Stadsmuseum Woerden is established in the former townhall of Woerden (Stedehuys), which was built in 1501 in late Gothic style. It then consisted of a ground floor and attic. The main room was the Magistrates and Aldermen chamber where justice was administered. The old pillory is a reminder of this law court function.
In 1602 Woerden was given the right to appoint a town council of 24 members, but that raised the issue of lack of space; where could this large group meet?
So, around 1610 a first floor was added, built in Dutch Renaissance style, with work rooms and the council chamber (Vroedschapszaal). On the outside the building was characterized by a stepped gable with a statue of Lady Justice at the top.
The town council continued to meet in the Vroedschapszaal until 1889.
After a new town hall was built, the old Stedehuys became a seat for the cantonal court until 1933. Eventually it became a municipal museum.
Look here for a short tour about the old townhall by museum guide Erik Gol.