The Court House in Your Pocket

New Virtual Tour of Warwick Court House

From this week, visitors to Warwick and local residents will be able to enjoy a virtual tour of the Jury Street Court House on their mobile phones or their computer screens at home. A web-based App has been launched as part of the ‘Warwick Town of Treasures’ app which already has audio-visual tours of St. Mary’s Church and The Lord Leycester Hospital.

A virtual version of Francis Smith, who designed and built the Court House in 1725, leads guests round the building and relates key moments in Warwick’s history. The voice of Smith was provided by Patrick McConville of Unlocking Warwick, the Town Council’s volunteers who have produced the virtual experience with the technical help of Peter Knell from the Chamber of Trade and the Court Leet.

Viewers of the app will hear about the way Thomas Oken, the first mayor, prevented Henry VIII from seizing the town’s assets, how Robert Dudley managed to acquire the Guildhall from the town guilds in order to create his ‘hospital’ for retired soldiers, and how the Court House – the Town Hall – was commissioned after the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694. There are sections on the magistrates’ Petty Sessions that were held on the site for hundreds of years, the ancient Court Leet, and the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum housed in the basement.

Patrick, Karen, Peter and Liz launching the virtual tour.

The manager of the Warwick Visitor Centre, Liz Healey, said, “It is particularly useful during the coronavirus restrictions for visitors to be able to use their screens to peep inside the beautiful Court House building, with its Visitor Centre, Council Chamber, Regency Ballroom, and Yeomanry Museum, and to hear about some of the rich history of the county town. They can start their own tour opposite the building and follow the various sections on the app, or look at it later in their own time”.

The Chair of Unlocking Warwick, Karen Parker, said, “Our Court House Tours have been affected by the Rule of Six and we have finished the tours for this season, but the app is available all year round and will allow more people to see Warwick as a great place to visit, and the Court House as a lovely venue for hire when conditions permit.”

To watch the Town of Treasures app, you can scan the QR code above or type into your browser or click on: