York Guildhall interior

The Guildhall was first built in the 15th century as a meeting place for the powerful merchant guilds that effectively controlled the government and business climate of York.

The present building is not the original guildhall; that was partially destroyed by bombs in the Second World War. The current guildhall is a replica, incorporating sections of the stone walls of the original hall. The Guildhall is lit by stained glass windows which depict the history of the city of York.

It was in the Guildhall that Margaret Clitherow was tried for harboring Catholic priests in 1586 and sentenced to death by crushing, and here that Richard II was entertained in a lavish banquet in 1483.

Beneath the Guildhall is Commonhall Lane, a medieval alleyway which now provides pedestrian passage through the site.

The Guildhall is located on the north bank of the River Ouse behind the Mansion House. Access to the Guildhall is through the Mansion House arch from St Helen's Square.