kids encyclopedia robot

Cambridge Guildhall facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Cambridge Guildhall
The Guildhall, Cambridge - - 514416.jpg
Location Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Built 1939
Architect Charles Cowles-Voysey
Architectural style(s) Neo-Georgian style
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated 2 August 1996
Reference no. 1268372
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 420: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).

Cambridge Guildhall is a civic building in the centre of the historic city of Cambridge, England. It includes two halls, The Large Hall and The Small Hall, and is used for many disparate events such as comedy acts, conferences, craft fairs, live music, talks, and weddings. It is also used by the University of Cambridge for certain examinations. It is owned and managed by the Cambridge City Council, and it is their seat of government. The Guildhall is located on the south side of Market Hill, the market square in Cambridge, between Peas Hill to the west and Guildhall Street to the east. It is a Grade II listed building.


The earliest known property on the site was a house owned by a wealthy Jew called Benjamin. The building was granted to the town by King Henry III in the 1220s. Part of it was used as a prison. An adjoining synagogue was leased to the Franciscans who later moved to a convent on a site where Sidney Sussex College now stands. The premises became the Cambridge Town Hall or "Tolbooth" as it was known then since its main function concerned tolls for entry to the town and trading at the market.

The building was raised on arches with market stalls below. The current Market Square was mainly filled with buildings at the time and not cleared until 1849 when a major fire occurred. In 1747, a Shire Hall was built on the open area at the front, on arches with stalls beneath. The Shire Hall and the Tollbooth were connected by a wooden bridge over Butter Row, a market street with stalls selling dairy products.

In 1842, after the Law Courts were built on Castle Hill, the Shire Hall and a new Town Hall built in 1782 on the site of the old one were combined into a single Guildhall. The present Guildhall on the site of the two original buildings, was completed in 1939, after the designs of Charles Cowles-Voysey.

In 2009 the Guildhall was refurbished and offers better facilities for disabled access and box office sales.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Cambridge Guildhall Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.