The Guildhall

The Guildhall, Leicester
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The Guildhall has had many uses and lives. The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessman and gentry).
By the end of the 14th century the corporation of Leicester had begun to meet in the Guildhall. When the Guild was dissolved in 1548 the Corporation bought the buildings.
In 1632 the Town Library was moved into the East Wing of the Guildhall from St Martin' s Church. It is the third oldest public library in the country.
The Great Hall was often used as a courtroom and was also used regularly for theatrical performances, banquets and civic events. It is thought that Shakespeare performed here.
With the growth of the town a new Town Hall was built on Horse Fair and opened in 1876. For the next fifty years the Guildhall was used for several purposes including the headquarters of the local police and a school. Following a major renovation programme it was opened to the public as a museum in 1926.
The Guildhall has a well-founded reputation of being a haunted building and has featured on Living TV's 'Most Haunted'. If you have an interest (and the nerve) to spend an evening in a haunted building, you can take part in a 'Ghost Watch' at the Guildhall or Leicester Castle. For further information on coming events or to arrange private bookings for a minimum of 10 people, telephone 0116 253 2569.

Venue Type:

Library, Castle or defences, Museum

Opening hours

Open daily: 11am - 4.30pm

Admission charges

Free admission

Additional info

For easier wheelchair access (via side gate to avoid cobbled entranceway), please telephone the museum on 0116 253 2569 prior to visit.

Today, The Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country, and as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with 'Crankie Gemmie' and 'Emma Smith', two of Leicester's notorious criminals who can be found lurking within the Victorian police cells.

Collection details

Architecture, Law and Order, Performing Arts, Personalities, Social History

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.

Nosferatu (1927) with accompaniment from Dmytro Morykit

  • 30 October 2015 From 8:45pm

Nosferatu (1927) with accompaniment from Dmytro Morykit. Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. Silent German expressionist classic based on the story Dracula. Dmytro Morykit's seminal new piano score is an electrifying work which brings a fabulous emotional charge to this iconic film. “Morykit’s score has a timeless quality..wonderful entertainment." Culture Northern Ireland PG rating – 84 mins



Joint ticket for Van Helsing and Nosferatu just £10 when booked together. To book please call 0116 253 2569 (advance booking recommended).

Van Helsing’s Music Box

CCM Theatre presents: Van Helsing’s Music Box

  • 30 October 2015 From 7:30pm

Join the Van Helsings for a gothic camp, vamp, romp of biting satire punctuated with sucky songs. Gorge yourself on an evening of garlic infused japes.

“Heart stopping **** ” Transylvanian Sun.

Written by Andy Jenkins. Directed by Michele Gutteridge

Celebrate Halloween in Leicester’s haunted Guildhall. Enjoy the atmospheric surroundings of the historic timber-framed hall, alongside an open fire with fun and frights! Part of the Museums at Night festival.



Joint ticket for Van Helsing and Nosferatu just £10 when booked together. To book please call 0116 253 2569 (advance booking recommended).


The Guildhall
Guildhall Lane

logo: Museums at Night





0116 253 2569

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.