Blue Plaque for historic Watford Colosseum

Watford Colosseum will receive a Blue Plaque as part of BBC Music Day celebrations, recognising the historic music venue’s outstanding acoustics and ongoing contribution to our musical heritage.

Published: Thursday, 15th June 2017
Watford Colosseum twilight image
Watford Colosseum at twilight

As part of BBC Music Day today, BBC Local Radio stations in England have teamed up with the British Plaque Trust to announce 47 historic Blue Plaques celebrating iconic musicians and venues. Watford Colosseum was the popular choice for BBC Three Counties in the Watford area, nominated by listeners, shortlisted by a local panel of experts and then selected by the national panel.

The plaque, to be unveiled by Elected Mayor Dorothy Thornhill at an event on 3 July, will acknowledge the Colosseum’s history and world renowned acoustics.

Councillor Peter Taylor, Deputy Mayor of Watford said: “Watford Colosseum has a proud history as an exceptional music venue and we’re delighted to see it recognised in this way. 

“With each refurbishment, from its early days as our Assembly Halls to its current status as a premier concert venue, we’ve focused on protecting and enhancing the acoustics for which it is renowned.

“We’ve always known its value, as have the residents of Watford, but we couldn’t be more pleased to have the Colosseum recognised nationally in this way.”

Derek Nicholls, Chairman of HQ Theatres, which manages the Watford Colosseum, said: “We’re absolutely delighted the Colosseum is to receive a Blue Plaque recognising its status as an iconic music venue.

“Over the years we’ve played host to many world-class musical acts and there’s so much more to come.

“Thank you to the BBC and all the listeners who nominated the Colosseum. It’s wonderful to have your support.”



  • BBC Music Day is celebrated around the country today, Thursday 15 June 2017.
  • The Blue Plaque is presented to Watford Colosseum for its contribution to musical heritage as part of BBC Music Day. It will be unveiled at an event at the Colosseum on 3 July 2017.
  • The Blue Plaque commemorates innovative, influential and successful people. It can also celebrate significant locations which are a big part of our musical heritage.
  • Watford’s premier concert venue is world renowned for its acoustic qualities. It was built in 1938 as the Watford Town Hall Assembly Rooms to the design of architect Charles Cowles-Voysey and acoustician Hope Bagenal. Bagenal’s other acoustic projects include the refurbishment of the Royal Albert Hall and the construction of the Royal Festival Hall. 
  • Julian Lloyd Webber described Watford Colosseum as “the finest recording venue in the world” and it has been used to record the soundtracks of Lord of the RingsThe Sound of Music and Star Wars. In 1995, Pavarotti came to Watford Colosseum to record Verdi’s Inno delle Nazioni with the Philharmonia Chorus. More recently, recordings from BBC Concert Orchestra have taken place in the auditorium.

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