Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Friday 14th August 2020

In Focus: Sheffield's Cutler's Hall

Sheffield, Cutlers Hall

The Cutler's Hall was designed in 1832 by Samuel Worth and Benjamin Broomhead Taylor. It was extended in 1865-7 by Flockton & Abbott, and 1888 by J. B. Mitchell-Withers. It is one of Sheffield's finest buildings, presenting a handsome dignified Grecian exterior; internally, an unexpectedly opulent and extensive sequence of rooms, a showcase for assembly, display, feasting and entertainment - the annual Cutlers' Feast is the opportunity for local business to meet and influence the wider political and commercial world.

The present Hall is the third: the first (1638) was possibly, and the second (1725) certainly, on the same site. Hemmed in by adjacent properties, the site is awkwardly shaped and there are no other publicly visible elevations. Daylight penetration into the depths of the building is limited so, except for the rooms facing the street, only skylights, clerestories and obscured glazing permit subdued daylight to illuminate the inner reaches. Three halls dominate the interior; whilst the offices, kitchens and service spaces take second place. Successive Masters Cutler have commemorated their reign by donating improvements or additions.

  • Click on the picture to find out more about its design
RenaissanceGlossary Term [1] style interior. A high black Belgian marble dadoGlossary Term [2], incorporating pedestals supporting pairs of engaged scagliolaGlossary Term [3] CorinthianGlossary Term [4] columns, single columns at the ends, dividing the large area of windowless walling into panels. On the friezeGlossary Term [5] of a continuous entablatureGlossary Term [6] are key dates in the Company's history, the quotation from Chaucer's Reeve's Tale and words from Ruskin in praise of Sheffield's workmanship. Above are clerestory lunettes in a coved ceiling. The effect is unexpectedly overpowering.

The illustration shows the feast which was held to celebrate the opening of the hall in 1867.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009