Windsor Guildhall

Windsor Guildhall

Windsor Guildhall

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Description:
The Windsor Guildhall is the town hall of the town of Windsor, in the English county of Berkshire. It is situated in the High Street, about 100 metres from Castle Hill, which leads to the main public entrance to Windsor Castle. It is a Grade I listed building.

History of guildhalls in Windsor

The Borough of Windsor possessed a guildhall from early times. A deed of 1369, now in the possession of Eton College, refers to the "gildaule", and a charter of 1439 states that "pleas happening in the said borough...shall be pleaded and holden in the guildhall there, before the mayor and bailiffs for the time being". Norden's map of 1607 shows a market house in the location of the present guildhall: the main part of it is raised on wooden pillars to allow the space beneath to be used as a covered corn market.

Construction

The erection of the present guildhall was begun in 1687, under the direction of Sir Thomas Fitz (or Fiddes) but, on his death in 1689, the task was taken over by Sir Christopher Wren, whose childhood home had been Windsor, and was completed at a cost of £2687 - 1s - 6d. The new building was designed by Wren to be supported around its perimeter by stone columns, so that, like its predecessor, it would provide a covered area beneath it for the holding of corn markets.

The story is widely told that the borough Council demanded that Wren should insert additional columns within the covered area, in order to support the weight of the heavy building...
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