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Gresham Street, EC2
Nearest Tube: Bank
Tel: 020 7606 3030
The Guildhall dates back to 1411 when it was built as somewhere for The City's trade guilds (or City Livery Companies) to meet. Some parts of the current building date from this time, although the roof, windows and various other parts were destroyed in the Great Fire of London and in the Blitz of the Second World War.
Since its founding it has been the focal point of The City's government and, appropriately enough, it is positioned at the geographical centre of The City. This building is where the Lord Mayors of London and Sheriffs are elected and where the Court of Common Council, presided over by the Lord Mayor, meets. This is still true even today!
Throughout its history the hall has also been used for many banquets, celebrations and ceremonies. For example, it was here that a celebratory banquet was held on the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Once you get inside it the Guildhall is very impressive. The Great Hall in particular is magnificent with the walls decorated with the banners and coats of arms of the various City Livery Companies.
The Guildhall Clock Museum has a display of hundreds of watches, some more than 500 years old and there is a Guildhall Library and bookshop. And below the Great Hall is the biggest surviving medieval Crypt in London, dating from the 13th Century.
The Guildhall is open daily from May-September from 10am-5pm and from Oct-April from 10am-4.30pm Mondays to Saturdays. The Clock Museum is open Mondays to Fridays 9.30am-4.45pm. Please note that if there is an official function on, the Guildhall is closed to the public.
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