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The Undercroft

The Undercroft

The Undercroft

Beneath the Great Hall is the atmospheric undercroft with its magnificent vaulted roof. Dating from at least the 1340s, and possibly earlier, the undercroft retains most of its original features, with niches in the walls for storing precious items and masons' marks still visible on some of the stonework.

The primary purpose of the undercroft was for storage, sometimes for Guild merchandise, and certainly for food in readiness for the grand banquets in the Great Hall above. Indeed, the city archives from 1616 contain a reference to a father and son being paid to keep cats away from the cold meats, laid out in the undercroft prior to a banquet for King James I.

During the English Civil War of the 1640s, the undercroft was used for much more hazardous activities, as its sturdy walls and cool atmosphere provided ideal conditions for the storage of barrels of gunpowder.

 The Undercroft incorporates a bar available for all functions by request, and is licensed for civil ceremonies.