What is Finchingfield Guildhall ?
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 andfollowing the second world war attempts were made to restore the site. 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, the building is now a stimulating heritage based facility for all. The Guildhall is home to a state of the art interactive Museum designed to bring the history of Finchingfield and is rural surroundings to life. Our volunteers are on hand to give visitors a real insight into village life throughout the ages. Children will enjoy dressing up in period costumes and trying their hand at brass rubbing.
The Guildhall is home to the village library, one of the last remaining in Essex. There are regular children's story times and the local schools use the library for a variety of educational activities.
Learning at the Guildhall
We invite schools to explore the Guildhall, including the museum. We have prepared downloadable activity sheets for use before, during, and after your visit to the Guildhall.
Facilities at the Guildhall
Lunch can be eaten in the Guildhall at an additional cost. We have a small catering kitchen and plenty of tables and chairs. With fine weather it is also possible to picnic immediately outside. Catering is available, so do ask if you have any questions.
There are 3 toilets on the first floor, one of which has baby changing facilities and disabled access. There is also a 4th toilet on the ground floor of the building.
There is a disabled lift allowing full access to the building’s first floor.
We have an over head projecter, several points for internet connection, and an intergrated sound system. We also have a picture hanging system around the perimeter of the Guildroom.
There is a small shop next to the museum which sells locally sourced products and souvenirs.
The museum is in two rooms with a mixture of display and interactive exhibits. There is also an area for dressing up in period costume, and a small brass rubbings table.
How to find us
Finchingfield is a beautiful rural village that offers much to see and do, stroll around the village taking in the Medieval Guildhall, the windmill and ancient church. Finchingfield is steeped in history and culture and has been home to renowned artists and authors. Dodie Smith and Norman Lewis who wrote '101 Dalmations' and 'Naples '44' are both represented in our museum.
The Guildhall is situated up the steep Church Hill leading towards the Church opposite the Red Lion pub.
Stansted airport, train station and M11 are 15 miles to the south; London is 50 miles to the south.
Costs and booking
Group visits need to be booked in advance at a cost of £2.50 per head .