The Central Exchange

Built in 1838 and intended for use as a corn market, but instead was used as a news room until 1867 when the arcade was ravaged by fire. It was rebuilt and opened as an art gallery and concert hall. It closed due to lack of visitors in 1869.

In 1870 the building was leased by T.P. Barkas and T.H. Twedy and reopened as an art gallery and news room.

In 1892 the Central Exchange News Room contained an art gallery and concert hall. The adjoining fifty bedroom Central Exchange Hotel was run by John Dykes. There was another fire in 1901 and the building was destroyed.

It reopened in 1906 as shopping centre The Central Arcade designed by Oswald and Son, of Newcastle.

J.G. Windows music shop opened here in 1908, on the site of the former hotel. The shop is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young unmarried woman who worked at the hotel who threw herself down the lift shaft on finding that she was pregnant.

The building is Grade 2 listed.

7th December 2022

28th August 2022

Grey Street/Grainger Street.

Grey Street.

The east front of a triangular block between Market Street, Grainger Street and this street, containing Central Arcade.

Sandstone ashlar; Welsh slate roof and lead-covered corner domes. 4 storeys with rounded 5-bay corners; 7:6:7 bays.

Central Arcade entrance, with high rounded hood on modillions over keyed arch inserted 1901 in bay to right of central pavilion. High office entrance in left bay of central pavilion has steps up to renewed door in panelled surround with bracketed hood; flower-carved brackets, dentilled cornice.

Ground floor, partly rusticated, has c.1900 shops with slender pilasters; Tuscan pilasters to panelled double office door at right end before curved corner.

Upper floors have giant Corinthian Order to curved corners. Plain sashes, those on second floor with moulded sills, under dentilled cornice; pilasters flank top sashes in plain reveals under cornice; vertical consoles above pilasters support drum with scroll-carved blocking course and antefixae on cornice; high ribbed dome has copper Prince of Wales feathers finial.

Central pavilion has giant square Tuscan pilasters; plain reveals to windows in central 4 bays, architraves to those in outer bays, with bracketed cornices on first floor. Second floor entablature has dentilled cornice. Pilasters on top floor and sashes in plain reveals under top cornice. Pierced balustrade above end bays. Plainer intermediate sections have sashes in plain reveals with moulded sills on second floor; continuous top entablature with blocking course. Other facades in similar style.

Source: Sitelines.

Grey Street/Market Street.

Market Street.

Market Street/Grainger Street.

Grainger Street.

23rd July 2022

Grey Street/Market Street Corner.

3rd July 2022

Grey Street/Grainger Street Corner.

19th September 2017

The Central Arcade.

Nos 1 to 22 Grey Street (shops on west to rear of 120-150 grainger Street. Paving by Rust's Vitreous Mosaics of Battersea. The Exchange Buildings interior was gutted by fire 1901. Entirely reconstructed inside in 1905-6 to form hotel and arcade with 2 rows of shops.

Original had Corinthian columns after Temple of Vesta at Tivoli. Domes at each corner of the triangle. The modern shop fronts at ground floor have now been replaced by copies of 19th century. Sash windows on upper floors without glazing bars. Cornice below attic floor.

Entrance corridors - tiled double arches at Market Street and Grey Street entrances. Centre column, composite order, dated 1906 in cartouche in spandrel, gold Art Nouveau tiled shaft, lettered lintel.

Ground floor shops original, plate glass, fine timber frames, shallow facia. Wrought iron balustrade to gallery.

Upper floor not open to public. All upper floor elevations in dark brown and gold faience (by Burnmantofts). Rich Renaissance decoration, scalloped arched window heads. Ionic capitals, Venetian arches above entrances. Roof glazed barrel vault with ventilation lantern, supported by steel arches. Building completely restored 1980. Hotel now offices. Specialist shops at ground floor.

Source: Sitelines.

10th March 2009

Grey Street Entrance.

The Central Arcade.

26th August 2007

Grey Street/Market Street Corner.

More Information:
See my other photos around The Central Exchange:

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