Guildhall, London

Guildhall is a Grade I-listed building in the City of London, England. It is situated off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. The building has been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its Corporation. It should not be confused with London's City Hall, the administrative centre for Greater London. The term "Guildhall" refers both to the whole building and to its main room, which is a medieval great hall. The building is traditionally referred to as Guildhall, never "the" Guildhall. The nearest London Underground stations are Bank, St Paul's and Moorgate.

Guildhall, London
Guildhall, Londres, Inglaterra, 2014-08-11, DD 139
The façade of Guildhall
TypeCivic building
LocationGuildhall Yard, EC2
Coordinates51°30′57″N 0°05′31″W / 51.5159°N 0.092°WCoordinates: 51°30′57″N 0°05′31″W / 51.5159°N 0.092°W
OS grid referenceTQ 32485 81384
AreaCity of London
OwnerCity of London Corporation
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: Guildhall
Designated4 January 1950
Reference no.1064675
Guildhall, London is located in Central London
Guildhall, London
Location of Guildhall, London in Central London


Roman, Saxon and Medieval

The great hall is believed to be on a site of an earlier Guildhall (one possible derivation for the word "guildhall" is the Anglo-Saxon "gild", meaning payment, with a "gild-hall" being where citizens would pay their taxes). Possible evidence for this derivation may be in a reference to John Parker, the sergeant of "Camera Guyhalde", London, in 1396.[1]

The Crypt, Guildhall, London (1)
Guildhall crypt

During the Roman period, it was the site of an amphitheatre, the largest in Britannia, partial remains of which are on public display in the basement of Guildhall Art Gallery and the outline of whose arena is marked with a black circle on the paving of the courtyard in front of the hall. Indeed, the siting of the Saxon Guildhall here was probably due to the amphitheatre's remains[2] Excavations by MOLA in 2000 at the entrance to Guildhall Yard exposed remains of the great 13th-century gatehouse built directly over the southern entrance to the Roman amphitheatre, which raises the possibility that enough of the Roman structure survived to influence the siting not only of the gatehouse and Guildhall itself but also of the church of St Lawrence Jewry whose strange alignment may shadow the elliptical form of the amphitheatre beneath.[3] The first documentary reference to a London Guildhall is dated 1128 and the current hall's west crypt may be part of a late-13th century building.

Legend describes the Guildhall site as being the location of the palace of Brutus of Troy, who according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae (1136) is said to have founded a city on the banks of the River Thames, known as Troia Nova, or New Troy.


Guildhall, City of London - Diliff
The Great Hall

The current building began construction in 1411 and completed in 1440, and it is the only non-ecclesiastical stone building in the City to have survived through to the present day. The complex contains several other historic interiors besides the hall, including the large medieval crypts, the old library, and the print room, all of which are now used as function rooms.

Trials in this hall have included those of Anne Askew (Protestant martyr), Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, Lady Jane Grey, Guildford Dudley, Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper (lovers of Catherine Howard), Thomas Cranmer, Henry Peckham and John Daniel (members of the 1556 Dudley conspiracy), John Felton (Catholic), Roderigo Lopez, Henry Garnet (in connection with the Gunpowder Plot), and Gervase Helwys (in connection with the Overbury plot). It also played a part in Jack Cade's 1450 rebellion. The 1783 hearing of the infamous Zong case, the outcome of which focused public outrage about the transatlantic slave trade, also took place at Guildhall.[4] On 16 November 1848, the pianist Frédéric Chopin made his last public appearance on a concert platform here.

Guildhall contains memorials to Pitt the Elder, Pitt the Younger, Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, William Beckford, and Winston Churchill.

Guildhall. Engraved by E.Shirt after a drawing by Prattent. c.1805.
The Guildhall complex in c. 1805. The buildings on the left and right have not survived.
Guildhall Queen Victoria ILN 1863
This 1863 gathering at Guildhall was attended by Queen Victoria. The roof shown here has been replaced, but the hammerbeam design was not retained.

The Great Hall did not completely escape damage in the Great Fire of London in 1666; it was partially restored (with a flat roof) in 1670. The present grand entrance (the east wing of the south front), in "Hindoostani Gothic", was added in 1788 by George Dance (and restored in 1910). A more extensive restoration than that in 1670 was completed in 1866 by the City of London architect Sir Horace Jones, who added a new timber roof in close keeping with the original hammerbeam ceiling. This replacement was destroyed during the Second Great Fire of London on the night of 29/30 December 1940, the result of a Luftwaffe fire-raid. It was replaced in 1954 during works designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, but the original hammerbeam design was not retained.


Modern part of Guildhall, London
West Wing of Guildhall

The day-to-day administration of the City of London Corporation is now conducted from modern buildings immediately to the north of Guildhall, but Guildhall itself and the adjacent historic interiors are still used for official functions, and it is open to the public during the annual London Open House weekend. Guildhall Art Gallery was added to the complex in the 1990s. Guildhall Library, a public reference library with specialist collections on London, which include material from the 11th century onwards, is also housed in the complex. The Clockmakers' Museum was previously located at Guildhall but as of 2015 has been relocated to the Science Museum.

The marathon route of the 2012 Summer Olympics passed through Guildhall Yard.[5]

Gog and Magog

Statue of Gog, Great Hall, Guildhall, London
The figure of Gog

Two giants, Gog and Magog, are associated with Guildhall. Legend has it that the two giants were defeated by Brutus and chained to the gates of his palace on the site of Guildhall. Carvings of Gog and Magog are kept in Guildhall and 7-foot high wicker effigies of them donated by the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers in 2007 lead the procession in the annual Lord Mayor's Show.

Early versions of Gog and Magog were destroyed in Guildhall during the Great Fire of London. They were replaced in 1708 by a large pair of wooden statues carved by Captain Richard Saunders. These giants, on whom the current versions are based, lasted for over two hundred years before they were destroyed in the Blitz. They, in turn, were replaced by a new pair carved by David Evans in 1953 and given to the City of London by Alderman Sir George Wilkinson, who had been Lord Mayor in 1940 at the time of the destruction of the previous versions.


Guildhall hosts many events throughout the year, the most notable one being the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, which is held in honour of the immediate-past Lord Mayor and is the first to be hosted by the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. In keeping with tradition, it is at this Banquet that the Prime Minister makes a major World Affairs speech. One of the last acts of the outgoing Lord Mayor is to present prizes at the City of London School prize day at Guildhall. Other events include those of various law firms, award evenings for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and the banquet for the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). The Worshipful Company of Carmen holds its Cart-Marking ceremony in the courtyard each July.[6]

Members Bar

The Members Bar in the Guildhall is a highly subsidised facility for members of the Court of Common Council and the Court of Aldermen.[7] However access to the facilities becomes a privilege for life even after an individual is no longer a member of either of these courts.[7] Members can also entertain guests there.[7] With spirits available for as little as 60p in October 2017 it is substantially cheaper than any other bar in the City of London.[7] The bar is subsidised from the City's Cash, a sovereign wealth fund[7] originally set up in the 15th century.

See also


  1. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/541. Year 1396; third entry.
  2. ^ Current Archaeology 137.
  3. ^ British Archaeology, 52.
  4. ^ "The Guildhall", Museum of London.
  5. ^ London 2012 Archived 19 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine 2012 Olympics Marathon Route
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e Elledge, Jonn. "Like no council canteen you've ever seen: on the drinks menu at the City of London's Guildhall Bar". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 November 2017.

External links

Media related to Guildhall, London at Wikimedia Commons


A guildhall is either a town hall, or a building historically used by guilds for meetings and other purposes, in which sense it can also be spelled as "guild hall" and may also be called a "guild house". It is also the official or colloquial name for many of these specific buildings, many of which are now museums.

Guildhall Museum

Guildhall Museum can refer any of the Guild halls in England now used as museums, including

Boston Guildhall

Leicester Guildhall

London Guildhall (museum from 1826 to 1974)

Rochester Guildhall

Honourable Company of Master Mariners

The Honourable Company of Master Mariners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was formed in 1926; it was made a Livery Company by the City of London in 1932, making it the first new Livery Company to be formed since 1746. While the other Livery Companies are entitled to the style Worshipful, the Master Mariners are styled Honourable, King George V having granted them that honour in 1928.

The Company aids nautical schools and promotes nautical research. It ranks seventy-eighth in the order of precedence for Livery Companies. Its motto is Loyalty and Service.

Instead of the usual livery hall, the Honourable Company of Master Mariners has a headquarters ship, HQS Wellington, moored on the Thames at Victoria Embankment.

John Francis Moore (sculptor)

John Francis Moore (died 1809) was a sculptor who was active in late 18th century Britain. His works include two memorials in Westminster Abbey.

Julie Zahra

Julie Ann Zahra (born Malta 1982) represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2004. As part of the duo "Julie & Ludwig", their song On Again... Off Again qualified for the final and came 12th out of 36 countries competing. Zahra was also the spokesperson for Malta at the 2015 Contest.

Julie is a classically trained singer who has been actively involved in music from a very young age. She took part in many local and international festivals, TV drama, music videos, and theatre. She moved to the United Kingdom to expand her singing career and to continue studying classical voice. She completed her Music degree with Trinity Guildhall, London.

In the United Kingdom Julie taught at the Performance Academy of Newcastle College, and taught Music and Singing at All Saints College in Newcastle upon Tyne for over a year. She also taught singing with Stagecoach theatre schools, did workshops in schools around Buckinghamshire and North London.Julie launched a single entitled "No one in Heaven" in 2012. She continues to release recordings.

Julie has now moved back to Malta where she has been teaching Music in various schools and performing arts schools. She has been busy performing in several venues around the island doing recitals and performing with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

By 2017, Julie has become a mother to a girl named Nina Mae.

List of monuments to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Wellington Monument may refer to any one of the monuments to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1769 – 1852), a leading British political and military figure of the 19th century, particularly noted for his defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo (1815).

This is a list of the monuments erected to him (in rough chronological order):

A monumental column and statue in his birthplace in Trim, County Meath, Ireland. (1817)

Wellington Monument, London, on Park Lane, London; a colossal bronze statue of Achilles by Richard Westmacott (1822)

Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner, London, built to a design by Decimus Burton (1825–1827)

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, City of London by Francis Leggatt Chantrey (1844)

Wellington Monument, Old Woodhall Road, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, a column with bust on top. (1844)

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Glasgow by Carlo Marochetti (1844)

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Aldershot , originally at Hyde Park Corner, by Matthew Cotes Wyatt (1846)

A statue of Wellington by the sculptor Thomas Milnes at Woolwich Arsenal, which now stands in Wellington Park (1848)

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, East End of Princes Street, Edinburgh. by Sir John Steell (1848–52)

Wellington Monument, Somerset, in the Blackdown Hills (Commenced 1817, completed in 1854)This monument overlooks the town of Wellington, from which Wellington's title was taken.

A statue of Wellington by the sculptor Carlo Marochetti in Leeds, England, which now stands in Woodhouse Moor park (1855).

A statue in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester by Matthew Noble. (1855/6)

A monument in the Great Hall of the Guildhall, London by John Bell (1856)

Duke of Wellington Statue, The Bulwark, Brecon, Wales, by John Evan Thomas, (1858)

Wellington Monument, Dublin, by Robert Smirke. The memorial in the Phoenix park is the tallest obelisk in Europe . (Commenced 1817, completed 1861)

Duke of Wellington Commemorative Column, outside Stratfield Saye House, Hampshire, a column with statue on top, by Carlo Marochetti (1863)

Wellington's Column in Liverpool by Mr George and Andrew Lawson (1865)

Wellington Monument, Baslow,Edge Derbyshire. A stone cross(1866)

Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Hyde Park Corner, London by Joseph Boehm (1888)

A monument in St Paul's Cathedral, London, where he is buried. By Alfred Stevens , (completed 1912)The Duke's horse, Copenhagen, has a monument over his grave at Stratfield Saye House, Hampshire.

Nick Ramm

Nick Ramm is a London-based pianist and composer, son of pianist and cruise ship musical director Dave Ramm. He studied music at Keele University and at the Guildhall, London before embarking on his career with Nick Ramm's Quota. He is a director of the F-IRE Collective and has recorded with Barak Schmool, Finn Peters, Oriole, Vaughan Hawthorne-Nelson and others.

In 2005 he released his first album "Flashes of a Normal World" with his own band Clown Revisited. The bands he is currently involved in include The Cinematic Orchestra, Finn Peters' Finntet, Fulborn Teversham, BBC Big Band and many others.

Portrait of a Man (Frans Hals, Frick)

Portrait of a Man is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted circa 1660 and now in the Frick Collection, New York City. The man has been mistakenly identified as Michiel de Ruyter.

Raymond Njoku

Raymond Amanze Njoku (August 1915 – 1977) was a Nigerian politician and former minister for Transport. The son of an Igbo Chief, he was born in Owerri and raised in a Roman Catholic household. He attended Our Lady's School at Emekullku, for primary education. Later on, at St Charles, college, Onitsha, where he was studying, he applied and won a scholarship that earned him an admission into a teachers training school. After brief stints at tutorship in various schools including St Gregory's College, Lagos and St Charles, Onitsha, he decided to change course and study law. After completing his Law studies at Cambridge: LLB Hons Peterhouse College Cambridge, England; he was called to the bar at Inner Temple.

Njoku returned to Nigeria and was a successful lawyer in Aba, Eastern Nigeria, 1949-1954. He was president of Igbo State Union of Nigeria in succession to Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe; Vice President NCNC (National Council of Nigeria & the Cameroon), and also served the Aba community as the leader of the Aba Community League of the Ibo State Union. He contested for a regional seat in 1951, but was unsuccessful. However, in 1954, he was elected to the Federal House of Representative. He was appointed cabinet minister: Commerce & Industry, Transport & Aviation 1954- 1966. The final and definitive motion for Nigerian Independence on 1 October 1960 was moved by Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and endorsed by his cabinet colleague Raymond Njoku, minister of Trade & Industry. He was the chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; addressed British parliamentarians, including Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, at the Guildhall, London. During the Biafra War Prime Minister Harold Wilson read his telegram to the House of Commons calling for a ceasefire. Sir Hugh Fraser, Duncan Sandys and Patrick Wall were among his members of parliament friends. Njoku was made a knight of St Sylvester & St Gregory by Pope Paul VI.

Richard Gilbert Scott

Richard Gilbert Scott (12 December 1923 – 1 July 2017) was a British architect, born in London, the son of Giles Gilbert Scott and great-grandson of the great Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott. He was educated at Harrow, Charterhouse School, Bartlett School of Architecture London University, and Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture.

Scott was the designer of three churches which have been given the status of Grade II listed buildings: St Mark's Church, Biggin Hill, the Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Tile Cross, Birmingham and the Church of St Thomas More, Sheldon, also in Birmingham.

Scott worked for the family firm, retiring in 1999. Amongst other works he was responsible for the West Wing of the Guildhall, London (1974) and the Guildhall Art Gallery 1999. Both buildings contrast with the Gothic architecture of the Guildhall (which his father was in charge of restoring after World War II), the West Wing being in a modernist tradition, and the Art Gallery being in the post-modern tradition.

Seat of local government

In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre, (in the UK or Australia) a guildhall, a Rathaus (German), or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administrative building of a city, town, or other municipality. It usually houses the city or town council, its associated departments, and their employees. It also usually functions as the base of the mayor of a city, town, borough, or county/shire.

By convention, until the mid 19th-century, a single large open chamber (or 'hall') formed an integral part of the building housing the council. The hall may be used for council meetings and other significant events. This large chamber, the "town hall" (and its later variant "city hall") has become synonymous with the whole building, and with the administrative body housed in it. The terms "council chambers", "municipal building" or variants may be used locally in preference to "town hall" if no such large hall is present within the building.

The local government may endeavor to use the town hall building to promote and enhance the quality of life of the community. In many cases, "town halls" serve not only as buildings for government functions, but also have facilities for various civic and cultural activities. These may include art shows, stage performances, exhibits and festivals. Modern town halls or "civic centres" are often designed with a great variety and flexibility of purpose in mind.

As symbols of local government, city and town halls have distinctive architecture, and the buildings may have great historical significance – for example the Guildhall, London. City hall buildings may also serve as cultural icons that symbolize their cities.

Statue of Margaret Thatcher (London Guildhall)

The statue of Margaret Thatcher in the Guildhall, London, is a marble sculpture of Margaret Thatcher. It was commissioned in 1998 from the sculptor Neil Simmons by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art; paid for by an anonymous donor, it was intended for a plinth among statues of former Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom in the Members' Lobby of the House of Commons. However as the House did not permit a statue to be erected there during its subject's lifetime, the work had been temporarily housed in Guildhall. It was unveiled there by Thatcher in May 1998.

The Gielgud Award

The Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts, also known as the Golden Quill, is a prize established in 1994 which is presented by the America-based Shakespeare Guild to "honor Sir John and perpetuate his legacy." The award is named in honor of the English actor Sir John Gielgud.[1].

United Kingdom commercial law

United Kingdom commercial law is the law which regulates the sale and purchase of goods and services, when doing business in the United Kingdom.

Violin Concerto (Panufnik)

The Violin Concerto, composed by Andrzej Panufnik in 1971, is a concerto for violin and string orchestra. The work written was for and at the request of Yehudi Menuhin.The work has three movements:

Rubato, which commences and concludes with cadenzas for the soloist


VivaceThe work features long, singing melodic lines for the soloist. Panufnik wrote of the work: "When Yehudi Menuhin asked me to compose a violin concerto for him, I immediately had in mind his unique spiritual and poetic qualities and I felt I should provide a vehicle which would accentuate these rare gifts, and not obscure his deep inner musicianship by virtuoso pyrotechnics."Menuhin premiered the work on 18 July 1972 at the Guildhall, London (City of London Festival), with the Menuhin Festival Orchestra under Panufnik's baton.

William Humfreys

Sir William Humfreys, 1st Baronet (also spelled Humphreys; died 26 October 1735), was a British ironmonger and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1715 to 1722. He was Lord Mayor of London for 1714–15 and a Director of the Bank of England between 1719 and 1730.

He was the only son of ironmonger Nathaniel Humfreys of Candlewick Street, London. His father was the second son of William Ap Humfrey, of Penrhyn, Montgomeryshire. He followed his father into the ironmongery trade of London, and was Master of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers in 1705. He became an oilman and drysalter in Poultry, London, living afterwards in Bloomsbury Square.Humfreys was Sheriff of London, 1704–05, and was knighted on 26 October 1704. He was Alderman of Cheap Ward from 29 July 1707, and of Bridge Without from 25 January 1733 until his death. From 1711 to 1715, he was a Director of the East India Company. He was Lord Mayor of London for 1714–15, and in that capacity officiated on 20 October 1714 at the Coronation of the British monarch, George I of Great Britain, entertaining the King and his court at Guildhall, London. He was created a baronet in the baronetage of Great Britain on 30 November 1714.He was Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Great Britain for Marlborough from 1715 to 1722. and a Director of the Bank of England in 1719-21, 1722–25, 1726–27 and 1728-30. He was President of Bridewell and Bethlehem Hospitals, Lord of the Manors of Barking and Dagenham.

Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, UK.

The Company was founded by a Royal Charter of Charles I in 1629 AD; it was granted the status of a Livery Company in 1809. The Company was empowered to set regulations and standards for optical devices; this was eroded by the Industrial Revolution, after which mechanical advancements made trade restrictions difficult to enforce.

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