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Boston Guildhall, Boston

4.4
Built in the 1390s, Boston Guildhall in Boston, Lincolnshire is a testament to the wealth and influence of the Guild of St. Mary, at a time when Boston's power as a centre of trade was second only to London. This wonderfully preserved building, with a wealth of original features, has survived the centuries and is to be enjoyed as one of Boston's finest visitor attractions. A wealth of stories, secrets and experiences are told and shared throughout the building including the history of the Guild of St Mary, international trade with the Hanseatic League, Henry VIII's dissolution of the Guild, the foundation of the Corporation of Boston and the very famous trial and imprisonment of the Pilgrim Fathers. The Guildhall is also home to the town’s museum collection, bringing life to the stories told via displays and exhibitions. It is also available as a venue for civil ceremonies and private functions.Early historyGuild of St Mary the Blessed VirginSt. Mary's Guild, who built the Guildhall, became the richest and most prominent of Boston's Guilds. Its members included many of the town’s merchants and traders at a time when the town itself was enjoying great prosperity.Guilds like those of St. Mary's were fundamentally religious in inspiration. It was accepted that life is but a passing phase and that Man's true destiny lies in the world to come. One of the Guild's foremost purposes was therefore to provide masses for the souls of their deceased members.The reply to the King's writ of enquiry of 1389 states that St. Mary's Guild was founded in 1260 by Andrew de Gote, Walter Tumby, Galfried de la Gotere, Robert Leland and Hugh Spayne. Its objectives included the maintaining of two priests in the parish church to say masses for the benefit of all members living and dead, to burn wax candles before the altar of the Blessed Virgin and to bear torches at the funerals of Guild members. A thousand loaves and a thousand herrings were to be distributed annually amongst the poor of the town. St. Mary's was open to anyone, male or female, who was prepared to take the strict oaths of admission and pay an initial fee of 6s 8d and an annual subscription of 1s.
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Boston Guildhall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
82 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Once again it was a great experience to visit a building with such a long and special history. It was much bigger than we expected and we were free to wander at will. The staff on duty were really hel...  more »
  • We live locally but haven't visited the Guildhall in many years. Free entry and very good explanations of exhibits, the role of the Guildhall through history. All very interesting and not too 'dry'. M...  more »
  • At bottom of the high street, houses the tourist information centre. Has exhibition about the Pilgrim fathers.  more »
Google
  • Small but interesting
  • Really interesting

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