The Town Hall

Guy’s Town Hall

 Notes by Peter Edden B.A.

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The Hall was constructed 1700-1701 on the site of the previous hall, parts of which had vaults under the Butter Market and some timbers are incorporated in the present building.  The expense, reputedly £1000, was undertaken by Thomas Guy, the then MP for Tamworth.  No documentation exists in Guy’s Hospital archives affording details of contracts and specifications.  It is likely that Guy employed his maternal relations, the Vaughtons to carry out and supervise the whole programme, which was his normal practice in his Tamworth concerns.  At this stage no architect can be confidently credited with the design of the hall, however, the affinity of details and general design to the stables of Calke Abbey 1727, built by the Burton on Trent builder Gilkes render his authorship more than probable.

Guy’s finished hall comprised a rather austere double cube room approached on the eastern side by a flight of steps, from which it was not unknown for rival factions to pitch their opponents at election time.  During the period 1700-1900 the hall was not only the centre of the civic government of the town, but also an amenity centre.  Tamworth had no assembly rooms in the 18th century and until later in the reign of George III had no theatre.  The hall was used for such social gathering as contemporary society required.

In its history, the building has twice been extended.  During the late 18th century to accommodate the Town Clerks office and during the early 19th century to afford a Mayors Parlour.

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