Standing in the middle of Market Street, The Town Hall was built in 1701 with money bequeathed by a famous son of Tamworth, Thomas Guy, a former Tamworth MP and founder of Guy’s Hospital in London. Another famous son of Tamworth is Sir Robert Peel, who was also MP for the town, as well as a former Prime Minister on two separate occasions.
He founded the police force (hence the term “bobby”) and delivered his famous “Tamworth Manifesto” from the Town Hall. In front of the Town Hall you can also see the bronze statue of Sir Robert Peel.
The Town Hall was built in 1700-1701, and was paid for by Thomas Guy, the MP for Tamworth. The Town Hall was initially used for civic and social functions, and so was an important building for the town. Over the years the hall became too small and was extended on several occasions.
The original building was a single room supported by 18 Tuscan style pillars. A decorative exterior staircase on the east side gave access to the first floor room which also served as a platform for public announcements and events. In 1771 the exterior steps were demolished and 2 rooms were added to the rear on the east side. In 1811 these were replaced by 2 larger rooms, funded in part by the first Sir Robert Peel.
The area beneath the hall served as the Butter Market and later housed the town’s first fire engine. The turret in the centre of the roof was another later addition to the building. The domed cupola with ornate iron weathervane once housed a lantern and also contained a bell to summon the firemen. The lowered side of the turret show that it may once have been used as a pigeon loft.
The clock on the front of the Town Hall was presented to the town by the then owner of Tamworth Castle, John Robins, in 1812. In 1968 restoration of the Town hall pillars and masonry took place. The Town hall is now owned by Tamworth Borough Council and has the Mayor’s Parlour and is occasionally used for events and civic functions.
Each year the Town Hall is open to the Public for the second weekend in September to take part in English Heritage Open Days event.
A ‘Butter Market’ was traditionally held in the open area under the Town Hall, and the fire-engine was later housed there until about 1940.