Record Details

NHER Number:13262
Type of record:Building
Name:The Guildhall, Market Place


The present guildhall of 1901 stands on the site of several predecessors, with the original guildhall having been constructed in 1337. It was built by H. J. Green from gault brick with stone dressings and has a slate roof with a central polygonal cupola. It has two statues which come from the earlier buildings of 1690 and 1799, including a Coade stone statue of Justice.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8717 8300
Map Sheet:TL88SE

Full description

The present guildhall of 1903 stands on the site of a predecessor of 1680.
Information from Bolingbroke Collection.

Listing 1993 dates present Guildhall to 1901 not 1903.
By H. J. Green, L-shaped, two storeys and dormers, gault brick with stone dressings, slate roof with central polygonal cupola. Convex porch in angle of wings. Three large gables on main block with Venetian windows; subsidiary wing with round-headed windows between Tuscan columns. Large court with barrel vault and Coade stone statue of Justice, small court with panelled bench.
Information from (S1).
E. Rose (NLA), 29 March 1994.

(S2) states that there are two statues, these come from earlier buildings of 1690 and 1799, the latter is the Coade stone one. The original guildhall was of 1337, converted into a common hall in 1573.
E. Rose (NLA), 27 September 2004.

(S3) states that in 1799-1780 the Guildhall was almost entirely rebuilt. The previous structure was largely medieval, in black flint, with substantial additions made in the 1680s. Further alterations were proposed in 1797, but preliminary investigations revealed that parts of the existing structure were unsafe. As a result most was reconstructed, with the provision of a new council chamber and courthouse, and the building of a cupola and clock tower. Only a century later, in 1901-2, it was found that the late 18th century foundations and workmanship were also defective, and another virtual reconstruction was required.
The workhouse serving the three parishes of Thetford was situated in the basement of the guildhall until the 1760s.
Information from (S3).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 5 August 2008.

February 2009
Planning permission granted to allow expansion of the Thetford Dad's Army Museum from its current location in the old garage and office into an adjoining basement room. Minor internal works are proposed.
See (S4) and (S5) for further details
H. White (NLA), 7 April 2009

Monument Types

  • GUILDHALL (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1337 AD to 1799 AD)
  • WORKHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1700 AD? to 1769 AD?)
  • COURT HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1799 AD to 1901 AD)
  • GUARDHOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1799 AD to 1901 AD)
  • GUILDHALL (Post Medieval to Modern - 1799 AD to 1901 AD)
  • COURT ROOM (Modern - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)
  • GUILDHALL (Modern - 1901 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

<S1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S2>Monograph: Graham, C.. 2003. Ordering law: the architectural and social history of the English law court.. p 411.
<S3>Monograph: Crosby, A.. 1986. A History of Thetford.. 2. pp 87, 92, plate 6.
<S4>Unpublished document: The Dad's Army Museum. 2009. Design and Access Statement. The Thetford Dad's Army Museum, The Guildhall, Thetford.
<S5>Unpublished document: Listed Building Consent.

Related records - none

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