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Spanish Hall, Blackpool Winter Gardens

Spanish Hall, Blackpool Winter Gardens

Architects: J.C. Derham (architect), Andrew Mazzei (interior designer)

Atmospheric Style: Andalusian Village

First Opened: 28th May 1931 (93 years ago)

Former Names: Spanish Congress Hall, Spanish Courtyard

Website: www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk Open website in new window

Telephone: 01253 629600 Call 01253 629600

Address: 97 Church St, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1HL Show address in Google Maps (new window)

Originally opened as the Spanish Congress Hall in late May 1931, the hall was part of several new additions to the Blackpool Winter Gardens in the early 1930s. At its opening the hall was said to seat 2,000 under a roof that “gives the effect of perpetual sunshine”.

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The Spanish Hall’s interior decoration was executed in the Atmospheric style featuring an Andalusian village theme by French-born British art director Andrew Mazzei.

Blackpool Winter Gardens overview
Blackpool Winter Gardens first opened in July 1875 with a winter garden and roller skating rink, however it would not receive its official opening until July 1878 by which time several additional features had been added to the complex. The Opera House, originally opened as Her Majesty’s Opera House and designed by UK theatre architect Frank Matcham, was added in June 1889, and the Empress Ballroom was added in 1896. A palm house was added in 1897, at the same time as the Pavilion (originally constructed in 1878) was altered.
The original Winter Gardens Company was taken over in 1928, and in the immediately following years a number of additions and upgrades were made to the complex, generally designed by J.C. Derham and themed by Andrew Mazzei. Olympia Hall was opened in June 1930, and in May 1931 the Floral Hall was refurbished and several additional function spaces were added: the Baronial Hall, the Galleon Bar, the Renaissance Restaurant, the Windsor Bar, and the Spanish Congress Hall.

The rectangular hall is roughly 79ft by 64ft (24m by 19.5m) and its vaulted ceiling consists mainly of large skylight panels, allowing for the admission of large amounts of natural daylight.

Wrapping around the entire hall is a three-dimensional frieze depicting Andalusian villages and vistas, complete with clouds painted on the walls above which give way to the skylights. At all four corners of the hall there are segmental battlemented balconies with clusters of Spanish village buildings. Tiny lights inside the buildings help create a warm glow when the daylight from above has faded.

According to the English Heritage listing for the complex Link opens in new window, the east end of the hall has a balustraded balcony and above it a large applied relief arcade with barleysugar columns, the apertures revealing a Spanish landscape mural; whereas the west end has three Moorish arches with balconies all set within a large semi-circular, elaborately decorated mounting.

In 2012, Blackpool City Council completed a light-touch refurbishment of the hall. In August 2019, Conlon Construction completed a 14-month, £1.9 million restoration which won them a Silver award at the National Site Awards 2019 hosted by the Considerate Constructors Scheme Link opens in new window.

Listed/Landmark Building Status

How do I visit the Spanish Hall, Blackpool Winter Gardens?

Join us for a fascinating tour of the Winter Gardens Blackpool. Knowledgeable guides have many years’ experience at the venue and can offer a unique insight to the fascinating building and the many events its hosted. These tours are one of the best ways to relive the history of the venue and visit backstage areas not often open to the public. Tours will allow you to visit backstage of the Opera House and a chance to tread the boards so many famous faces have walked on before. The grandeur of the Empress Ballroom will be explored whilst the often-overlooked Spanish Suites will offer a unique insight into Blackpool’s largest entertainment venue.

Venue Tour admission price includes a tea or coffee in the Mazzei Cafe following the tour. Options are available to upgrade to include a traditional Afternoon Tea or with Fizz in the stunning Mazzei Cafe after your tour. Please note the Winter Gardens is a working building and we cannot guarantee access to all areas. Approxiamte tour time: 120 mins.

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