Finchingfield Guildhall

A building of exceptional importance, by its key position at the churchyard entrance, by the historical continuity of use and by the building's extant early architectural features and subsequent restoration.

Church Hill, Finchingfield, Essex, CM7 4NN

Finchingfield Guildhall New

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The Guildhall was built around 1470 by the Guild of the Holy Trinity to house a Guild of priests and to provide a schoolroom for the boys of the village. The Guildroom has been used for a place of learning for more than five centuries.  Recent restoration work has exposed scorch marks on the timbers of the Guildroom where priests attached wax tapers to light their studies at night.

The building fell into disrepair and, following the second world war, attempts were made to restore the site. Unfortunately inappropriate materials were used, and architectural details were covered up.  In 2008 the Finchingfield Guildhall trust was formed to save the site from dereliction.  After several years bidding for funding, the build started in earnest in 2011.  Expert craftsmen were employed using ancient techniques, and local materials were sourced.

In keeping with its original purpose in 2014 the building is now a stimulating heritage based facility for all.

Further facts about Finchingfield Guildhall

  • All plinth and floor bricks were handmade in Bulmer
  • Only sustainable English oak was used in the building
  • Pargetting is the zigzag and comb pattern on the walls
  • Mortise, tenon and pegs hold the building together (not bolts or screws)
  • Bats and swifts have slots in the end and side to allow them in the lofts
  • Ritualistic candles left burn marks on the timber frame studs
  • Finchingfield clay was used in the new plaster mix
  • Casein is the milk derivative used in the lime was paint
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