Some of the information here has been on my other site at pevsnersuffolk.co.uk. The late Patrick Taylor who had an interest in Suffolk guildhalls spotted it and contacted me shortly before his death to explain to me that he too had been following-up various aspects with a view to publication (he had already written a book on Suffolk Toll Houses). He wanted me to have his records which he hoped might eventually lead to publication and possibly be passed on to the Suffolk Record Office. On further investigation the two large files he gave me comprised a set of printouts of the Historic Buildings listings (mostly superseded by more recent ones) together with photographs of each building that he considered had some merit for consideration as a Guildhall with the "hot leads" highlighted. I am not at all sure that without context these are of much general interest. I have therefore decided to combine his data with mine and publish this web-site so that others may benefit and hopefully challenge and add. Where appropriate I acknowledge his contribution.

I should add that we are lucky in Suffolk to have a number of experts and enthusiasts with encyclopedic knowledge of local old houses and architecture of whom Patrick was just one. From a single brief meeting with him I cannot claim to have absorbed very much of his expertise or indeed that of any of the other of the experts so this site is regrettably all mine but Patrick's records have contributed some leads which I shall try to make clear as I go.

The structure of the site is that there is a section on the origin of gilds, a section on gildhalls in general, there is then a listing of locations of Suffolk towns and villages where there are known gildhalls, suspected gildhalls, and buildings which may or may not have been guildhalls some of which are more likely to have been church houses, court-halls, market-houses or inns. Some are controversial! There is also a page with lost or 'undiscovered' gildhalls. Finally there is a reference section where some downloads can also be found. The sections can be accessed from the links at the top and bottom of each page. In general you will need to scroll down from the heading picture to find the detail.

You may notice that I have flip-flopped between the spelling of gilds and guilds. Do not get hung up on it. First of all it helps search engines turn up these pages for either spelling. Secondly I have tried to use quotations as written in the original source but have otherwise tried to adopt some convention as explained in this note on spelling:

I have used the spelling gild in accordance with reference 1 to section 32 of the Historical Atlas of Suffolk, namely “the spelling GILD has been preferred because it was used by earlier writers, and because it helps to distinguish social and religious gilds from those which were occupational and urban”. Almost all Suffolk gilds were of the former type, whereas guilds are most commonly associated in people’s minds with trade and craft guilds. There is no universal convention.