The Journey of the Winchester Guildhall through the Ages
The Winchester Guildhall stands on the estate that happens to be a possible coronation gift from Alfred the Great to his wife in AD 871. It later housed the nunnery named Nunnaminster founded by the queen after Alfred the Great passed away. As one of the most well known English nunneries, Nunnaminster was renamed as St. Mary’s Abbey in the middle ages. Although the abbey was dissolved in 1539 during the reign of Henry VIII the site was used for in 1554 for staging the wedding of Philip of Spain and Mary Tudor. You can treasure this memorable piece of British history by buying the Winchester Guildhall acrylic fridge magnet, which has the exact image of the original.
The Gothic Revival of the Winchester Guildhall
Ever since the guildhall passed into the hands of the civic bodies, it underwent several makeovers to suit the need of time. In 1871, the old guildhall near the Butter Cross was discarded for a new guildhall, which was refashioned in the Gothic revival style to make it more spacious and convenient. The new Guildhall was formally inaugurated by Lord Selborne in May 1873. The new Guildhall became a multipurpose building for holding a variety of civic functions such as mayor making ceremonies, mayor’s charity events, and his departing banquet as well as for holding council meetings.
At the same time the new and larger Guildhall complex also housed the police station, the law courts and fire brigade. The Guildhall assumed such popularity that its grand façade was used as a backdrop to the staircase podium even in larger audience assemblies in the Broadway. This facade is decorated with the statues of four Winchester bishops and kings. Its sculpted panels showcase several memorable historical moments.