The Guildhall dates back to 1795 and, housing a court room and cells, it wasn’t always a popular place to be!
Thankfully we’ve moved on since then and our historic artefacts such as the 16th century fireplace and crystal chandeliers are coupled with all modern facilities and an experienced, professional team.
What we offer
Whether providing audio-visual support for a 200 person conference, lunch and refreshments for delegates, or a quick turnaround from dinner to dancing our team can facilitate it.
Our modern kitchen will make any catering needs easy, while our state of the art lift allows everyone access. The Guildhall is also connected to a large, versatile outside space that can be used for nearly any occasion or venture.
The Guildhall today is the fourth such building within the City of Salisbury. The first Guildhall dates back to medieval times, when it was known as “The Bishop’s Guildhall”. At that time the building was under the control of the Bishop who exercised his feudal rights of criminal and civil justice.
Changes were made to improve public access to the building, to bring further rooms into public use and to do necessary maintenance and repairs. Following this refurbishment, the building became the home of Salisbury City Council, with offices in the upper floors and council meetings held in the principal rooms.
Since 1829, other alterations have been made, including extensive internal alterations. Since 1835 the building has been under the control of local government and is now managed by Salisbury City Council.
The new Guildhall was built on the site of the old one. Alterations were then made to the building in 1829 which included the addition of the Grand Jury Room, extensions to the courts and new accommodation for the judges.
An Act of Parliament was passed providing for the surrender of the Bishop’s rights to the Guildhall on the condition that a new City jail would be provided.
The Merchants Guild built a new headquarters called “The Council House” to the north of the Bishop’s Guildhall, near to where the present War Memorial stands.
The Council House burnt down after a banquet. The second Earl of Radnor provided for a new building at his own expense. At the same time the opportunity was taken to clear up The Bishop’s Guildhall which had fallen into disrepair and was in ruinous condition with the Bishop unable to afford its upkeep.
About the area
Salisbury offers an experience like no other, with much to discover within the city and surrounding areas. History and heritage seeps through the city streets with attractions like Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury Museum and Old Sarum proudly highlighting our past.
To the present, we have many entertainment venues to experience from our Salisbury Playhouse theatre to top galleries, escape rooms and inflatable fun! But, if you want to head outside, our parks and outdoors spaces make the most of the breathtaking Wiltshire countryside setting.
What's on and things to do
Whether you live near or far, and are looking for historic or modern – Salisbury has you covered.
- Salisbury Cathedral
- Mompesson House
- Salisbury Arts Centre
- Castle Hill Country Park
- The Salisbury Museum