THE GUILDHALL is said to stand upon the site of a Jewish Synagogue; but there is some doubt about this as the synagogue should have stood so far away from the Jewry, which was near the site of the Round Church. Nonetheless the site's first recorded owner is listed as Benjamin the Jew.
The foundation of a new Guildhall in the parish of St Mary-the-Great was laid in 1386, the structure being completed in the following year.
In 1860-62 £12,000 was spent making considerable improvements in the Guildhall. The chief of these was the building of a large Assembly Room, measuring 120 feet by 52. There are also a small Assembly Room, a Council Chamber, an Aldermen's parlour, Police Courts, etc.
A fine organ built by Hills & Son, with a case designed by Mr. Hills, Jun., was placed by subscription, in 1881, in the large Assembly Room.
Extensive alterations and additions to the Guildhall, under the superintendence of W. M. Fawcett, were made in 1893-4, and provided for the various municipal and educational officers.
Later in the 1930's a new Guildhall was built on the site of the previous one.