Formerly in Berkshire, Abingdon vied with Reading as the county town, and the County Hall stands today as a testimony to the town’s bid for this honour.
Designed by a protégé of Sir Christopher Wren, this splendid Baroque building was erected between 1678 and 1682, and it has the typical town hall combination for the period, with a market space sheltering under a raised courtroom.
The County Hall, which has dominated the market place of Abingdon ever since, is now home to the Abingdon County Hall Museum, and there are, indeed, fine views from the rooftop overlooking the market square.
There are over 120 steps in the building, the majority of which have a shallow tread. A small lift from street level can take visitors down to the cellar area, but there is no lift access to the gallery or rooftop.
The museum is open 10.00am-4.00pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, throughout the year. The site is also open on Bank Holidays, except over Christmas and New Year.
The rooftop is open at the weekend between Easter and October, and daily in the summer. This is weather permitting and charges apply.
The museum has toilets, a café, baby changing facilities and a shop. Only assistance dogs are allowed. Prams and pushchairs can be left in the foyer or taken into the café.