Fringe Box



Look Out Below! at Tunsgate Arch

Published on: 20 Feb, 2019
Updated on: 21 Feb, 2019

Barriers in place to prevent pedestrians walking through the centre archway gap.

Steps under Tunsgate Arch have been fenced off after a large chunk of masonry fell to the ground from the architrave.

A nearby stallholder said she thought the incident occurred on Saturday (February 16, 2019) when she first noticed the barriers.

Fortunately, no one was injured when the pice of stonework fell. The weight of a stone fragment that size falling from height could have caused serious injury.

A GBC spokesperson said: “Guildford Borough Council is responsible for any repairs to Tunsgate Arch. A structural engineer is currently surveying the arch following the unexpected dislodgement of a stone from the facade.

“We will be carrying out the repairs as soon as possible.  As this is a listed building, we will need to obtain various consents, which may take some time.

“The area below the facade has been fenced off, as a precautionary measure, to protect the public. It will remain so until we are satisfied that any potential risk to public safety has been removed.”


Close up showing the gap left by the piece of masonry that fell to the ground.

Technically, what is locally called Tunsgate Arch is a portico. It is Grade II listed and was built around 1818 after the Tuns Inn and a wooden canopied corn market that had stood on the site were demolished.

It was built as a covered corn market while rooms at the rear were originally used as a court house.

The corn market closed in 1901, replaced by a new building within the cattle market in Woodbridge Road (now the site of the law courts and police station).

In the mid-1930s the front of the portico was jacked up and the two central columns moved apart to allow motor-vehicles access to a car park in Tunsgate itself.

Following the part-pedestrisation of the High Street, it was once more closed to traffic and steps were reinstalled.

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