England's largest and most elaborate provincial medieval city hall, Norwich Guildhall was the centre of city government from the early 15th century until its replacement by City Hall in 1938.
The exterior provides an excellent example of the flint work that the city is so famous for. The east end of the building was reconstructed in the 16th century and is crafted from alternate squares of faced flint and ashlar stone, giving the building its chequered effect.
As well as various courts, a prison and a chapel the building contained facilities for accounting and tax collection, accommodation for civic officials (it remains the home of the Sheriff's parlour today) and storage space for records, money and civic regalia.
The Assembly Chamber (or Sheriff's Court) was designed for meetings of the full medieval Council. It now contains a virtually intact late Victorian courtroom. Also known as the ‘Sword Room', the roof space was once the storage place of weapons.
The Council Chamber (or Mayor's Court) is more elaborate. Oak panelling, a sixteen-bay roof with tie-beams, renaissance decorative woodwork and stunning stained glass were from the start designed to impress.
The undercroft, beneath the east end pre-dates the building, and is thought to be an original feature of the earlier toll-house on this site. It was used to accommodate more dangerous criminals.
8.30am - 4.30pm
Areas of this building currently function as offices, therefore some areas are inaccessible at all times.
The Haunting of Barton Hall
- 15 May 2015 6:30-11pm
As part of 2015’s Museums at Night celebration, join immersive theatre company Strange Fascination for their chilling new theatre production ‘The Haunting of Barton Hall’.
Silas Barton, driven mad by the death of his wife, unleashes terrible things at Barton Hall. Years later, his great niece Katherine decides to open the Hall to investigate the supernatural tales surrounding it. But soon, she will wish she has left it to rot away, alone, save for the tormented spirits that are trapped there...
Please note the audience is required to follow the action in a number of rooms across different levels of The Guildhall. Fully licensed bar available throughout the evening.
Booking essential, tickets £18.50. Suitable for ages 18+
Tickets £18.50. Booking essential via Eventbrite http://bit.ly/1BmXOml
Guildhall education pack
This free education pack focused on Norwich's historic Guildhall provides educational resources and support materials to be used as part of the National Curriculum Key Stages 2 and 3 on Law and Order/Government for Citizenship and History.
The pack can be downloaded and printed out for ease of use.
- Compiled by Steve Lepper, HEART's Education Consultant, as part of a pilot scheme funded by the East of England Development Agency.
How to obtain
The file is available as a free download via the link above. (It is quite large so may take some time). If you are not able to download it, please call HEART on 01603 305575 and we will send you a CD with the pack on it.