Sessions House

The City of Ely Council moved into Sessions House, the former Magistrates Court, in February 2015 after being offered the building by the Ministry of Justice.  The general consensus was that the Courthouse should be retained for the City and that it was a vital acquisition for the benefit of the people of Ely.  Phase 2 of the refurbishment in now completed.  The Council Chamber is now in use and is available to hire for your local meeting or event.  There are various types of spaces available, including the old Judges Room and Court Room, depending on your requirements.

History

The order for the building of a new Sessions House was given in 1819.  Extra land was purchased and an Act to approve the new Sessions House gained Royal assent in July 1820.  The contractors were paid £6,000.

About 25 years later, a house of correction was built at the rear and the prison chapel was converted into a police station.  Between 1865 and 1869 the north wing was appropriated for use as an armoury, and was taken over entirely for this purpose when, in 1878, the house of correction was closed under the Prisons Act of the previous year.

Repairs and alterations were made to the building in the C20th, most notably, a new set of railings were added to the front and the columns repaired, the holding cells were modernised and the sides of the dock in the main courtroom were raised and the floor lowered.                                                                                                                                                                     Information provided by Historic England.

Hirers Policy Notice

Letting Policy for Sessions House

Sessions House Booking Form