Heritage Hub

Tamworth Heritage Hub in Middle Entry has to close on the 29th October,

THT Calendar 2023

THT Calendar 2023

We were asked several times in past years to produce a Tamworth calendar for sale in the Hub.  This year, 2023, we did


shop frountIn line with our objective of creating a museum, the Trust has acquired a shop Ankerside We had an official opening on the 27th April 2017 by the then Mayor of Tamworth Cllr Maureen Gant. 

Tamworth Heritage Hub

Tamworth Heritage Hub

 In late 2022 The Heritage Hub moved to Ankerside and will be used in several units there into early 2023
 Since 2023 the THT Committee is looking to meet the main aim of the constitution in having a proper Heritage Centre by acquiring a building for one. 

If you have a good knowledge of Tamworth’s History or wish to learn, why not become a volunteer to help man or advise on how to improve Tamworth’s Heritage.

St. Editha’s Church


East view of St. Editha’s Church – 1790

The question often arises why Tamworth, relatively small market town should possess such a large and magnificent Parish Church.  The answer is to be found in the whole history of the town from Saxon days 1200 years ago when Tamworth was an important settlement of Mercia.  It was here that King Offa built his great palace and it was here, as it is recorded, that he kept the great festivals of Christmas and Easter.  Between 796 and 857 no less than 14 Royal Charters were issued from Tamworth and since all of them were witnesses by ecclesiastics, the inference of the church here is irrefutable.  In 874, the Danes sacked Tamworth, leaving the town and probably its church a heap of blackened ruins.  There can be little doubt, however, that a new church was built.  In 925 Sihtrigg, Jarl of Northumbria, plighted his troth to Editha, King Athelstan’s sister at Tamworth in the presence of Ella, Bishop of Lichfield.

The story of pillage however continued, and in 943 the Danes razed Tamworth again and its church was destroyed.  Only to be rebuilt by Kind Edgar in 963.  It is of interest that the commissionaires appointed by Henry VIII, to make an inventory of church property reported that, the “Collegiate and Parish Church of Tamworth” which they had inspected, was founded by King Edgar.  Little, if any of that church remains.

Tamworth Church was rebuilt and enlarged by the Normans, and must have been a magnificent building.  In length it was at least equal to the present edifice and there is Norman masonry at both the extreme east and west ends of the church.  Its plan was cruciform with a central tower over the crossing.  There is a deeply splayed round-headed window on the south side of the Chancel, which in the 12th century was an outside wall.  This window has beautifully twisted columns with cushion capitals externally, and a delicately carved string course underneath.  But the pride and glory of Tamworth Church are the two great Norman arches in the Chancel.  Originally there were four, those four arches carried the tower and the position of the two former transverse arches can be traced by the roughness of the walls showing where they were cut away.  Remnants of the zig-zag moulding of the Norman screen wall, the originally grey stone, burned a deep red by fire, still face the Nave.

The Tamworth Church in the days of The Marmions was a noble building and is shown but the scale of its buttress still to be seen in the transepts; and by a very interesting collection of relics displayed upon the south aisles western most windowsill.

On May 23rd 1345 Tamworth was practically destroyed by fire and the imposing Norman Church was completely gutted.  Only the large transeptal arches and portions of the Quire, western walls of the Nave, and the North Aisle with porch, remain standing.  Fortunately Tamworth possessed in it’s then Dean, a man whose name is worthy of an honoured place in the long roll of great men and women from Tamworth, Dean Baldwin de Witney, in spite of untold difficulties, poverty at home and war abroad, and then the terrible Black Death, set to work to repair the ravages of the fire.  In 20 years he rebuilt the church practically as we see it today.

image003The interior of Dean Witney’s 14th century church however, had one striking difference from today’s St. Editha’s.  Instead of being flat, all its roofs were steeply pitched.   Dean Baldwin de Witney died in 1369 and left a noble monument to future generations.  He is buried within its wall.

St. Editha’s Church is famous for its extraordinary double winding staircase, which climbs the whole height of the southwest angle and gives Tamworth Parish Church its greatest distinction.  The staircase had two independent entrances, one from the outside, and the other from the outside of the church.  Two persons may ascend the tower simultaneously without seeing each other until they reach the top.

The Old Cottage Hospital

image001Part of the Old Cottage Hospital stands in Hospital Street at the entrance to the part of the town know as The Leys, which for centuries was renowned for its famous Orchards.  The Old Cottage Hospital, for many years was Tamworth’s main General Hospital, but most of the hospital was demolished in 1996.  The remaining part of the building, which can be seen in the picture on this page, is still in tact, but the rest of the site is now a dwelling conversion of flats, called MacGregor Tithe.

The inception of the Old Cottage Hospital was due to the initiative of the Rev. Brooke Lambert, but Tamworth owes its actual foundation in 1880 to the Rev. William MacGregor, who was, from 1878 to 1887, the Vicar of Tamworth.  When the hospital was being built, the original costs over ran, worried trustees went to see Tamworth philanthropist, William MacGregor, who told them, I didn’t promise you £300, I promised you a hospital.  By the time the building was completed, it had cost well over £1000.  So thanks to the far-sighted vicar, Tamworth Cottage Hospital became a reality.

Originally, the hospital was a single storey building, to which a second storey was added by public subscription, a few years later.  Then followed in 1889 the gift of the Hutton Wing, paid for by Mrs. Hutton of Dosthill, who also gave the town the Hutton Fountain, which used to stand at the junction of Comberford Road and Ashby Road on the North side of the town. From its foundation, the hospital had been maintained by voluntary subscription and splendidly managed by a committee representing the subscribers, the Borough Council, the doctors, the mining industry, the friendly societies and other public and charitable organisations.  For a number of years the Miners Welfare Fund, as well as individual mine owners and the organised mine workers, generously supported the hospital and subscribed to its building fund.

Up until the First World War, the Cottage Hospitals accommodation was 25 beds, when the hospitals resources were taxed to the limit and a movement was initiated for further extensions.  In 1924 two new wings were built which bought the number of beds to 50, and again in 1936, further extensions were urgently needed. The 1924 extensions, which cost £12,000, subscribed for by the public, included a grant of £2,500 from the Miners Welfare Fund, and embraced the erection of the Hall of Memory, a striking feature in the English Renaissance style, to the memory of the 608 men of Tamworth and district who fell in the Great War.  The interior of the hall, which still stands today, is decorated in a simple and dignified manner, the floor being of black & white marble (although it is rumoured that there are plans afoot to carpet this, which would be a great shame), upon the walls, there are three bronze tablets.  The inscription on the central tablet was unveiled by HRH The Duke of York on 29th May 1924, and reads “They whom this hall commemorates were numbered amongst those who at the call of King and Country left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their lives that others might live in freedom.  Let those that come after see to it that their name be not forgotten.”

In 1930 a hostel for the accommodation of hospital nursing staff was built in the grounds adjacent through the generosity of the Miners Welfare Fund.  The cost of this new facility amounted to £2,870, giving bedroom accommodation to 9 nurses with bathrooms and other amenities.  There was a sitting room for sisters and another room for nurses.  In 1932 a thoroughly up to date operating theatre and kitchens were added, again these marvellous improvements were provided by the Miners Welfare Fund.   At the laying of the foundation stone by Alderman G.H. Jones, Mayor of Tamworth and Chairman of the hospital committee, it was stated that the latest improvements cost in the region of £4,500.  This amount was raised by grants from the Miners Fund, the proceeds of the town carnivals and a donation of £50 in the memory of Dr. A.E. Richardson.  The hospital committee reported in its annual report of 1935 “Sincere thanks to various collieries in the area; Kingsbury, Pooley Hall, Tamworth, Birch Coppice and Glascote for their generosity at supplying one hundred and eighty two and half tons of free coal equal to a donation of £191 5s 6d and this gift helped considerably in keeping down the expenses of the hospital.”  The committee also offered grateful thanks to the supply of bread for four months free of charge from the Tamworth Cooperative Society Limited.

Few people today realise the virulence of the epidemics such as Cholera and Typhoid that raged through the town, which still suffered from Victorian sanitation and bad housing.  The lack of pure water and open drains and cesspits brought many deaths each year from Dysentery and Smallpox.  Tamworth’s Cottage Hospital was major benefit to the people of the town, thanks to the kindness and generosity of many people and organisations.  For many years served the town and its communities until its closure in the mid 1990’s. Although no longer a hospital, it still serves the residents of the town with splendid sheltered accommodation.



By kind courtesy of Christine Smith

ethelfledaEthelfleda was born around 864, the eldest child of King Alfred of Wessex and his Queen Ealhswith.  She may have been educated at the convent school at Wilton or at Winchester, both royal residences, and while excelling in academic studies, she had early on a leaning towards a soldiering life.  Eahlswith her mother, was a Mercian royal, and Ethelfleda was encouraged to keep the culture and heritage of both lands throughout her education. She brought up among some of the most interesting and influential people for her father, being a scholarly king, brought to his court some of the greatest academics of the day. The king wrote and translated documents, and had a collection of art and literature from centuries back.

During those times, girls (at least those of royalty and nobility) as well as boys received an education, and she obviously joined in all the sporting pursuits and military training the boys went through, archery, swordplay, fast and furious riding and horse-jumping, and becoming skilled in these gave her the impetus to achieve more than most women, and to become a leader of men.

The young girl was raised amid some of the most spectacular countryside along the borders of Wales, and as her lineage included both British and Anglo-Saxon royalty, she established liaisons with all the people from these different lands most of whom remained loyal to her throughout her life.

Ealhswith, her mother, was the daughter of Ethelred Mucel, Alderman of the Hwicce, a territory that mainly covered Herefordshire, by his wife Edburgh, a daughter of Cenwulf, King of Mercia (796-821) who was descended from King Penda`s brother Cenwealh.

The whole long saga of this warrior princess would have made a successful film or television series, but then we wouldn`t really want outside film-makers putting their own interpretation on a character such as Ethelfleda, who was among a few women unique in English history. 

Her relationship with her brother Edward does not appear, at least from later on in their lives, to have been all that close.  They were comrades, certainly, born into times of strife with the norse invaders landing on these shores, and the victories they achieved together could not have occurred without a mutual respect and understanding.

Edward, born around 868, does appear to have been made under-king of Mercia by his father, and Tamworth was undoubtedly the royal residence to which Edward took his concubine Egwynna, perhaps to keep her away from the tumult of the Wessex court. His two elder children were born there, probably his daughter first, who remained unnamed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and then his eldest son Aethelstan.

In the vast kindred of royalty at that time, and during Alfred`s reign when he was trying to unite England under his kingship, there were inevitably struggles for political power.  The Mercians had always been a territory apart, on the Welsh border, liaising with and often fighting against both Britons and Anglo-Saxons.  Their kings were a mixture of both.   They had been a kingdom since the 7th cent and one of their bitterest enemies throughout the 8th cent had been Wessex.  There was only a tentative peace between them by the time Alfred come to the throne and married a Mercian royal.   To have their leaders reduced in power and to be made as they saw it, vassals of a larger state, was unacceptable to many. Equally unwelcome were the continuing encroachments of the norsemen, and while the troops of Mercia rallied around Edward as he conquered the insurrecting Danes of the east Midlands and East Anglia, they were also wary of him, knowing that once he succeeded to Wessex he would annexe Mercia.  The people of this area of the midlands especially, looked to an uncertain future of being taken over either by Wessex or by the Danes.  One fact was certain, they would lose their identity as one of the longest-established and at one time most powerful kingdom in the country.

Ethelfleda was given in marriage in about 884 to Ethelred, a successor of Ceolred II,  King of Mercia, and described by some at the time, as a prince of Mercia.  The Anglo-Saxon historians maintain that very little has come down to us about Ethelred and yet its fairly obvious by the prefix of his name “Ethel”  (“Aethel”) that he belonged to the Mercian royal family.  Also because of the respect shown him by the king and the giving of Alfred`s daughter in marriage to him.  The Wessex sources referred to most of these royals of the former kingdoms however, as “Eorldermen” (Aldermen) and this is how Ethelred has been introduced onto the royal scene, as Alderman of Mercia. Ethelfleda was not of course just “given”; such a formidable princess would have had her own opinions on whom to marry and she married late for women at that time, being about 20 years old.

Its obvious that as marriages were kept within the royal kindred, Ethelred must have been a cousin of Ethelfleda, perhaps the grandson of Ethelred Mucel and Edburgh through their son Ethelwulf, who was Ealhswith`s brother, though there are many more with the prefix “Ethel” in the royal family, not specifically mentioned in the king-lists. It would explain the closeness of the families, who had been inter-marrying for some time, and might also explain the obvious rivalry between Edward and his sister and brother-in-law.  Edward, after he had later succeeded to Wessex, fought another cousin Ethelwold, at the Battle of Holme, 903, in which Ethelwold died.  This could be the Holme on the Ermine Street south of Peterborough in the fens where Edward was reclaiming land from the Danes.

Ethelred and Ethelfleda became extremely popular with the people, and were regarded as King and Queen of Mercia.  Many sources including those of the Irish mentioned them with these titles.  They were able to issue charters in their own right, and governed Mercia seemingly alone.  Ethelfleda and her brother grew to be rivals over the years, for events later on appear to be proof of that. Edward however, allowed his sister and brother-in-law to rule unhindered, and probably in any case could not during his father`s lifetime do much else.  All the royals recognised that inter-family strife could only result in the downfall of all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and they had come too far, at too great a cost, to allow misguided principles to bring down all that they had achieved.

The three went on their campaigns, often together, as many to carry out diplomatic assignments as to do battle.  The Danes of the north however did not trust Edward as they trusted the Earl and Countess of Mercia and this further inflamed relationships in the royal family.

After her father`s death in 899 Ethelfleda was anxious to bring up her nephew and his sister at Tamworth, safe from the intrigues of the Wessex court.  Her brother, she knew, would undoubtedly marry a Wessex noblewoman and she feared for the safety of Aethelstan if more sons were born.  In the event her worries proved real.  Aethelstan was left out of the succession, and attempts were made on his life that fortunately proved unsuccessful.  His aunt, as long as she was able to, worked towards her nephew gaining his rightful crown, and no doubt because of the way in which she had raised the young prince, he was one day accepted by the thanes of Wessex as their king.

Ethelfleda, who maintained childbearing was not for her in her warrior role, eventually gave birth to a daughter Elfwynne. The girl was born sometime before 903, but exactly when is not known.

It was in Wessex in the time of Alfred that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles were first compiled, but there were many important events not recorded, including those changes carried out by Ethelfleda, whom the people called “The Lady of the Mercians”.

The Danes were rapidly colonising the north-west, especially around the natural sea-ports of the Wirral.  They agreed to a supervised colonisation, but in many places, they wanted more.   They rose in revolt and attacked Chester, and Ethelfleda, sometimes on her own as Ethelred started to suffer from a chronic illness, planned a series of burhs (defences) at strategic points starting with the fortification of Chester, Mercia`s northernmost town.  Eventually she threw a defence around the whole of Mercia, and while some Welsh kings were letting the Danes in through their territories, others stood beside her on this issue.    The Danes had been driven off in areas of Cumberland, Northumberland and Scotland, but still kept coming.  The raids on eastern England despite the controls by the combined forces of Mercia and Wessex, continued.  Some norsemen had come to settle and work beside the people already here, and many norse settlements remain to this day, showing a continuous habitation.  Others settled, but planned to rise up in revolt at a suitable time and try and take more territory.   Mainly they invaded without warning in organised bands and plundered the rich abbeys and monasteries of the Christianised lands.  For centuries the English lived in fear of the ferocious invaders, and despite some modern historians saying they weren’t as bad as they were made out to be, the evidence is that nothing seemed to assuage the dreadful terror the norsemen inflicted on innocent settlers.  Several invasions of the monastic settlements on the Scottish and Northumbrian coasts had been bravely fought off, but those leaders were also looking for a long-lasting solution to this ever-present threat. The land of the Strathclyde Britons, (south-west Scotland) particularly suffered, and Ethelfleda allied with these rulers and those of other parts of Scotland, Cumbria and Northumbria.

Only the efforts of successions of English kings had kept them under control, but Ethelfleda planned to do something more permanent and used her political skills to achieve this. She planned to invite settlement from the north into the east Midlands and eastern England, into the fenland and the coastal regions, in an effort to keep the Danish settlers under control.

The marriage between Ethelred of Mercia and Osthryth, niece of King Oswald, in the 7th cent had instigated the building of churches in memory of Osthryth`s uncle, before she was murdered by unruly Mercian thanes.  Her husband after a 30-year reign, as a warrior and a scholar, retired to Bardney Abbey.  It was  Ethelred and Ethelfleda who, two centuries later, took the relics of King Oswald from Bardney to Gloucester to the new church they had dedicated to him.

For all the wars had depleted certain areas, the Anglo-Saxon era was one of constant renewal.  They had brought a superior plough here; they managed woodland, coppicing and pollarding trees;  they carried on much of the brilliantly-illuminated art and literature of the early Celtic Christian Britons before them, and they brought new breeds of livestock from the continent.

New settlements were made in eastern England, and the population was swelled by people from the north, who had obviously come from a terrain much different to that in their own lands, and who brought new fishing and farming skills to this flat area of fenland. Perhaps because life was so harsh, and it was a constant struggle with the land and the sea, people had little time for strife and in spite of their differences had to unite to survive. Whatever the reason, Ethelfleda`s plan worked.

All the people of Mercia felt safe for the first time in a long while, and they attributed their state of peace to her and remembered her in their worship and in their daily lives. They called her “the Lady of the Mercians”.

Throughout her long military career, Ethelfleda was also building and endowing churches. With her husband she fortified the episcopal city of Worcester whose revenues they shared with Bishop Waerferth.  They made Gloucester their chief residence, and under their rule it developed as a main administrative centre on the borders of Mercia and Wessex, and instead of at the palace of Kingsholme, the Mercian Council (the “Witan”) met at Gloucester in 896.  Recent archaeology has revealed the richness of the church of St. Oswald  they founded.

It seemed a sudden and drastic action for Ethelfleda to set about a concerted effort at conquest of the Danish settlements, but this she did in 910.  Despite her conciliatory efforts the Danes of York and Dublin had been pushing their boundaries out with brute force for too long. More norsemen from Scandinavia and from Iceland sailed around the coast, plundering the isolated settlements and being given safe harbour in the  Danish towns. Local efforts to contain their attacks on were inadequate.  Again, Ethelfleda planned something big.  And lasting.

The onslaught on the Danish settlements began in 910 and Ethelfleda, together with Ethelred, ailing but still soldiering on, and Edward, routed the Danish army at Tettenhall near Wolverhampton.  They closed in two flanks around the town, and caught the Danes in-between.   Ethelfleda had Welsh troops from her allies in her ranks and they proved skilful in counter-attack in hilly country.   On one occasion she chased the Danish leaders to Gwent where the king gave them aid.  Ethelfleda took his wife and some nobles hostage until he handed them over. Hastening back to Leicester, a Danish stronghold, she found to her anguish that four of her thanes had been slain within its walls, though not with the approval of all the Danish leaders.  The Countess ringed the town with her force,  and by her formidable manner and strength of purpose, caused the Danish leaders to at last accept her as their overlord.

While Edward concentrated on East Anglia and the south-east midlands, his troops being joined by many others from garrisons along the way, Ethelfleda led her army into the north midlands, through the hilly passes to the borders of the kingdom of York.    Many came to join her ranks on the way, and there was no shortage of manpower to build the many burhs she then started to construct.

Ethelred had been with her to supervise some of these, but he died in about 911 and Ethelfleda was left suddenly alone.  They had been through many dangers together, in fact their lives had been bound up in the defence of their land.  People mourned for their lost king, and Ethelfleda escorted his cortege to Gloucester, where in his tomb there was a place left for her.

The huge defensive strongholds, mainly earth-mounds with wooden palisades on top, and an encircling ditch, had been used since remotest times.  The Countess however, brought a new meaning to the word “defence” with forts at strategic places manned by troops, providing a regular watch over Mercia`s borders.

When looking at a map we can recognise many of the places of fortification, though some remain unidentified.  Chester, Bridgenorth, Worcester, Gloucester, Hereford, Stafford, Tamworth, Warwick, Eddisbury, Chirbury and Runcorn.  Also at Sceargate described as being on the Severn, and Bremesbyrig, which some say was Bromsgrove on a Roman road, but which I think could possibly have been Bromyard, a few miles south-west, near to which is the village of Bremenbury.  The name “Brom” could indicate “broom”, the plant, or as there are several places over a few miles beginning with “Brom” or “Brem”,  could come from “Breme” an Anglo-Saxon chieftain.  “Yard” comes from “Ghuerd”  (as in “Yardley” or “Ghuerdly”, Birmingham) and can mean an enclosed place.  There was also a burh at Weadburgh,  which  could possibly be Wednesbury or Wednesfield near Wolverhampton, which were norse settlements. The pattern of burhs shows how the Countess defended Mercia from the inroads of the Danes through the ports of the west, and also the central area of government in Mercia.

Probably wounded in her many battles, obviously exhausted and suffering from the effects of many years spent in military camps in distant , cold and windswept places, Ethelfleda died at Tamworth, in  918.   She may have heard before she died that a faction of the Danish leaders of York had accepted her as their overlord.   Formidable, but strong,  warrior-like but just and fair, she won the admiration and respect of all her people.  Her brother Edward paid his own respects to her, and the people of both the old kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, both English and Dane, mourned their princess, their Queen.  Ethelfleda`s last resting-place was beside her husband Ethelred in their tomb in Gloucester church.

Elfwynne should have become Lady of the Mercians after her mother died, but her uncle Edward the Elder usurped her rule and took her to Wessex, some say to a convent.  The Mercians who had just fought the Danes, now fought the king, for their independence, and for their rightful ruler.  This was the final stage of Mercia`s annexation to Wessex. It would no longer be a kingdom of it own.  There was some story that Elfwynne wed a Danish prince, but after that, say the history academics, Elfwynne fades into obscurity.

Who then is the Elfwynne who emerges in the fens of Cambridgeshire during the reign of King Aethelstan, son of Edward the Elder? She was wed to Aethelstan Half-King, so called because he controlled practically half a kingdom, that had been entrusted to him by Ethelred and Ethelfleda.  King Aethelstan, brought up at Tamworth by his aunt Ethelfleda, also respected this scholarly, religious man, who was a brilliant administrator and peace-keeper between English and Dane. This perhaps gives credence to the story that Elfwynne became the wife of a Danish prince.  He wasn’t a Dane, but had lived among the peoples of the east midlands long enough to become trusted by both English and Dane.

The king`s half-brother who succeeded him was Edmund the Elder who had a son Edgar, later to become Edgar the Peaceful, first acknowledged King of the English.

Edgar was like many royal children, fostered out throughout his childhood, and his foster parents were Aethelstan Half-King and his wife Elfwynne.  The atheling would have been carefully placed with people his parents trusted, and only very rarely would this have been outside the royal family.

Elfwynne was obviously Ethelfleda`s daughter, for her own daughter was named Ethelfleda Eneda, and she was wed when young to her cousin Edgar.  The “little white duck” was however left alone with a baby, Edward, when her 16-year-old husband, the newly-proclaimed king,  ran away with the youthful Wulfrith, obviously another cousin, from convent school at Wilton.   Their daughter was born a year later, but Wulfrith returned to the convent, eventually becoming Abbess.  Their daughter was St. Editha of Wilton.

Many years ago after writing to Gloucester library they could find very scant information on Ethelfleda Lady of the Mercians.  Some historians still maintain she was not buried at Gloucester.  New archaeology however is slowly unravelling the rich heritage of the past, and we may yet find the tomb of the Lady of the Mercians.


The Town Hall

Guy’s Town Hall

 Notes by Peter Edden B.A.


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.