London’s Guildhall was originally built in 1411 but was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the current Gothic building was rebuilt in 1673. It has historically been The City of London’s city hall and is now the home of the Corporation of London, although City Hall in Southwark is the administrative centre of Greater London.
Some of the more impressive parts of Guildhall include the medieval Great Hall, which is the third largest civic hall in England and has entertained royalty and state visitors for hundreds of years, and the Old Library, which is now used as reception rooms.
What to see at Guildhall
Access for tourists is often limited because Guildhall is a working council building that is used for council functions and it is also used for functions for the City of London livery companies and parts of the building are often booked for private events.
When not in use the Great Hall is open to the public, giving you the opportunity to see inside the City of London’s only surviving secular medieval building. Much of the Great Hall is the original building dating from 1411.
There are also monthly tours of Guildhall that let you see a lot more of the building.
There is also a Roman amphitheatre located underneath Guildhall, but access to the amphitheatre is part of Guildhall Art Gallery, located next door.
Guildhall is located in Guildhall Yard, just off Gresham Street in the centre of the City of London. Bank is the closest tube station, although Moorgate and St Paul’s are also nearby.
It is located immediately next door to Guildhall Art Gallery and the City of London Police Museum. It is also less than a 10-minute walk to the Museum of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Access for tourists is often limited because it is a working council building that is used for council meetings and it is also used for functions for the City of London livery companies and parts are often booked for private events.
Once a month it is possible to take a 75-minute tour of Guildhall, which gives you considerably more access to the building and let you learn a lot more about how the City of London operates including the role of livery companies and famous events that have taken place in the City. Contact City of London Guides for more details about the monthly Guildhall tours.
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