The Guildhall in Bore Street has been central to the government of
the City for over 600 years, and in former times was not only the meeting
place of the Corporation but also at various times the court, prison, police
station, theatre and fire station.
The Guildhall takes its name from the ancient Guild of St Mary and
St John the Baptist, whose hall stood from very early times on this site.
It is not known when the first Guildhall was erected but it is believed
to have been around 1387, when Richard II confirmed the incorporation of
the Guild which even then had been in existence for many years.
The old prison for felons and debtors is at the rear of
the building and has been in existence since 1553. From here have issued
various convicts condemned to be publicly hanged at the gallows.
Major rebuilding took place in 1707 and 1741 when the
building was described as being so ruinous that it was in danger of falling
down. Most of the present ground floor, and the smaller rooms at first
and second floor level at the rear of the building date from this period.
A century later the building was once more in a very poor state of
repair and, in 1844 the Conduit Lands Trust agreed to provide £2,500 "to
put the Guildhall to rights once and for all".
It is these works which created the gothic-style frontage
to Bore Street and the magnificent panelled main hall on the first floor.
This room is 87' long by 25' wide and, with its high pitched roof and hammer
beams, has a fine medieval appearance. At the north end there is a large
stone tracery stained-glass window. This as originally in the north transept
of the Cathedral and was transferred to the Guildhall in 1891.
Major refurbishment and repair works have recently been completed to
restore this building as befits its historic significance, and to provide
improved facilities for its use by the public. The main hall and various
smaller rooms are widely hired out for public meetings, dances and as function
rooms, and there is a lively programme of arts events and concerts run
by the Lichfield District Arts Association. Civil marriages can take place at the Guildhall.
The Guildhall is used for Council meetings and civic events including the ancient
court of Arraye and St George's Court.
For further information on hiring, contact: Lichfield
City Council Tel. (01543) 250011.
See also Guildhall Map
See upcoming Guildhall Events