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Neeld Community and Arts Centre


The Town Hall was designed by James Thomson and built in 1835 on the site of Cannon Inn by Chippenham’s great benefactor, Joseph Neeld, MP for Grittleton. It had a limestone ashlar front, rubblestone right return, slate roof with stacks to rear and originally housed the Cheese Market and the Corn Exchange. The Neeld Hall was added in 1850, also to Thomson’s design. The building has nine semi-circular arched bays of small-paned sash windows. There is a later pent extension on the west side over three arches at street level. The lower level which formed the open market was enclosed, forming Civic rooms. Used during the First World War as a military hospital, the Neeld Hall was subsequently converted for use as a concert hall with acoustic barrel-vault and the addition of a stage and proscenium bearing a coat-of-arms. More recently, the hall was extensively modernised, which included the installation of new acoustic curtains to the interior walls to improve sound quality in the auditorium. The current (2015) refurbishment scheme includes improvements to the foyer and public spaces. The original vaulted market space on the ground floor will be opened up by removing the existing partitions to become a Front of House area. Part of the adjacent building will be refurbished to create a new bar, accessed via a new door directly connected to the hall. Retractable tiered seating will be installed to increase capacity to 230 seated or around 500 standing. Additional stairs to the stage will be added and an orchestra pit provided. There will be a general upgrade of the building, particularly the lighting, sound and fire safety systems, to improve the environmental performance. The existing wooden floor of the main building will be sanded and sealed and the hall will be completely redecorated and an air-conditioning unit installed.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
Current state
Current use
Theatre (Municipal/entertainment hall)
High Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3ER, England
Further details
Other names
Neeld Hall
  • Owner/Management: Chippenham Town Council, owners
  • 1835 Design/Construction: Town Hall and cheese-market
    James Thomson
    - Architect
  • 1850 Alteration: Neeld Hall added
    James Thomson
    - Architect
  • 2015 Alteration: redevelopment
    - Contractor
    Quattro Design Architects
    - Architect
  • Capacity
    450 : 1951
  • Capacity
    230 seated ; 500 standing : 2015
  • Listing
Stage type
post WWI: Pros flat
Building dimensions: 1850 hall 50ft x 33ft x 19ft high (later extended)
Stage dimensions: -
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -