* along with the piers and associated lamps (Link
National Heritage List for England).
The rest of the railings and a fine ornamental fountain, erected immediately behind the gates in 1899, were removed in 1942 to provide iron to help the war effort. Fortunately, the same fate did not befall the gates.
See also SJ6088 : Warrington Town Hall (Bank Hall)
and SJ6088 : Warrington's Golden Gates