The original Sessions House was located in the southwest corner of the Marketplace. Dating back to 1755, the building was sold to the magistrates by Lord Bristol as he was unwilling to remedy the dilapidated state into which the building had fallen. Charles Kirk was invited to dismantle and rebuild the Sessions House base upon a Tudor-style design by London based architect H Edward Kendall. The overall cost for these works was £7,000. In 2008 Grantham Magistrates Court took over the responsibility for processing local offenders and so the Sleaford Court was closed. Since then, the Sessions House has been sold and converted into a restaurant and offices.
1701, Sessions House – Henry Pickworth
Henry Pickworth was a Quaker, a member of a religious order with comparatively new origins. On the day that we meet him, he has just seen his religious texts being burned in the town market place on the order of the Town Magistrates after they deemed the tenets of the Quaker religion heretical. This was despite the Tolerance Act having been passed a decade before which outlawed discrimination and malicious acts towards Quakers.
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