In 1206, Totnes was granted a charter by King John. Thus it became a free town, able to make its own laws. The merchants of the town also obtained permission to establish a guild. The original guildhall at Totnes was located in the High Street.
In 1553, King Edward VI granted Totnes a charter allowing a former Benedictine priory building that had been founded in 1088 to be used as a Guildhall and school. The Guildhall was previously used as the monks' refectory. In 1624, the Guildhall was converted to be a magistrate's court. Soldiers were billeted here during the English Civil War. Until 1887, it was also used as the town gaol with the addition of prison cells. It remained a magistrate's court until 1974.
During the history of the Guildhall, over 600 town mayors have been commemorated for their service in the lower hall.
Nowadays the building is used by Totnes Town Council for meetings and other ceremonial events. It is also open to the public during weekdays. In the Council Chamber there are large oak tables used by Oliver Cromwell and the general and parliamentary commander-in-chief Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron for discussions in 1646.
- Grade I listed buildings in Devon
- List of museums in Devon
- Totnes Castle
- Totnes Elizabethan House Museum
- The Guildhall, Ramparts Walk (behind St Mary's Church), Totnes Town Council, UK.
- Totnes Guildhall, AboutBritain.com.
- Totnes Guildhall, Dartington Village, UK.
- Totnes Guildhall, Visit Britain, UK.
- Totnes Guildhall, iTraveluk.co.uk, UK.
- Totnes Guildhall, Devon County Council, UK.
- Totnes Guildhall, Whatsonwhen.
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