Winchester Corn Exchange

Historic Building in Winchester

Winchester Corn Exchange
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wayland Smith

The Corn Exchange, situated on Jewry Street, was constructed in 1838 with a price tag of £4000. Originally serving as a bustling trading venue throughout most of the 19th century, its purpose gradually declined as the new century approached. Over the years, the building underwent various transformations, being utilized as a dining hall, roller skating rink, and sports hall.

From 1915 to 1917, it was repurposed as a theater and later converted into a cinema. The cinema boasted additional amenities such as a restaurant, tea lounge, and even a resident orchestra. However, this venture came to an end in 1922, leading to the building’s transition back to a dance hall before once again becoming a cinema.

In 1936, the City Council, who had owned the building since 1913, made an investment of £3,100 to relocate the Public Library from the Guildhall extension to the Corn Exchange, where it still stands today. Behind the Public Library lies a car park, beneath which an extensive network of tunnels can be found. During World War II, these tunnels served as air raid shelters equipped with bunks and essential supplies for extended stays. Some remnants of these artifacts remain, albeit in a somewhat deteriorated state. The tunnel access, clearly visible in the color photo, now serves as an entrance to the Ladies Public Convenience located in the Library’s basement.

The Winchester Corn Exchange appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Winchester!

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Visiting Winchester Corn Exchange


Monday – Saturday: 9:30am – 5:00pm

Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Address: The Arc Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB, UK
Duration: 20 minutes

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