Plymouth Guildhall

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Plymouth Guildhall is located on Guildhall Square in the city centre of Plymouth, Devon, England. It was constructed in the late 19th century by Norman and Hine of Plymouth with artistic direction by Edward William Godwin, destroyed in the bombings of WWII and subsequently rebuilt and reopened in the 1950s. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1975.[1]

Plymouth Guildhall
Plymouth Guildhall.jpg
The Guildhall
Plymouth Guildhall is located in Devon
Plymouth Guildhall
Location within Devon
General information
Architectural styleGothic
LocationGuildhall Square
Town or cityPlymouth
Coordinates50°22′11″N 4°08′29″W / 50.369791°N 4.141469°W / 50.369791; -4.141469Coordinates: 50°22′11″N 4°08′29″W / 50.369791°N 4.141469°W / 50.369791; -4.141469
Construction started1870
DestroyedWorld War 2
Technical details
MaterialLocal limestone
DesignationsGrade II listed building


The Great Hall[edit]

The Great Hall has capacity for 820 people with a balcony for additional or VIP seating.

Fourteen stained glass windows line the sides of the hall and depict notable moments in Plymouth’s history. A large tapestry hangs at the front and depicts the 'Miraculous Drought of Fishes'.

It has hosted many famous performers including Status Quo, Queen and Julian Lloyd Webber.[2]


The Guildhall and the surrounding buildings were reduced to shells during the Plymouth Blitz of the Second World War.

Paton Watson and Patrick Abercombie's plan for the reconstruction of the city following the bombing envisaged a Beaux Arts city, with a central axis focused on the Guildhall tower. The Guildhall was saved from demolition by a single council vote in 1951.

The Guildhall came to be seen as the focus of Plymouth's rebuilding and one of the most significant surviving buildings of the bombed city centre. It was one of the few buildings damaged during the raids that was restored rather than demolished.

The restoration of the Guildhall was undertaken between 1951–59 and involved the stabilisation of what remained of the original building along with the construction of new roofs, entrances and interior.[1] The section containing the municipal offices were demolished.[3]

Plymouth Guildhall is currently a multi-purpose venue, hosting a range of events throughout the year including graduations, award ceremonies, weddings and civil ceremonies.[4]


  1. ^ a b "GUILDHALL INCLUDING GREAT HALL, ASSIZE COURTS AND FORMER CITY TREASURY, City of Plymouth - 1113280 | Historic England". Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  2. ^ "The Great Hall | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK". Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  3. ^ "Celebrate, Share, Love Your Guildhall" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Plymouth Guildhall | PLYMOUTH.GOV.UK". Retrieved 2018-12-01.