By F Jukes
The Bishop's Guildhall, a symbol of his power over both market and city, was a large structure built around 1300 at the eastern end of the Market Place. The secular government of the city also had its headquarters in the Market Place but at the western end. Re-organisation of the market in the early 1400s led to a new secular council house being built in front of the Bishop's Guildhall between 1580 and 1584.
When this Elizabethan building was damaged by fire and had to be demolished in 1780, the opportunity was taken to encourage the Bishop to relinquish his guildhall, to make room for one new, secular Council House. The present building was a gift to the city from the Earl of Radnor and was completed in 1795.