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Guildhall Yard

As the home of the City of London, Guildhall has been the centre of City government since the Middle Ages.

How to get to Guildhall
How to hire Guildhall
Tours of Guildhall
Building works around Guildhall

The word 'guildhall' is said to derive from the Anglo-Saxon 'gild' meaning payment, so it was probably a place where citizens would pay their taxes. The present Guildhall was begun in 1411 and, having survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, it is the only secular stone structure dating from before 1666 still standing in the City.

 Art Gallery - reception

It is likely that at least one earlier guildhall existed on or near the current site. References to a London guildhall are made in a document dating back to 1128 and the current hall's west crypt is thought to be part of a late-13th century building. Remains of a long-lost Roman amphitheatre discovered in 1987 underneath what is now Guildhall Yard indicate that the site of Guildhall was significant as far back as Roman times.

The Great Hall is the third largest civic hall in England, where royalty and state visitors have been entertained down the centuries. It has been the setting for famous state trials, including that of Lady Jane Grey in 1553. The imposing medieval hall has stained glass windows and several monuments to national heroes including Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill.

Old Library - round table set up  The Old Library building housed the Guildhall library and the Guildhall Museum from 1873 until 1974, when the collections moved to the newly constructed west wing and the Museum of London. Both the Old Library and the adjacent Print Room are now used as reception rooms. Beneath Guildhall lie the largest medieval crypts in London.

Livery Hall - sprig set up  Today Guildhall still plays an important role in the City. It provides a venue for state and civic banquets, meetings of the City of London's elected assembly, the Court of Common Council and for the Honorary Freedom of the City ceremony.

How to get to Guildhall

Guildhall map (233kb)

 Livery Hall - conference

Guildhall is easily reached from St Paul's, Moorgate, Bank and Mansion House tube stations and Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Moorgate and City Thameslink railway stations. The nearest bus routes are to Bank, Moorgate, Cheapside and London Wall. Wheelchair accessible entrances and facilities are available at Guildhall.

Guildhall is open free of charge to the public when it is not being used for events.
To check opening times, tel 020 7606 3030.

For information on disabled access visit Disabled Go.

Training room hire

The City of London’s internal training rooms can be hired for training events, workshops or meetings. 

Download the service outline flyer (382kb) for more information.

To book a training room contact Beverly Campbell on 020 7332 1394 or by email at . Subject to Terms of Hire which will be provided on enquiry .

Great Hall - gala dinner  How to hire Guildhall

For bookings please telephone 020 7332 1461/ 020 7332 1313 or email  

Please download our conditions of hire for the Guildhall (75kb) before making a booking.

 Remembrancers Department, City of London, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London, EC2P 2EJ

Crypts - dinner For further information about Guildhall as a venue please visit the Guildhall Events website.

Below are links to further information about hiring Guildhall:

Room capacities (12kb)
Download the conditions of hire for the Guildhall (75kb)
Download a list of livery halls and other venues available for hire in the City (75kb)
Download the Old Library floorplan (240kb)
Download the Great Hall floorplan (271kb)
Download the East Crypt floorplan (293kb)
Download the West Crypt floorplan (275kb)

Tours of Guildhall

Once a month on Court of Common Council days, tours of the Guildhall are led by qualified City of London Guides from 10.45am to 12noon. Find out more and see upcoming dates here.

Building works around Guildhall

Works are being planned for the Guildhall during the summer recess period which may affect visitors to the Great Hall and the Guildhall Library.

Works will be taking place in the West Ambulatory, which is the lobby space outside the west doorway to the Great Hall. The roof in this area is being replaced with a simple steel and glass roof which will then allow the floor to be raised to form a ramp into the Great Hall for disabled access. The roof will be installed during the summer, leaving the floor and other finishing works to be completed at later in the year. Some of the work, particularly demolition of the existing concrete canopies and drilling for steel brackets will be noisy and during crane operations access to the Guildhall Yard will be restricted.

We apologise for the inconvenience you may experience as a result of these works.

The works are being managed by Richard Litherland (020 7332 3563) and Richard Joyner (020 7332 1740) of the City Surveyor’s Department. Please contact them if you have any concerns regarding the works.

Please download details of current work

Ambulatory introduction - week 1 (219kb)
Ambulatory week 2 (314kb)
Ambulatory week 3 (304kb)
Ambulatory week 4 (186kb)
Ambulatory week 5 (197kb)
Ambulatory week 6 (283kb)
Ambulatory week 7 (185kb)
Ambulatory week 8 (208kb)

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Last modified: 8 September 2011 | Author: Elizabeth Pountney
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