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Guildhall is a municipal building in the
Moorgate Moorgate was one of the City of London's northern gates in its defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from simple palisades ...

Moorgate
area of the
City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

City of London
,
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. It is off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of
Bassishaw Bassishaw is a ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison wa ...
and Cheap. The building has been used as a
town hall #REDIRECT Town hall#REDIRECT Town hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administration (government), admin ...

town hall
for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its
Corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
. It should not be confused with London's
City Hall#REDIRECT Town hall#REDIRECT Town hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administration (government), admini ...
, the administrative centre for
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England, administrative area governed by the Greater London Authority, and a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of England that covers the bulk of the same area ...

Greater London
. The term "Guildhall" refers both to the whole building and to its main room, which is a medieval
great hall #REDIRECTGreat hall#REDIRECTGreat hall A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted fr ...

great hall
. The nearest London Underground stations are
Bank A bank is a financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), stat ...
, St Paul's and
Moorgate Moorgate was one of the City of London's northern gates in its defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from simple palisades ...

Moorgate
. It is a
Grade I A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive n ...
-listed building.


History


Roman, Saxon and Medieval

During the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman
period, the Guildhall was the site of the London Roman Amphitheatre, rediscovered as recently as 1988. It was the largest in
Britannia Britannia () is the national personification upright=0.9, An early example of National personification in a gospel book dated 990: Germania.html"_;"title="Sclavinia,_Germania">Sclavinia,_Germania,_Sclavinia,_Germania,_Gallia">Germania.ht ...

Britannia
, partial remains of which are on public display in the basement of the
Guildhall Art Gallery The Guildhall Art Gallery houses the art collection of the City of London, England. It is a stone building in a semi-Gothic style intended to be sympathetic to the historic Guildhall, London, Guildhall, which is adjacent and to which it is connec ...

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. Excavations by
Museum of London Archaeology MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) is an archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, ...
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 St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall is a Church of England guild church in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district tha ...

St Lawrence Jewry
whose strange alignment may shadow the elliptical form of the amphitheatre beneath. The first documentary reference to a London Guildhall is dated 1128. Legend describes the Guildhall site as being the location of the palace of
Brutus of Troy Brutus, or Brute of Troy, is a legendary descendant of the Troy, Trojan hero Aeneas, known in medieval British history as the eponymous founder and first king of Great Britain, Britain. This legend first appears in the ''Historia Brittonum'', an a ...

Brutus of Troy
, who according to
Geoffrey of Monmouth Geoffrey of Monmouth ( la, Galfridus Monemutensis, Galfridus Arturus, cy, Gruffudd ap Arthur, Sieffre o Fynwy; c. 1095 – c. 1155) was a British cleric and one of the major figures in the development of British historiography and the populari ...
's ''
Historia Regum Britanniae ''Historia regum Britanniae'' (''The History of the Kings of Britain''), originally called ''De gestis Britonum'' (''On the Deeds of the Britons''), is a pseudohistorical Pseudohistory is a form of pseudoscholarship that attempts to distort or ...
'' (1136) is said to have founded a city on the banks of the River Thames, known as Troia Nova, or New Troy. 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.


Current building

The current building began construction in 1411 and completed in 1440. The Great Hall did not completely escape damage in the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

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. 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 A hammerbeam roof is a decorative, open timber roof truss A timber roof truss is a structural framework of timbers designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. Trusses usually occur at regular intervals, linked by ...
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 The ''Luftwaffe'' () was the aerial-warfare branch of the German ''Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), th ...
fire-raid. It was replaced in 1954 during works designed by Sir
Giles Gilbert Scott Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (9 November 1880 – 8 February 1960) was a British architect known for his work on the New Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Battersea Power Station, Liverpool Cathedral, and de ...
, though the original hammerbeam design was not retained. Trials at the Guildhall have included those of
Anne Askew Anne Askew (née Ayscough, Ascue; married name Anne Kyme; 152116 July 1546) was an English writer, poet, and Protestant martyr who was condemned as a heretic in England in the reign of Henry VIII of England Henry VIII (28 June 149128 Jan ...
(the Protestant martyr),
Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in History of England, England and Wales ...

Thomas Cranmer
(Archbishop of Canterbury) and
Lady Jane Grey Lady Jane Grey ( 1537 – 12 February 1554), later known as Lady Jane Dudley (after her marriage) and as the "Nine Days' Queen", was a teenage English noblewoman who claimed the throne of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553. J ...

Lady Jane Grey
("the Nine Days' Queen") as well as
Henry Garnet Henry Garnet (July 1555 – 3 May 1606), sometimes Henry Garnett, was an English Jesuit priest executed for his complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Born in Heanor, Derbyshire, he was educated in Nottingham and later at Winchester Coll ...

Henry Garnet
(executed for his complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605). The 1783 hearing of the infamous , the outcome of which focused public outrage about the
transatlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** ...
, also took place at Guildhall. On 16 November 1848, the pianist
Frédéric Chopin Frédéric François Chopin (born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin; 1 March 181017 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso A virtuoso (from Italian ''virtuoso'' or , "virtuous", Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the ...

Frédéric Chopin
made his last public appearance on a concert platform there. The
marathon The marathon is a long-distance foot race with a distance of , usually run as a road running, road race, but the distance can be covered on trail routes. The marathon can be completed by running or with a run/walk strategy. There are also ...

marathon
route of the
2012 Summer Olympics The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational ...
passed through Guildhall Yard.


Present use

The day-to-day administration of the
City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London, the historic centre of London and the location of much of the United Kingd ...
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 The Guildhall Library is a public reference library specialising in subjects relevant to London. It is administered by the Corporation of London, the government of the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, ...
, a public reference library with specialist collections on London, which include material from the 11th century onwards, is also housed in the complex.


Gog and Magog

Two giants,
Gog and Magog Gog and Magog (; he, גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג, ''Gōg ū-Māgōg'') appear in the Hebrew Bible as individuals, tribes, or lands. In Ezekiel 38, Gog is an individual and Magog is his land; in Genesis 10, Magog is a man and eponymous ancestor ...

Gog and Magog
, are associated with Guildhall. Legend has it that the two giants were defeated by
Brutus Marcus Junius Brutus (; 85 BC – 23 October 42 BC), often referred to simply as Brutus, was a Roman senator and the most famous of assassination of Julius Caesar, the assassins of Julius Caesar. After being adopted by Quintus Servilius Caepio (u ...

Brutus
and chained to the gates of his palace on the site of Guildhall. Early carvings of Gog and Magog were destroyed in Guildhall during the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

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 more than two hundred years before they were destroyed in the
Blitz Blitz, German for "lightning Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and m ...
. They, in turn, were replaced by a new pair carved by David Evans in 1953 and given to the City of London by
Alderman An alderman is a member of a municipal A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level sub ...
Sir George Wilkinson, who had been
Lord Mayor Lord mayor is a title of a mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or ...
in 1940 at the time of the destruction of the previous versions.


Functions

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 A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
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 The City of London School, also known as CLS and City, is a Public school (United Kingdom), public school (Independent school (United Kingdom), independent day school for Single-sex education, boys) in the City of London, England, on the banks of t ...

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 The International Wine & Spirit Competition is an annual wine and spirit competition founded in 1969 by the German/British oenologist Anton Massel. Each year the competition receives entries from over 90 List of wine producing countries, countrie ...
(IWSC). The
Worshipful Company of Carmen The Worshipful Company of Carmen is one of the Livery Companies Coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, founded in 1345, 2nd in precedence amongst the livery companies of the city: ''Argent, a chevron gules between nine cloves six ...
holds its cart-marking ceremony in the courtyard each July.


Members Bar

The Members Bar in the Guildhall is a highly subsidised facility for members of the
Court of Common Council The Court of Common Council is the primary decision-making body of the City of London Corporation. It meets nine times per year. Most of its work is carried out by committees. City of London Corporation elections , Elections are held at least every ...
and the
Court of Aldermen The Court of Aldermen forms part of the senior governance of the City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body o ...
. However, access to the facilities becomes a privilege for life even after an individual is no longer a member of either of these courts. Members can also entertain guests there. It is substantially cheaper than any other bar in the
City of London The City of London is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

City of London
, as it is subsidised from the
City's Cash City's Cash is an endowment fund, overseen by the City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of Lo ...
, a
sovereign wealth fund A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sovereign investment fund, or social wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, Bond (finance), bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative inve ...
.


See also

*
Guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functiona ...
*
Guildhall 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 nam ...

Guildhall


References


External links


City of London Corporation homepage on Guildhall
{{Authority control 1411 establishments in England Government buildings completed in 1440 Grade I listed buildings in the City of London Local government buildings in London Tourist attractions in the City of London
History of the City of London City of London History of London by location, City of London, History of the History of England by county, London, City of {{CatAutoTOC ...
Buildings and structures in the United Kingdom destroyed during World War II City and town halls in London Georgian architecture in London Gothic architecture in England Roman London Gog and Magog