Durham Town Hall, Durham

Durham Town Hall, Durham

The historic Town Hall is on the west side of old Durham's marketplace. Although it is sometimes also called the Guild Hall, the Town Hall and the Guild Hall are separate buildings. The Town Hall is only recently open to the public after the latest renovations. It has been the civic center of the town since the 14th century.

The Town Hall is a complex of attached buildings. The earliest building was erected in 1356 as a meeting place for merchant guilds. A plain wooden structure was rebuilt by Prince-Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall in 1535 and again by Prince-Bishop John Cosin in 1665.

In the rear of Cosin's rebuilt hall is the so-called "new" Town Hall, built in 1851. The new Town Hall, designed by architect Philip Charles Hardwick, features Perpendicular Gothic-style architecture. Inside, the 72-foot-long Great Hall has a hammer-beam roof. The roof is 56 feet high. The walls are lined with commemorative plaques of notable citizens.

The Council Chamber of the Hall is now the meeting place of the mayor and aldermen of Durham. The indoor markets, installed in 1852, go around and underneath the Town Hall complex.

Since November 2018, the personal belongings of Josef Boruwlaski, a court dwarf and self-styled Count, have been on display in the Town Hall. Boruwlaski performed at many royal courts of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. He was known as "the Little Count." The Town Hall also contains the original city charter; and the civic sword and pikes.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Durham. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Durham Town Hall on Map

Sight Name: Durham Town Hall
Sight Location: Durham, England (See walking tours in Durham)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Durham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Durham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Durham Introduction Walking Tour

Durham Introduction Walking Tour

The monks from Lindisfarne were on the run in 995, the Vikings hot behind. The monks were carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert. The Saint's bier stopped. Along came a milkmaid who had lost her dun cow. The coffin moved and the monks followed the maid to a high hill by the River Wear. The bier stopped again and, despite the effort of the monks, would not move. The monks had found their place.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles