Blakeney Guildhall interior
Blakeney Guildhall interior

Despite its name, the Guildhall in Blakeney was not built as a meeting place for a guild. It was, rather, a 15th-century merchant's house, featuring a very fine vaulted undercroft, constructed of brick on stone foundations. The building gained its current name after it was used by the Blakeney guild of fish merchants after it ceased to be a private dwelling.

We do not know exactly when the Guildhall was constructed, but it was probably some time in the late 14th or early 15th century. Only partial remains of that early building still stand, of which the undercroft is the best surviving feature.

The undercroft consists of four bays on either side of a central row of brick columns supporting the ribbed vaults. The undercroft is topped by the partial ruins of the upper story and remains of a garderobe chute are built into the south wall.

The Guildhall is managed by the Blakeney Parish Council and is well signposted from the quay area.

The first time I visited the interior was open to access, but now there is an iron grill across the entrance, and you have to peer through the grill into the interior to get a reasonable look at the striking brick vaulting.

You can walk around one side of the building, and get a close look at the brick and stone construction. The Guildhall is not a building that will take too long to explore, but it is an interesting example of a late medieval house, with extremely good ground floor vaulting.