Berkshire SL4 1LR
The Royal Windsor Guildhall is an elegant 17th century building standing in the centre of the town on High Street and is hard to miss.
It is a two storey building – the upper storey is of mellowed red brick with Portland stone decorations and the lower storey is a colonnaded Corn Market. The building is actually only held up by the outer stone pillars. On the north and south ends of the upper storey are niches containing statues of Queen Anne and her husband Prince George of Hanover.
Designed and started in 1687 by Sir Thomas Fitz, it was finished by local boy made good, Sir Christopher Wren. Throughout Windsor the visitor will see many blue plaques on buildings connected with Wren who of course is well known for his greatest building, St Paul's Cathedral in London. The Wren family home (Sir Christopher Wren's House) built in 1676 is situated where Windsor Bridge crosses over the Thames to Eton.
Unique Upper Floor Supports
If one looks carefully at the four central stone pillars holding up the Guildhall it will be seen that they don’t go all the way up to the upper floor.
There is a story that during erection of the building the local council demanded that Sir Christopher Wren build additional columns within the covered area, in order to support the weight of the heavy building above. Wren was adamant that the additional colums were not necessary. As the council insisted, he added the columns but they don’t touch the building. Wren was right, the building is still standing 300+ years on!
The rooms upstairs house portraits of many notable Windsor identities.
Guildhall Registry Office has notable clients
The Guildhall is also the local Registry Office. On April 9, 2005, the Guildhall was thrust into the view of the world's media as it was the location of the civil marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles. Their marriage was susequently blessed in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The Guildhall was in the news again on 21 December the same year. It was the venue for one of the first same sex civil partnership ceremonies to be held in England, that of Sir Elton John and David Furnish.
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Contact & Further Information
For detailed information on Getting To Windsor, go to the Royal Windsor article in this website.
Google Maps - Guildhall Royal Windsor