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Newbury Town Hall is throwing open its doors to the public on Saturday 18 September at 10am to 2pm as part of England’s Heritage Open Days events, so that everyone can view the Council Chamber, The Civic Staircase, The Town Hall portraits, the Council’s maces and other civic regalia.  This includes the Town Hall Honours Boards, which list the Mayors of Newbury, going back to 1596 and features many well-known local families. 

Although meetings in the Town Hall are open to the public, and there are often coffee mornings and other community events in the Chamber, it appears there are still a lot of Newbury people who have not visited the Chamber. The event is FREE, including refreshments, and all are welcome. A lift is available for anyone who has difficulty with the steps and staircase.

For 2021, there will be a special display which will focus on the history of Newbury Market, former Mayors who worked in the food industry and the Town Council’s Allotments and Edible Crop initiative as part of Heritage Open Day’s ‘Edible England’ theme for the year. The event will be part of a celebration of the whole of West Berkshire’s market offerings.

Speaking ahead of the event, Leader of the Council, Cllr Martin Colston said, “We are very lucky in Newbury to have such an interesting history, and I am proud of our heritage and traditions dating back to the first Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1596. I would like to encourage anyone to come and have a look at our historic Town Hall on the Open Day”.

The Town Hall portraits are on the civic staircase, which leads to the Council Chamber are most impressive and include the portrait of “Jack of Newbury” dated 1550, as well as King George III and Queen Charlotte.  “The Newbury Coat” is also on display, featuring a very famous story from Newbury’s industrial past. 

In the Council Chamber, as well as the Honours Boards, the Mayor’s Throne and the Council’s maces will be on display. The maces date from 1707 (Queen Anne) and 1758 (King George II).

The Victorian Town Hall (facing the Market Place) was built from 1876 to 1878 and The Town Hall clock and clock tower were added 3 years later, in 1881. The Municipal Offices (facing Mansion House Street) were built from 1909-10.

Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country and every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate the country’s history and culture.  Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Every single Heritage Open Days event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission. For details and opening times, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk . 

Contact: Elisa Adams, Civic Manager elisa.adams@newbury.gov.uk 07538 334106

Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council martin.colston@newbury.gov.uk


Newbury Town Hall Open Day (1)