Totnes Guildhall

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Totnes Guildhall
Totnes Guild Hall.jpg
LocationTotnes, Devon
Coordinates50°25′56″N 3°41′16″W / 50.4321°N 3.6879°W / 50.4321; -3.6879Coordinates: 50°25′56″N 3°41′16″W / 50.4321°N 3.6879°W / 50.4321; -3.6879
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated7 January 1952
Reference no.1235949
Totnes Guildhall is located in Devon
Totnes Guildhall
Location of Totnes Guildhall in Devon

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


In 1206, Totnes was granted a charter by King John enabling to makes its own bylaws.[2] The merchants of the town also obtained permission to establish a guild and established the original guildhall at Totnes which was located in the High Street.[2]

In 1553, King Edward VI granted Totnes a charter allowing a former Benedictine priory building, which had been used as the monks' refectory,[3] to be converted into a guildhall and school. The building was converted to be a magistrate's court in 1624 and soldiers were billeted here during the English Civil War: Oliver Cromwell and Thomas Fairfax met for discussions at the oak tables in the main hall in 1646.[4]

Until 1887, it was also used as the town gaol with the addition of prison cells.[5] It remained a magistrate's court until 1974.[4] During the history of the Guildhall, over 600 town mayors have been commemorated for their service in the lower hall.[6]

Current use[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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England. "The Guildhall, Totnes (1235949)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b Totnes Guildhall,
  3. ^ Totnes Guildhall Archived 8 March 2012 at, Dartington Village, UK.
  4. ^ a b Totnes Guildhall Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Whatsonwhen Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Totnes Guildhall Archived 14 July 2012 at, Visit Britain, UK.
  6. ^ Totnes Guildhall,, UK.
  7. ^ Totnes Guildhall Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Devon County Council, UK.