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Earliest information: 1501
Original estate: ?Hungerford
Common Rights? Yes (Frontage 40ft; 2 horses or 4 cows)
Date of current building: 1871
Listed: Grade II

Thumbnail History:

The present Corn Exchange and Town Hall building (Hungerford's fourth Town Hall) was built in 1870-71 on land previously owned by the Churchwardens.

Follow this link for more on Hungerford's Town Halls.

Description of property:

From Listed Building records: Town Hall. 1870 by Ernest Prestwick of Leigh in Lancashire (This appears to be an error - see note below). Slate roof with parapet at front and corbelled eaves at sides, lead cupola and balcony, red brick with yellow moulded dressings, stone copings, cornices, bell arch balustrade and columns. Bracketed cornices, patterned frieze, channelled brick pilasters with stone capitals. Meeting rooms at front with stair to rear and corn exchange hall at right angles to rear. Two storeys. Road frontage: Balcony over loggia to left, clock tower over entrance to right, three semi-circular arched glazing sashes in recessed yellow brick arches with drip moulds and moulded imposts; balustraded balcony over loggia at first floor, three semi-circular arched openings with moulded yellow voussoirs on two columns and half columns with oversized simplified leaf capitals and plain bases on three steps, three glazing bar sashes in recess; clock tower has cupola with iron weathervane over clocks in aedicules set on bracketed cornice with moulded frieze, above three stilted arched headed louvred vents with moulded strings, yellow band and square columns between moulded caps, beneath these are double arched windows with columns and ornate decoration in tympanum of large outer arch. Stone balcony on brackets over arched entrance with deep leaf ornamented, bracketed caps to wide brick piers with roll mould corners and dog tooth ornament in channels. Stone plinth and three steps up.

Note: Dr David Peacock points out, February 2016, that in the Listed Building description, the architect was Ernest Prestwick of Leigh in Lancashire. This appears to be out of date, and probably simply wrong.  According to Pevsner 2010, it is by John Money.  However, local newspaper and other accounts state that the architect was James H. Money of Newbury (1834-1918), son of John Money, although his firm may at the time have still been using the name of John Money & Son.

Photo Gallery:

uhs-002 c1902
uhs-002 c1902

Town Hall, c1902


Town Hall, Jan 2007

- Town Hall, January 2007.

- Town Hall, c.1902.


Church House (<1501-1868):

c1501 (NH) William Warnewell, clerk, gave this property to the church. From that time onwards the rent of its lease provided a portion of income for the parish church. Apart from its ownership and the income from its rent, the house differed little if at all from any other rented burgage. It became known as "Church House".

1588 (NH) DL1/147 E. Passion v. John Curr: The site of the burgage: - between tenement of Sir E. Hungerford on north and burgage of Thomas Horsell(?) on south. The lease expires c.1587, and in 1588 was demised to E. Passion for 21 years.
See also: Curteys v. Passion complete transcript copy exists in BVM Chantry Folio; Passion v. Curr; Monce(?) and Phillips 9 Jas I DL 12/22 which seems to be about the same property; Town and Church lands file; Nicholas Passion file.

1663/4 (NH) Hearth Tax: John Hudden. 3 hearths (E179/243/25)
1664 (NH) Hearth Tax: John Hudden. 3 hearths (E179/343/20)
1676/7 (NH) John Hudden died (buried Jan 1676/7)
1676 (NH) (QR) Widow Hudden (Berks RO H/FR1) "for ye Church house" 6d.
1677 (NH) (Churchwardens Accounts): 12 April - £3.00 received from widow Hudden as ½ year's rent.
1680,81 (NH) (CL) Widow Hudden. This widow Hudden is Dorothy nee Mills (married Nov. 1669). A son John was baptised Nov. 1664, and therefore came of age 1685. Dorothy Hudden widow was buried 23 May 1703.
1698 (NH) On 2 Nov. 1698 a lease of Church House was made by the Churchwardens to John Hudden junior (Berks RO D/P71/6/1) of "a messuage called Church House on the west side of High Street was leased to John Hudden of Hungerford mercer, for 7 years @ £6 p.a.. In addition a consideration of £34 was paid for the lease. The lease is signed by John Hudden and was assigned to him on 8 April 1699 (Berks RO D/P71/6/1). The rent is the same as that paid by the lessor's mother in 1677 and as she pays quit rent for the Church House in 1676 immediately after her husband's death it is a reasonable assumption that they had previously lived at Church House. The apparent discrepancy in dates between John Hudden's death and his widow's name appearing on the quit rent roll may be explained if, for example, the quit rent roll meant to refer from Michelmas 1676 to Michelmas 1677.

1699 (NH) [D/P71/6/1] 8 April 1699 Assignment of lease for 7 years @ £6 p.a. rent for a consideration of £34
- (i) John Hamblen and Edward Harson, church wardens
- (ii) Thomas Butler, Constable of Hungerford, messuage called Church House on West side of High Street [previously] leased 2 November 1698 to John Hudden of Hungerford mercer, by (i) above.
1720 (NH) John Hudden died in 1720, and his widow and family may have moved from the town at some date thereafter.

1753 (NH) When the quit rent rolls resume in 1753 the quit rent was listed as payable by Edward Popham esq of Littlecote. This Edward Popham became M.P. for Wiltshire. He married John Hudden's daughter Rebecca at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1730, so presumably he acquired lease of the property as a result of his marriage to Rebecca. A portrait of Rebecca is said to remain at Littlecote House, ancestral home of the Popham family.

1754 (NH) [D/P71/6/2] 6 August 1754: Lease for 21 years @ £8.10. 0 p.a. rent
- (i) Edward Lovelocke, gent, and Thomas Woodroffe, plumber, church wardens to
- (ii) Edward Lucas of Hungerford, mercer, property as in D/P71/6/1 above, now occupied by (ii); lease determinable at end of 7 or 14 years on 6 months notice.

1774 (NH) In 1774 the property is ascribed to the Churchwardens, so presumably any earlier Popham lease had by then expired. (In fact, Edward Popham died 1772). For further details re John Hudden I and II, and NH notes on the Wiltshire Family of Hudden in Hungerford.

1777 (NH) (CL) Fullbrook and Bance. This was Matthew Bance of Kintbury, the watch and clockmaker. (He had signed a lease of what is now 119 High Street in 1776)

1781 (NH) (CL) Watts and Fullbrook [entries 101 & 102 on the CL together with Matthew Bance deleted] at the Town Hall site. Matthew Bance appears on the Commoners' List of 1781 at what is now 119 High Street. It seems he moved across the road to live there at this time.
1786 (NH) A Royal Exchange Insurance policy of April 1786 was taken by the Churchwardens on 2 tenements in one building, brick and tiled, tenanted by William Watts and Richard Fullbrook.

1793 (NH) Churchwardens (own); Richard Fulbrook (occ) [see notes under 23 HS]
1808 (NH) Churchwardens (own); John Church (occ) [see notes under 23 HS]
1819 (EA) "Church Wardens"
1836 (QR) Churchwardens for the Church Houses, q.r. 6d.
1836 (NH) Churchwardens (own); William Barnes (occ) [see notes under 23 HS]
1847 (CL) Churchwardens of Hungerford (own); William Barnes (occ)
1859 (NH) [D/P71/65] 1 February 1859 Lease for 14 years @ £12 p.a. rent
- (i) George Willes of Hungerford Park esq. and Rev. Thomas Penruddock Michell of Standen House, Hungerford, clerk, church wardens to
- (ii) Thomas Jelfs of Hungerford, auctioneers, property as in D/P71/6/1 above.

1861 (CL) Churchwardens of Hungerford (own); Thomas Jelfs(occ) (Auctioneer)
1868 (NH) Thomas Jelfs, Auctioneers, asked to surrender the lease for the eventual building of the Corn Exchange.

Town Hall & Corn Exchange (1871-present):

There is much more on the four Town Halls of Hungerford under a separate article. See Town Halls

1870 Mr. Killick, owner and occupier to the north, was given western end of Town Hall plot in compensation to have rear and side access. There is a brick marked "Killick 1871" in this west wall [present 2007].
1896 (CL) Constable and Trustees
(Harold Clements) "Harold says he used to show the films in the Corn Exchange, and that his uncle had invented the strike stop during night hours, using a penny!"
1914 (CL) Constable and Trustees
c. 1932 (QR) Town Trustees "Formerly houses of the Churchwardens"
1939 (Blacket's) Corn Exchange and Town Hall and Fire Alarm (S.F. Bushnell, Town Hall keeper and town crier)
1947 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1952 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1956 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1963 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1968 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1970 (CL) Constable and Trustees
1976 (CL) Void
1983 (CL) Void
1984 (CL) Void
1985 (CL) Void
2000 (CL) Robin Edwin Sidney Tubb
2005 (CL) Robin Edwin Sidney Tubb
2011 (CL) Robin Edwin Sidney Tubb

See also:

- Town Halls of Hungerford

- High Street (South) Photo Gallery