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ABOUT US

Brooke’s Bar and Bistro is a grade II* listed restaurant steeped in history, located in the heart of Dudley Town Centre. Previously the borough's Sessions Court and later Magistrates Court. Brooke's Bistro is now a welcoming and comfortable place for you to relax, socialise and enjoy great food and drink.

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Diner eating fish finger sandwich
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OUR BUILDING

Brooke's Bar and Bistro, named after generous donor and Member of Parliament, Brooke Robinson, is located within what was the former Sessions Court. The Sessions Court later became a Magistrates Court and in the later 20th century it was changed into a banking hall and then offices. This space forms part of a number of Grade II* listed civic buildings designed by Architects Harvey and Wicks and it includes the Town Hall, the Coroner’s Court, the former Brooke Robinson Museum and the Memorial Tower which has a memorial lobby underneath where the names of the fallen from the First World War are inscribed on the walls.

In 1926, the foundation stone for these buildings was laid down by the Viscount Cobham, with the complex opened only two years later by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, in October 1928. Located above the entrance to the Memorial Tower is a stone balcony and in its central panel is an inscription composed for the building by Thomas Hardy.

Original Plan of Courts - black and white image
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Foundation Stone of Memorial Tower
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THE MAN BEHIND THE NAME

BROOKE ROBINSON

Born at Beaconsfield House, Dudley in 1835, Brooke Robinson was welcomed into a family of esteemed solicitors who greatly influenced his own career choices. Robinson himself went on to become a local solicitor and later ventured into politics.

He was passionately involved in the local community and was elected, unopposed, as Dudley's County Coroner and then served as the Member of Parliament for Dudley for nearly 20 years from the end of the 19th century, until 1905 when he decided not to stand again due to ill health. He died in 1911 and is buried at St Thomas’s Church, Dudley.

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In his will, Robinson left money and property to benefit the town of Dudley. A fortune in today’s money, it was used to build a new Town Hall, Coroner’s Court, offices and a museum to house his wonderful collection of paintings and artefacts, which he collected throughout his lifetime.

Dudley Town Hall officially opened in 1928 and the Brooke Robinson Museum was officially opened on 18 May, 1931.

Since 2016, Brooke Robinson’s collection has been housed at Himley Hall and Park. The new display has been designed and curated by the museum volunteers and will be refreshed on a regular basis.

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