History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Medieval hall, the historic seat of the government of the city of London
At 46 metres in length, the Guildhall is the third largest medieval hall in England, after Westminster Hall and the Great Hall of the Archbishop's Palace at Canterbury.
The Guildhall was built to provide a suitable venue for London's city government, for the meetings of the Court of Common Council, and as the seat of the Lord Mayor and Sherriff of London.
In addition, it was used as a place to hold important trials. Among the memorable trials held at the Guildhall are those of Anne Askew (1546), the Earl of Surrey (1546), Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Guildford Dudley (1553), and Archbishop Cranmer (also 1553).
Though the Guildhall was heavily damaged in the Great Fire of 1666, the walls survived, and the interior was rebuilt. It was enlarged in the late 17th century, and again a century later.
In 1862 a minstrels gallery was added at the west end, and here can be seen statues of the two mythical giants Gog and Magog, symbols of the city. These giant statues were carved by David Evans to replace earlier statues of 1708 that were destroyed in air raids during World War II.
In a window embrasure you can see brass rods which acted as the official length measurements for one foot, two feet, and a yard.
There are several large, imposing statues to 'men of national importance' lining the hall. The choice of who made the grade is intriguing; here you will find memorials to William Pitt (elder and younger), Sir Winston Churchill, Admiral Nelson, and the Duke of Wellington, but also the much less known Willliam Beckford, a former Lord Mayor.
Immediately to the east of the Guildhall is the Guildhall Library, a modern building housing the art collection of the Corporation of London. Beneath the pavement of Guildhall Yard are the remains of a Roman amphitheatre discovered during construction work. These remains can be seen in the basement of the Guildhall Library.
About London Guildhall
Address: Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, London, Greater London, England, EC2 7HH
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Nearest underground stations are Moorgate, Bank, Mansion House, and St Paul's
Website: London Guildhall
Phone: 020 7332 1313
Fax: 020 7710 8578
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: Moorgate - 0.1 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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13th century (Time Period) - 14th century (Time Period) - 17th century (Time Period) - brass (Historical Reference) - Duke of Wellington (Person) - Edward the Confessor (Person) - Jane Grey (Person) - Medieval (Time Period) - Roman (Time Period) - Winston Churchill (Person) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
All Hallows London Wall - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Guildhall Art Gallery - 0.3 miles (Museum)
St Andrew Undershaft - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
St. Giles Cripplegate - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Wesley's Chapel - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Bunhill Fields Burial Ground - 0.4 miles (Park)
18 Folgate Street - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
Leadenhall Market - 0.4 miles (Historic Building)
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