Fatal Accident at Town Hall Yard

Mr Tom Fearn was killed in the Market Place when the balance bar from the firebell fell on him.

Just above the entrance to Town hall Yard is a small memorial to Mr Tom Fearn, aged 40, who was killed when the balance bar fell from the firebell, which used to be situated above this entrance and was being rung because of a report of a fire. The bell was used to alert the fire crews to man the fire engine, then kept  at the rear of the George and Dragon.  Sadly, on this tragic occasion, the alert proved to be a false alarm.  The phone call was traced to Ellastone but the culprit was never discovered. Mr Fearn's descendents still live in the Town and arranged for this memorial to be erected in his honour.  

Ashbourne was substantially destroyed by fire in 1252. The present Market Place is likely to have been established afterwards. It was a large triangular space surrounded by timber frame buildings. It would have stretched from the hill on Buxton Road to the site of the Green Man Inn. The infill buildings came later.

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The Town Hall, historically referred to as The Market Hall, is constructed from stone in an eclectic architectural style typical of its date – 1861. The architect was Benjamin Wilson and the style is essentially Italianate.

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