Blakeney Guildhall

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About

The picturesque village of Blakeney was the third most important port in Norfolk when the Guildhall was built in the 15th century, yet few buildings survive from this prosperous period. The Guildhall’s flint and stone construction reflects its own importance and that of Blakeney itself.

The building may originally have been a merchant’s house but was home to Blakeney’s guild of fish merchants by 1516 when they were granted a charter by Henry VIII. The building subsequently had a surprising variety of uses. It is shown on a map of 1682 with a castellated upper storey, though this part of the building, perhaps used as an inn, later fell into disrepair.

In the mid-19th century the undercroft was used for storing coal, which was traded along the coast between Newcastle and London. By the end of the 19th century the haven began to silt up and the port rapidly declined.

In the First World War the Guildhall served as a temporary mortuary for shipwrecked sailors.

Set just back from the quayside, the Guildhall was probably originally entered from the higher ground to the south. The surviving undercroft itself has attractive ribbed brick vaulting supported by a central row of octagonal stone columns. It has rendered walls and a cobbled floor, and was lit by three windows in the east wall.

At the south-eastern corner of the ruined upper storey are the remains of a brick-lined privy chute from the upper level, and a spiral stairway to the undercroft.

The exterior can be viewed at any time during daylight hours.

Parking: There is limited on-street parking in High Street. There is a pay and display car park opposite the pedestrian access path to the Guildhall off The Quay which is not managed by English Heritage.

Access: Not currently open but there are some steps down into the Guildhall's undercroft so this area is not accessible to wheelchairs users.

Opening times: The Guildhall exterior can be viewed during any reasonable daylight hours. The interior is currently closed but it can be viewed through a grille in the door.

Facilities: There are no facilities on site but it is in the centre of Blakeney village so there are shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs very close. The nearest public toilets are opposite the car park across The Quay from the site.

Dogs: Assistance dogs only in the guildhall interior. 

Facilities

Groups

  • Facilities for educational visits

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Road:
In Blakeney off the A149.

By Public Transport:
From Sherignham station it is 9 miles to Blakeney Guildhall.

Blakeney Guildhall

Type:Historic House

Back Lane, Blakeney, Norfolk, NR25 7ND

Tel: 01263 741106

Opening Times

* Please see website for further details.

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