When we reached the end of our route, before heading across Town Street to a cafe with outside seating for a pot of tea, we stopped to read the information outside the Thaxted Guildhall.
The entrance door displayed a ‘Closed’ sign and was slightly ajar. We were reading the notices pinned to the board, when a head popped around to ask if we would like to come in. The gentleman explained that he was preparing the Guildhall for an upcoming exhibition, and although it wasn’t open today, we were welcome to take a look around.
Leaving the carrier at the door, we shook the mud from our boots and headed up the wooden staircase. The walls are lined with photographs and artwork depicting the town and the Guildhall through the ages. We pondered over the Book of Remembrance which gave an insight into the lives of those from the village that fought in the wars. Filled with memorabilia, we could have been there for hours (had the smallest allowed!).
The building was originally thought to have been built in the 1300’s, but recent tree ring dating of the beams inside have shown that the trees were felled somewhere around the 1440’s. The building stands unmissably proud on Town Street, and was built as a town meeting place.
The Guildhall is now owned by Essex County Council who rent it to Uttlesford Parish Council. It is currently maintained by the people of Thaxted, and is in daily use. The rooms are used for meetings and exhibitions throughout the year, and the building is open to the public over Easter between 1400-1800 on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. After Easter, the Guildhall is then open on Sundays and Bank Holidays until the end of September. It opens for the whole weekend if there is an exhibition being held, and you can find details of events being held on their website.
Thaxted is a stunning village, steeped in history, and we’ll be going back again soon!
Don’t forget to share your adventures with me using the hashtag #thewildsheep…