Powys Digital History Project

The Judge's Lodging,Presteigne 2
The judges leave town

 The Dining Room
restored to its
original splendour

Changing times
As the Shire Hall was such a large and imposing building it was used for many purposes over the years. In 1834 it was decided that the judge’s palatial apartments couldThe restored Dining Room be rented out between the sittings, rather than waste luxurious rooms which were used for only a few weeks of every year.
In the 1860’s the building hosted temperance lectures, brass band concerts and fancy dress balls, and was even used as the Officers Mess of the Radnor Militia in 1865.
By the end of the 19th century Llandrindod Wells, some twenty miles to the south east of Presteigne, had grown into a thriving spa resort. The newly formed County Council which resulted from the 1888 Local Government Act chose it in preference to Presteigne as its meeting place, and Llandrindod Wells then became the county town of Radnorshire.

The Courtroom
at the
Judge's Lodging
(far right)

The major legal role of Presteigne in the county, however, continThe Courtroom restoredued until October 1970, when the Autumn Assizes were to be the last occasion on which judges sat in the Shire Hall. The lesser crimes were still dealt with by magistrates for a further 20 years.
As the uses of the Shire Hall were taken away, so the condition of the building inevitably worsened. By the early 1990’s the building was at considerable risk of irreversible decay or even demolition. Fortunately the interior of the building was not too bad, despite dampness and rather unfortunate redecoration carried out in the 1950’s.
The Judge's Lodging
is open daily from
March to October.
Telephone No:
01544 260650

Some of the original furniture was still in place, and the attics were found to be full of broken furniture, glassware, silverware and portraits. This made it a realistic possibility to restore the building to its mid Victorian heyday and open it to the public as a living museum of social history and as a real working Victorian house.

There are 3 pages on the Judge's Lodging. Use the box links below to view the other pages.

Home page