The Guildhall

The Guildhall
131 High Street
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 3AA
England

Website

www.guildford.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3327

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Imside the Guildhall

The Guildhall in Guildford High Street is where the Mayor and Corporation of Guildford met to regulate the commerce of the Borough, and where the various Courts of Law sat in judgement.

The hall is Elizabethan, but probably stands on the site of the medieval Guildhall which is known to have existed in the 1300s. It was extended at the north end in 1589, on the occasion of one of Elizabeth I's visits to the town and her Coat of Arms in stained glass was inserted in the window above the Judge's Bench.

Later the Arms of James I's Queen, Anne of Denmark, were also inserted, together with the Arms of the Borough itself. There are paintings of Charles II, James II and William and Mary, and also one of the colour party of the Queen's Regiment commemorating the presentation of the Freedom of the Borough in 1946.

In 1683 the Guildhall was refurbished with the insertion of a Council Chamber at first floor level, with fine wood panelling and a carved chalk fireplace. The Guildhall also holds the Borough Plate silver collection.

Venue Type:

Heritage site

Opening hours

Please check before visiting.

Admission charges

Please check before visiting.

Additional info

There are guided tours of the Guildhall on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm and 3pm.

The Borough Plate collection of silver includes pieces which form the insignia of municipal authority and items used in connection with banquets and other functions.

Guildford has the rare distinction of having two maces: the older is of silver gilt and may date from the late 1400s although it was altered in 1581. The larger mace was given by Henry Howard, High Steward, in 1633. An unusual item is the Mayor's Staff of campeachy wood or logwood, said to have been given by Elizabeth I. It bears the date of 1565 and the castle which figures in Guildford's Coat of Arms.

The Mayor's Badge and Chain are of gold, dating from 1673, and there are similar badges in gold for the Mayoress and silver for other dignitaries.

Outstanding among the silver used for municipal entertainments are the basin and ewer bequeathed in 1574 by John Parkhurst, a Guildfordian who had become Bishop of Norwich. Notable also are several fine silver tankards and table decorations. Every item in the collection has been given to the town and people of the borough.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Heritage Open Days 2014: The Guildhall

  • 11 — 14 September 2014

Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument c1550, with later alterations and additions. Formerly a court and council chamber. Important facade added 1683 by public subscription. Access to the building includes the balcony overlooking the High Street. On Saturday there will be an opportunity to meet the Mayor of Guildford Councillor David Elms.

Jez Smith - Period musician, will demonstrate and talk about the music, instruments and musicians of the medieval and Tudor eras. Come and listen to a range of instruments from the past, including the hurdy gurdy, symphonie, lute, gittern and medieval/Tudor bagpipes 1200 - 1500

Admission

Please refer to the Heritage Open Days website for booking details and timings.

Website

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/the-guildhall5

Heritage Open Days 2014: The Guildhall

  • 11 — 14 September 2014

The Guildhall was originally the Church of the Holy Trinity which has stood on this site since medieval times. In 1968 the lease of the building was acquired by the Freemen and Guilds of Chester for use as their Guildhall. Nowadays it is run commercially but still displays the ancient Banner of the Smith's Cutlers and Plumbers Guild, the Company Shields and Board of Officers, and other artefacts. It is still used today by the Freemen for their Council meetings, the AGM's of various Guilds, and other official functions. It is therefore not always accessible to the public. Continuing tours during opening times. A recent discovery is the tomb of Sir John Whitmore, a medieval knight.

Admission

Please refer to the Heritage Open Days website for booking details and timings.

Website

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/the-guildhall2

Heritage Open Days 2014: The Guildhall

  • 13 September 2014

See inside this historic building which was once used as a law courts where William Blake was put on trial.

Admission

Please refer to the Heritage Open Days website for booking details and timings.

Website

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/the-guildhall15

Image of Great War Fashion

Great War Fashion

  • 3 November 2014 2:45-3:45pm

Costume presentation from the History Wardrobe. A unique insight into the lives and clothes of the ordinary women in extraordinary times using original and replica clothing and readings.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10 per person. Book via museums@harrogate.gov.uk or 01423 556188.

advertisement