The first edition of ‘In The Ballroom’ for 2020 on 15th January featured a talk by the Unlocking Warwick secretary Rick Thompson about the history of Warwick, and the place of the Court House in the developing story of the administration of the town.
It was a whistle-stop tour taking in the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and the Tudors! Plus a reminder about the Great Fire of 1694 which brought about the interesting mix of architectural styles which shapes the town today.
The site of the Court House has had a varied history too, from being a tavern by the market cross, then the meeting house of the town guilds, up to its regeneration in 1725 into the handsome court house and town hall, designed by local architect Francis Smith and described by Pevsner as ‘Warwick at its best’.
The Grade-1 listed building now houses the Visitor Information Centre and hosts all sorts of private and community events in the magnificent ballroom, including those put on by Unlocking Warwick. And in the basement, the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum is well worth a look and is free – so there’s no excuse not to visit!
The talk was followed by a quiz about news events of 2019, (which famous Paris landmark caught fire in April? Which historic travel company went bust in September?), and the usual tea or coffee, cake and plenty of time to chat.
The next ‘In The Ballroom’ will be a musical afternoon on Wednesday 12th February at 2pm. The Singwell Choir will be leading us through a medley of favourite songs from the West End Musicals. The cost is just £2.50 including the refreshments, and there’s no need to book. Just turn up at the Court House in Jury Street for an afternoon of songs, tea, a quiz and good company.