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Monument Name Thaxted - Town Street, The Guildhall
SMR Number 1398
Summary 3-storied, timber-framed and plastered, tiled roofs.
3-storied, timber-framed and plastered, tiled roofs
3-storied, timber-framed and plastered, tiled roofs

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Description 3-storied, timber-framed and plastered, tiled roofs. Probably built in the 2nd half of the 15th century. Roughly square in plan, ground floor forms an open flagged market-house, upper floors are approached by a stair-case at the back, are divided into rooms, now used as a club and reading room. The two upper storeys project. First floor has original timber-framing, partly restored. Open ground floor has open timber ceiling with heavy cross-beams. <1> Ground floor open with arched posts, first floor also arched, between the studs (but done in 20th century restoration). In the best position in the town, at the top end of town street, where it forks. <2> Trial hole excavated in the cellar-lowest 'man-made' level was the original clay floor of the cellar, presumably dating to 1390-1410. Doesn't post-date the construction of the Guildhall-the cellar was dug first, the floor was laid and the flint retaining walls were built up from the floor. <3> Built between 1390-1410 for the Guild of Cutlers. Frame exposed externally. Ground floor forms open- flagged market house. North corner incorporates the parish cage. <4> Dendrochronological dating of Thaxted Guildhall. The 2nd floor tie beam, from which the core retained some sapwood provides clear evidence of the likely construction date of the building, that is unless it is thought to be a reused older timber. The NW post according to the sampling notes probably also ends at the heart/sap transition, since the post appears to have 'waney- edge' surviving at that point, if this is the case a combined felling date for the pair can be calculated of AD 1430-1460. In view of the small number of sucesssfully dated samples and the poor overall quality of timbers additional samples should be considered at some stage to confirm the analysis. <5> A reconstruction of Thaxted's famous Guildhall is pictured in Essex Archaeology and History vol 20 p156 <6> Site Assessment = 'As it is one of the few remaining medieval Guildhalls the building is of great interest'. <1>Remedial works-later levels will have to be removed but possibly the original floor could be retained. <3> The Town Street Guild Hall (TL 6113 3095) The guildhall in Town Street (ESMR 1398-9) was constructed in 1450 on ground owned by the Borough since the fourteenth century. It is a three-storeyed, timber-framed and plastered building, roughly square in plan, with a tiled roof. It appears that the ‘open’ ground floor of the Guild Hall is a covered market space, with stalls rather than permanent shops. The parish cage is incorporated into the north-eastern corner of the ground floor. The first floor, with its arcade-like fringe of shutter windows, is a Market Hall, where market and associated administrative functions took place. Guild business/social events probably took place on the top floor. The upper floors are approached by a staircase at the back. The cellar is contemporary with the guildhall, with a clay floor and flint retaining walls. <8> Listed Building Description: THAXTED TOWN STREET (North West Side) Guildhall TL 63SW: 5/144 20.2.67 GV I 2. Built between 1390 and 1410 for the Guild of Cutlers. Altered and restored in early C18, circa 1910 and 1978. Timber framed and plastered with frame exposed externally. Red plain tile, double range hipped roof. 3 storeys and cellars. Ground floor forms open flagged market house with open timber ceiling, and heavy cross beams, supported on great centre post. Cellar is original. 2 upper storeys are jettied on 3 elevations with moulded bressumers, and curved brackets. First floor has arcading of 2 centred arches. Roof is simple two armed crown posts originally gabled to Town Street. North corner incorporates parish cage. (RCHM 9). Listing NGR: TL6117130989
Monument Type(s) GUILDHALL (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
PRISON (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
MARKET HALL (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
FLOOR (Dated 1066AD to 1539AD)
Monument Class(es) EXTANT BUILDING
Period 1066AD to 1539AD Medieval
Status Listed Building (EH)
National Grid Reference Square: TL63SW
Ref: 611309
Finds None listed
Events SALV EXCAV by Wadhams, MC, 1973

Sources <1> Desc Text : An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 1 (RCHME) Vol 1, pp311-312 Dated : 1916

<2> Desc Text : The Buildings of England, Essex (Pevsner, N) p350 Dated : 1954

<3> Excavation report : Thaxted Guildhall. Notes regarding trial hole excavated in cellar (Wadhams, MC) Dated : 1973

<4> Desc Text : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest:Uttlesford (unknown) p97 Dated : 1983

<5> Desc Text : Dendrochronological spot dates (unknown) Dated : 1992

<6> Desc Text : Essex Archaeology and History Vol 20 (Trans Essex) vol 20 p156 Dated : 1989

<7> Photograph : Thaxted Guildhall (Strachan, David) Dated : 1998

<8> Desc Text : Thaxted Historic Town Assessment Report (Medlycott, Maria) Dated : 1999