Monday, 30th December 2019 - Wednesday, 20th December 2023


Closed on Monday 26th February.

The Discovering the Guildhall Exhibition is now open 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday (subject to events that may be taking place in the venue).

Please check our Exhibitions are open before travelling to the Guildhall on 023 9387 0200.


The Discovering the Guildhall Exhibition gives a fascinating insight to the music, civic and social history of Portsmouth Guildhall including two 15 minute films, recorded memories, archive material and memorabilia. 

Generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, working with Portsmouth Museum Service and The Mary Rose Museum, the project reached out to members of the public to reminisce and share their memories of the iconic venue online, in recorded interviews and in a fun memory booth at the venue.

Local residents and those now living overseas have kindly loaned and gifted personal items and shared fond memories of the Guildhall from pre-war to present day.

These memories are now brought together and presented in a compelling free exhibition of the music, civic and social history of Portsmouth Guildhall, telling the story of the iconic venue from the night it was devastated in 1941, to its rebuild, rise to fame through its legendary music performances, to present day. Stories are captured in two 15 minute films, recorded memories, archive material and memorabilia.

Located in the Bronze Door area on the 1st Floor of Portsmouth Guildhall, the exhibition will be openly accessible to the public (check back for dates and times) and accessible on show nights for ticket holders, subject to availability.

The project has engaged a new team of over 40 volunteers who have helped unearth archive material, record interviews and worked to create a permanent digital archive, to which people will be able to continuously add their memories for years to come. The volunteers have also delivered talks, arts-based outreach workshops and reminiscence sessions with schools, care homes and community groups across the city.

Some of the wonderful memories shared include those of the legendary concerts and acts people have attended, the prices they paid – including just 50p to see Ella Fitzgerald, their memories of Guildhall Square, playing on the steps, seeing the building bombed out and even tales of who has taken a nap in the Lady Mayoress’ bedroom!

Submit your memories and find out more about the project here.

Event details

Age: 14's and under to be accompanied by an 18+ adult


Discounted parking tickets are available online or at the box office.


No flash photography or iPads are allowed.


Kindly note the advertised price includes a booking fee (BF) of %.


No externally bought drinks or any liquids - only certain food will be allowed. See our house rules for more information.


All events at Portsmouth Guildhall include a ticket restoration levy.


See our house rules.


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