Unlocking Warwick’s volunteer guides, Patrick and Paula, conducted two separate Court House Tours on Saturday 4th August, to accommodate all the visitors who had turned up.
Some who had come to visit Warwick on market day live nearby; others had come from further afield including a couple from Sussex and some visiting from Belgium. They were interested to hear about the origins of Warwick in Saxon times, the building of the castle, the Earls of Warwick who ran the town’s affairs until it became a corporation, and the administration of the town from the Court House/Town Hall built by Francis Smith in 1725. This replaced the old building housing the ‘mayor’s parlour’, damaged in the Great Fire of Warwick which destroyed most of the town centre thirty years earlier.
The Court House was completely refurbished four years ago, and its Regency ballroom is frequently used for community events, wedding receptions and corporate events. Note that there have not been any courts in the building since the magistrates court moved to the Leamington Justice Centre in the 1970s.
The next Court House Tours this month will be on Saturday 18th and Saturday 25th August (bank holiday weekend) starting at 11am. The tours outside and inside the court house last about 45 minutes are free to attend. There’s no need to book. Just turn up at the Visitor Information Centre in Jury Street. Numbers have to be limited for practical reasons, so first come, first on the tour.