Community‎ > ‎

The Guildhall

The Guildhall dates from the early 16th century, built in the reign of Henry VII.
The building stands north east of the crossroads, and is timber framed  with a jetted upper storey with brackets and a carved bressumer with one medieval door.
 
 
It's original function was a meeting place for the guild of St. John the Baptist, a combination of religeous and secular union originally established in the late 14th century to provide mutual help and assistance to its members.
 
The Guild held regular services in the south chapel of the church and one of its duties was to maintain the hall with money from the sale of barley to Guild members.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
At the Dissolution the hall somehow escaped confiscation and went to serve as the village workhouse. members of the Watson family were masters from 1623 until the building was taken over for the use as a vilage school from 1741 - 1770.
 
William Watson was believed to be the last Master of the Workhouse, he died in 1805, and was buried in the churchyard. The stone at his grave reads : Master of the Workhouse.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Poverty was rife at the end of the 1770's and an annexe was added to the building and garrets opened in the roof. 

 

 
 
 
The new poor law of 1834 ended its use as a workhouse, the indoor poor being transferred to the Linton Union. The building continued in use as low rental tenements for the poor and, despite the efforts of the overseers to repair and maintain the rooms, a sanitary inspector visiting the premises in 1853 declared that its inmates were living more like beasts than human beings.
 
 
   
John Pamphilon agreed with the overseers and churchwardens to take responsibility for renting out the tenements and renovating and maintaining the premises.
Pamphilon reduced the number of tenements and improved the condition of the inmates.
 
 
 
It was still used for the poor and paupers, they were given parish allowance and could live there rent free, but provided their own food, by the money given them by the parish officers.
After the reformation, the parish regained it's guildhall.
However, many years later, in 1966 the Parish Council sold the building. It was then renovated in 1972.