Salon & Dining Room

The Salon

On the right of the staircase is the former card room, now called the salon. It has been radically altered since it was designed by Paine. It was enlarged in 1806 and altered again in 1831. In Paine’s original scheme, this room was smaller and was separated from the ballroom by the back stairs. In 1806, new back stairs were built at the west end of the new dining room to allow direct communications with the kitchens below. The space occupied by the old back stairs was absorbed into the salon. The building of the new dining room on the west side would have deprived the salon of its windows, and so roof lighting must have become necessary. In 1831, the ceiling was raised to the same height as the dining room, which is now the council chamber. The fine rectangular roof lantern probably dates from this time. The alterations of 1831 were carried out by William Hurst (1787-1844), a native of the town, an alderman of the corporation and a one-time pupil and then partner of William Lindley, architect of the 1806 alterations.

 

Dining Room

In 1806, a new dining room was designed for the corporation by William Lindley (about 1729 – 1818). It is likely that the new dining room was inspired by the wish of the corporation to present the best possible image of the town for the visit of the Prince Regent (the future George IV) and his brother, the Duke of Clarence (the future William IV) to the Doncaster races in 1806. Given the importance of racing to the town, it seems natural that the royal visit should prompt a major improvement in the facilities available in the town’s most important building. The dining room is, like the ballroom, sixty feet long, but is three feet lower and three feet narrower, dimensions which seem to make it a more welcoming space than the double cube room. The room as we see it now is an amalgamation of the talents of Lindley and also William Hurst who undertook further alterations in 1831.. The inventory of 1834 refers to a new orchestra, the musician’s gallery in the photograph, and in 1831, £130 was spent on the large mirror at the far end of the room and fifty guineas (£52.50p) on the two chandeliers.

From 1914 until 2012 the dining room was used as the council chamber.