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Neville Malkin's "Grand Tour" of the Potteries

buildings in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme


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contents: index of buildings in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

No 23 - The Guildhall, Newcastle
 

High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1895
High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1895

picture: Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle under Lyme
Staffordshire Past Track
 

 

Now a grade II listed building with the following description.....

NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME SJ8445NE HIGH STREET 644-1/10/22 Guildhall 21/10/49 GV II Guildhall.

A re-modelling in 1861 of an earlier building of 1713. Red brick with stone dressings and plain tiled roof. 4 bays, articulated by giant stone pilasters, with 2-light sashes with stone architraves. Apsidal north-western end and stone full-height Tuscan portico to south-east with 2-stage clock tower and cupola over. Stone plinth and string course, parapet eaves.

 

The Guildhall, Newcastle
The Guildhall, Newcastle
pen drawing by Neville Malkin - May 1975

 

The Guildhall, High Street, Newcastle - April 2009
The Guildhall, High Street, Newcastle - April 2009
 


"The dignified, red brick and stone Guildhall in the High Street has presided over the busy market-place for more than 200 years and provides a fitting expression of the growth of Newcastle.

In the 12th century, when Newcastle was beginning to establish itself as an important trading centre, the High Street would have been one big marketplace, covered with stalls on market days. The market prospered, and in 1235 the King recognised its importance by granting the townsmen the right to form a Guild, which quickly became the real authority in the town. Later, craft guilds came into existence, and these included journeymen and apprentices as well as employers. Members of craft guilds were skilled practitioners of a variety of trades, and by the 14th century they had taken control of local government, ousting the guild merchants. In the 16th century the guilds were gradually superseded by a new administration which continued to call its meeting place a Guildhall rather than a Town Hall.

This building eventually became unsuitable and the present Guildhall was built on an adjacent site shortly after 1713. The clock tower was added later, as the inscription over the portico proclaims: This clock was presented to the town by James Astley Hall, J.P., Esq., MDCCCLXI (1861). In the rapidly expanding borough this building, too, became obsolete, and local government was transferred to the much larger and elaborate Municipal Hall following its completion in 1890."

Neville Malkin 14th May 1975

 

 

 


 


This clock was presented to the town by James Astley Hall Esquire J.P.  MDCCCLXI
This clock was presented to the town by James Astley Hall Esquire J.P.  MDCCCLXI
 (1861)


 


The shield close to the inscription is charged with a representation of a castle above indistinct creatures of the sea; the crest is a shell. The coat of arms on the building is probably one of the unofficial versions of the Newcastle-under-Lyme coat of arms used before the official version was granted in 1951.

Town Hall, Penkhull St. Newcastle
"Town Hall, Penkhull St. Newcastle"
Penkhull Street was renamed as the High Street

A view of the rear of the Guildhall (c.1900-1920), looking down the High Street. The Guildhall was built in 1713 and has undergone a number of changes. Originally the ground floor was open and was used for markets, until the Market Hall was built in 1854. In 1860, in order to provide more space, the ground floor arches were bricked up and clock tower with four clocks were added. The top rooms in the Guildhall were used for meetings by the Borough council and its committees, until 1860.

In front of the Guildhall can be seen the Market Cross, which originally stood in the centre of the High Street, opposite the end of the Ironmarket. The Market Cross has undergone some restoration in its time and in 1820 it was moved to its present location. At some point a Roman Doric column and lamp were added to the medieval steps.

 

picture: Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle under Lyme
Staffordshire Past Track
 

The rear of the Guildhall, High Street, Newcastle - April 2009
The rear of the Guildhall, High Street, Newcastle - April 2009
 

 


next: The Bulls Head, Newcastle
previous: The Barracks, Newcastle
contents: index of buildings in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

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