Venue Type & Location


Site Name: Guildhall
Location: Sandwich
County: Kent
Location Type: Town - in town at determined location

Performance Spaces


Sandwich's brick Guildhall, located in the Cattle Market, is the town's third Guildhall. The first probably stood between King Street and The Chain, and the second in what is now St Peter 's churchyard.

Although the exterior has been entirely refaced and the Elizabethan building substantially extended, the hall on the upper floor dates from 1579 and is adjacent to the mayor's parlour at the high end. Stairs on the W side were originally the sole access from the ground floor.

Performance History

As the seat of civic government and the centre for festive occasions, Sandwich's Guildhall was probably the venue for most performances by touring entertainers before the mayor and city officials before 1642.

Current Status

Extant and open to the public at stated times. The town council still meets in the 16th c. Council Chamber room on the upper storey twice a month.

History of the Venue

13xx First Guildhall built.

14xx Second Guildhall built.

1579 Third Guildhall built on a new site in the Corn Market.

1607 Oak panelling added to the ground floor Court Room, including a collapsible Jury Box.

1703 Storm damage required building repairs.

1764 Guildhall extended along the W side, with a private entrance and staircase added for access to the Council Chamber.

1812 Facade encased in yellow brick.

1912--14 Exterior rebuilt in mock Tudor style designed by E.W. May and the building enlarged to include a SW wing using older materials. A neighbouring 17th c. building, the Guard House, was incorporated in the extension.

1933 Further enlarged.

1973 The New Hall added at right angles across the square.

Record Source

REED Kent: Diocese of Canterbury 2.824--67

Bibliographic Sources

  • Boys, William. Collections for an History of Sandwich in Kent. Canterbury : Npub, 1792.
  • Brayley, E.W. The Beauties of England and Wales; or Delineations, topographical, historical and descriptive of each county. Beauties of England and Wales. 18 vols. London: Vernor and Hood, 1801–16.
  • Clarke, Helen, Sarah Pearson, Mavis Mate and Keith Parfitt. Sandwich: The Completest Medieval Town in England. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2010.
  • Green, Ivan. The Book of the Cinque Ports: Their Origin and Development, Heyday and Decline. Buckingham: Barracuda, 1984.
  • Martin, Elizabeth. Sandwich Guildhall 1517–1979. Sandwich: Sandwich Local History Society, 1979.
  • Newman, John. North East and East Kent. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth and New York: Penguin, 1983.
  • Pearson, Sarah. The Guild Hall, Cattle Market Sandwich: The Court Halls of Sandwich and Related Buildings. Charing, Kent : The Author, 2006.
  • Sandwich: Ancient Town & Cinque Port. Sandwich: Sandwich Town Council, 2001.