Guildhall, Chester

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Guildhall, Chester
Guildhall, Watergate Street, Chester (1).JPG
Guildhall from Watergate Street
Guildhall, Chester is located in Cheshire
Guildhall, Chester
Guildhall, Chester
Location in Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°11′24″N 2°53′41″W / 53.1899°N 2.8946°W / 53.1899; -2.8946
OS grid reference SJ 403 663
Location Watergate Street,
Chester, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Former name(s) Holy Trinity Church, Chester
Functional status Redundant
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 28 July 1955
Architect(s) James Harrison
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Completed 1869
Materials Red sandstone
with slate roofs

The Guildhall, formerly Holy Trinity Church, is a redundant church in Watergate in the city of Chester, Cheshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.[1] The church closed in 1960, became known as the Guildhall, and was converted to be used for secular purposes.


The original building, which had a north aisle, probably dated from the 14th century. The east end and south side were rebuilt in 1680. This church had a spire which was rebuilt in the 1770s but in 1811 was taken down for reasons of safety.[2] The present church was built between 1865 and 1869 to a design by James Harrison. He died before it was finished and the church was completed by the firm of Kelly and Edwards of Chester.[1]



It is built in red sandstone with grey slate roofs. Its plan consists of a continuous nave and chancel with a clerestory, a west porch, a detached south spire and porch, and a vestry to the south. The tower has three stages with double doors to the east and above this a relief sculpture of Christ enthroned. The second stage has a lancet window and clock faces to the east and south. The third stage has two-light bell-openings, corner buttresses, a pierced parapet and a recessed octagonal stone spire with three lucarnes to each face.[1]


Most of the fittings have been removed. The east window, dated 1885, is by Kempe,[3] and depicts God and major Old Testament figures and saints.[1] Now hidden by flooring is a memorial to John Whitmore who died in 1374.[3] The former chancel screen and the reredos are also hidden.[1]

Present day[edit]

The building has been converted into two halls, the Major Hall and the Lower Hall, and is used for a variety of events, including conferences, receptions, dances, and concerts.[4] Following a decision of Chester Council, the Guildhall is now run privately - for discos - and public access for historical research is no longer possible.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England, "Guildhall, Chester (1376467)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 22 February 2012 
  2. ^ Salter, Mark (1995), The Old Parish Churches of Cheshire, Malvern: Folly Publications, p. 29, ISBN 1-871731-23-2 
  3. ^ a b Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 241, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  4. ^ About us, Chester Guildhall, retrieved 22 February 2012