Totnes Guildhall

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Totnes Guildhall.

Totnes Guildhall is a Grade I listed 16th-century Tudor historic guildhall, magistrate's court, and prison, in the town of Totnes, south Devon, in southwest England.[1]

History[edit]

In 1206, Totnes was granted a charter by King John.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

Today[edit]

Nowadays the building is used by Totnes Town Council for meetings and other ceremonial events. It is also open to the public during weekdays.[6] 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.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 50°25′56″N 3°41′16″W / 50.4321°N 3.6879°W / 50.4321; -3.6879