POSTED: 21st April 2023 21st Apr 2023


140 Year Anniversary!

This year Haverhill Arts Centre is 140 years old!

It was bequeathed to the town as Haverhill Town Hall by Daniel Gurteen and his wife Caroline to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  They wanted to provide a public building to become the centre of the town’s social life. It was their dream that people would have a place to enjoy ‘high class lectures, concerts and wholesome recreation of various kinds’ to ‘develop the social wellbeing of the town’. It’s a mission that we are proud to stand by 140 years later.

There were great celebrations when the Town Hall opened on 2nd August 1883, having cost between four and five thousand pounds. Although some of the original features have gone many can still be seen.

Thanks to Haverhill and District Local History Group for this archive material.

Haverhill and District Local History Group is located in HAC opening times are Wednesday – Friday = 10am – 12pm Saturday = 10am – 2pm


The foundation stones were laid on 11 April 1882 and you can find them in our front porch on either side of the main door.

Originally, the Town Hall had eight dormer windows providing light and ventilation, they were gone long before the building became the Arts Centre.

The original entrance had two ornate sliding doors. One bearing 1883 and DG (Daniel Gurteen), the other CG (Caroline Gurteen)

In accordance with the Gurteens’ wishes, the Town Hall was not solely a council chamber. On the ground floor there were reading, chess, committee, lecture and billiard rooms with a large kitchen and toilet facilities.

There used to be an organ in the main hall but it was removed when the Hall was going under modernisation, however the ceiling and oak wall panelling are original. Look up at the ceiling  to see the ‘ribs’, each comprising ten panels forming an open decagon.


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