Aldeburgh Moot Hall
Market Cross Place
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The landmark building in Aldeburgh is the beautiful brick and timber framed 16th century Moot Hall near the seafront. Until the 17th century it was in the centre of town beside the Market Place until a disastrous storm washed away half of the town.
The Building's History
Although the Moot Hall is still a meeting place for the Town Council as its Anglo-Saxon name suggests, its prime purpose now is to house the Aldeburgh Museum.
Sometime in the first half of the 16th century a new high-status building was needed to serve as a Council Chamber, a focus for the Market and a prison. There are no written records of when the hall was built but drawings and old maps put the date as between 1520 and 1540.
Visitors will note that entry is via an external staircase. This is because originally the ground floor space contained six shops and a prison. The Council and other town meetings were held in the great hall upstairs. This hall now houses a small but very interesting museum recording the changing history of the town and the part coastal erosion has played in its fortunes.
The Town Hall was altered in 1654 and the brick and stone infilling of the ground floor were done later.
The sundial on the south side was put up in 1650 for the sum of 7 shillings and sixpence. On it is written "HORAS NON NUMERO NISI SERENAS" which roughly translated from the Latin means "I only count the sunny hours".
In the 19th century the old Tudor Town Hall was derelict and in danger of being pulled down. Thankfully it was fully restored in 1854 when two tall chimneys copied from Hampton Court Palace
were added and the name was changed to the Moot Hall.
Further work was done at the end of the 1980s when accumulated soil around the building was removed. The Town Clerk continues to have his office downstairs in the building.
Much of Aldeburgh
’s ancient history has disappeared under the sea and shingle but there are still many interesting local artefacts and photographs on display in the museum.
There are finds from the discovery of a Roman settlement, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery and ship burial at Snape, as well as displays about Natural Sciences, Maritime and Social History including the Aldeburgh Witches, the Railway, the Llifeboats and local Personalities.
The Museum has a small shop.
Plan your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here:
April, May, September and October: daily 14:30 – 17:00
June, July and August: daily 12:00 – 17:00
November – March: Closed.
Adults around £2; accompanied children free
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1728 453 637
- By Car
Aldeburgh is signposted down the A1094, off the A12 North of Norwich. The Moot Hall is at the seafront end of Victoria Road.
Google Maps - Aldeburgh Moot Hall