Point of Interest

The Guildhall

England / Europe

The Guildhall was built beside the Corn Market by Thomas Fitch (1636-88), and John Clark, the foundation stone laid in 1687 and the work complete by 1690. There had been previous Guildhalls since the Middle Ages, one outside the Lower Ward of the Castle, built before 1369. Then a wooden one was constructed in the High Street in 1592, but by the middle of the 17th century it was derelict. In 1828 James Bedborough extended and renovated the Guildhall to the east, over an old butchers’ shambles. The Council asked him to support the structure with four columns. Knowing these were not needed, he left a gap at the top of the pillars. Further restoration work was undertaken in 1852. Since then the Guildhall has served as an assize court, was a food hall in the Second World War, and a council chamber for the Royal Borough of New Windsor until 1974, when the council merged with Maidenhead. In December 1998 the Guildhall was licensed as a place for weddings. Thus The Prince of Wales married Mrs Camilla Parker Bowles here in 2005 and Sir Elton John entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish later the same year. The Guildhall houses the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum collection and next door is the Crooked house and a stone drinking fountain.

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