Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of THE GUILDHALL
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Guildford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 99764 49492


SU 9949SE & SU 9949NE GUILDFORD HIGH STREET (North Side) 8/72 & 5/72 The Guildhall 1/5/53


Guildhall. Hall or courtroom built c.1550 and extended at north (rear) end in 1589; front council chamber and facade added in 1683 by public subscription, cupola rebuilt in replica in 1882, internal alterations in 1893 and further restorations and alterations carried out in C20. Timber framed, clad in brick to rear and with painted timber front, plain tiled roof above with wooden cupola on lead covered plinth and under ribbed lead dome with iron finial. Two storeys, first floor projecting over on three caryatid brackets carved with torsos in a vigorous style. Cupola above of octagonal plan on lead plinth with deep moulded eaves, round-arched openings on each face with turned balustrades across lower half and moulded base below. Bell removed in 1930 to Guildhall Museum and new one cast in 1932. Small stack immediately behind cupola on roof ridge. Three bay front with trapezoidal pediment above and deep, bold modillioned eaves cornice. 3 large mullioned and transomed leaded casements across the first floor flanked by Ionic pilasters on panelled pedestals. Outer triangular pediments over windows flank centre segmental pediment and narrow side windows in return walls each have squashed triangular pediment above. Plain iron balcony railings across the first floor with angle finials and three panels of scrolled work. Three double doors under over-lights across the ground floor. From the centre of the pediment projects an ornate clock, dated 1683 and possibly made by John Ayleward, although the mechanism seems to be older than the case, supported on a gilded beam and five elaborately ornamented and scrolled ties. Square clock case under carved segmental pediment and flanked by thick ornate foliage and fruit garlands; minute hand added in 1828. Interior:- Courtroom/Hall: Three bay open hall with Cl9 panelling up to height of 14 feet on walls. Chamfered Queen-post, windbraced roof with narrow chamfers on tie-beams and chamfered windbraces. Stained glass window in north end wall with 3 panels of stained glass including Royal Coats of Arms and the ancient and modern arms of the town of Guildford. Mayor's Parlour (behind Courtroom):- Panelled and with plaster frieze around eaves decorated with animals, including rabbits, hares and hedgehogs representing the countryside around the town. Staircase to upper floor inserted in 1893 and closed off at the bottom by wrought-iron gates with gilt flowers and scroll decoration which, with accompanying standards for lights were made by the Guildford Foundry. First Floor Council Chamber:- Panelled throughout under wooden dentilled and scroll-bracketed eaves cornice. Clunch fireplace under fielded panel over- mantle and in dentilled Ionic, fluted baluster-type pilaster surround on the angled wall is believed to have been moved from Stoughton House. The Jacobean style caryatids at the ends support a lintel with half-egg patterns and carved panels representing the four humours: sanguineus, cholericus, phlegmaticus and melancholicus based on engravings by Raphael Sadeler after allegorical paintings by Marten de Vos. Iron fire surround decorated with foliage scrolls and Prince of Wales feathers. The courtroom was originally connected by an alley running along the old medieval plot boundary to the police cells at the rear of the police station on North Street . Photographs in N.M.R. The Guildhall forms the focal point of the High Street at Guildford being two- thirds of the way up the hill and is of great landscape value, the Guildhall clock having become the symbol of Guildford and the most famous clock in Surrey.


Listing NGR: SU9976149498


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Alexander, M, Guildford As It Was, (1978)
Malden, H E, The Victoria History of the County of Surrey: Volume III, (1911), 551
Pevsner, N, Nairn, I Rev. by Cherry, The Buildings of England: Surrey, (1971), 276


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 08 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03807/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Norman Wigg. Source Historic England Archive
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