thchlampRIn the centre of the Market Place is the Town Hall, a simple structure consisting of an upstairs room over an arched brick undercroft. An earlier town house was probably built on this site in the late 16th century, and it too had an upper room which sat above open arches hosting shops and market stalls. Over the years it was used for vestry meetings and as a court house.

d241419aModRThe hall was rebuilt in 1806 and in 1858 the arches were bricked up to provide a shelter for the parish fire engine up until the 1930s.

On the southern wall is the Coat of Arms granted to Deddington on 16 April 1994, one of only six or seven villages to be granted arms and Deddington is the first Parish in all England, never having been a chartered borough, to have supporters granted to its arms. The motto in Early English - preo on anan gebundene, meaning 'three joined together in one' - refers to the three manors of the Parish and to the three villages Deddington, Clifton and Hempton.

TownHallMktPlc1965R2Against the north wall is a classic red type K6 cast iron telephone kiosk, the type designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

The Town Hall is administered by the Deddington Charity Estates, a charitable body (regd no. 237601) who also go under the wonderful feudal name of Feoffees (persons invested with a freehold estate in land for charitable purposes).

For many years the Parish Council leased the Town Hall to hold its monthly meetings. When that lease ended in November 2010 the Feoffees tried to generate other letting income from local organisations, but in the end had no option but to seek a commercial tenant for the upper room. The Feoffees stress that the Town Hall has not been sold, it is still maintained as a community asset. In 2015 income from this commercial letting helps pay for upkeep of the Almshouses to a standard fitting in the 21st century.

IMG_1598RedTH_VPRedIn September 2015 months of refurbishment work came to a proud and joyful conclusion when the newly restored building was opened by the local MP, Victoria Prentiss. The refurbishment work was carried out by local firm Catling & Catling Ltd. The undercroft still houses the 2.5m x 1.5m maps of the Parish, created as a millennium project by the Map Group. It still shelters passengers waiting for buses to Banbury, Deddington Brass plays there (as here on the occasion of the opening of the refurbished building); and its market connection is retained when it hosts stalls at the monthly Farmers’ Market. In the pic on the right are Dr Rose Todd (CDC Conservation Officer, Tim Catling, Revd Annie Goldthorp, John Sampson, George Fenemore, Leah Calcutt and Victoria Prentiss (pic courtesy Judy Ward).