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1873 Chard Town Hall

The Town Hall was built here and held butchers Shambles (‘Butchers stalls, a Meat-Market,) Prison Cell and Fire Station. The Corn Exchange at the rear was added in 1883.

The Guildhall was built in 1834-35 to replace the original 16th Century Guildhall and market house. This was because the original Guildhall was situated in the middle of the street and when stagecoaches started to regularly come through Chard, the building was in the way. It was built when Chard was still an agricultural centre but experiencing at the beginnings of its industrial age. The foundation stone of the new hall was laid on 20 December 1834, and the building opened on 21st September 1835. It was designed by a local architect Richard Carver of Taunton it is an impressive building it does not stand alone, but projects into the wide market-like street with a two-storeyed portico. Both storeys have coupled Tuscan columns. The building originally incorporated a town hall, market house and butchery, and had cost over £3,000 to build. .

On the second story there is a Triglyph frieze and large triangular pediment over 1st floor. Pediment contains a carved shield. The clock was installed to celebrate the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837. It’s a square clock-tower with a circular wooden lantern with faces on three sides a dome and weathervane above. The clock was made by A. Payne and installed by local Chard firm Reuben and John Lamude it was originally illuminated by gas. Built as a Market House with Town Hall above, it was extended in the 1883 to include a large Corn Exchange at the rear. It then became known not as the Town Hall but the Corn Exchange.

In 1842 George Wheadon of Crimchard House had recast and presented to the town a pair of cannon very solidly built and somewhat crudely designed with a cast iron inscription plate on their side which read:-

‘These two pieces of cannon were presented to Augustine Wheadon by his faithful servant William Burridge, who by his own industry became an eminent merchant of Portsmouth, and was recast by his grandson George Wheadon in the year of our Lord 1842’

The council offices were moved to Durstons during or just after the Second World War the town population was 1946 5500. The town’s population grew with the building of first Glynswood, Grange Park, Snowdon Heights and Monmouth Court. In 1966 the Corn Exchange was renovated it then changed its name to the Guildhall.

After further renovation works at the turn of the century, in 2009 it became the permanent base for Chard Town Council. It is an important civic building and houses the Mayor’s Parlour and Town Council offices.Chard Town Hall.

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