As the home of the City of London, Guildhall has been the centre of City government since the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NB The lifts from the Highwalk to street level at Guildhall Northern Piazza are currently unavailable.
For step free access, please use either the lift adjacent to Moor House, or the facility at the junction of Wood Street and London Wall.
Guildhall is open free of charge to the public when it is not being used for events.
To check opening times please call 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.
To book a training room contact Beverly Campbell on 020 7332 1394 or by email at email@example.com . Subject to Terms of Hire which will be provided on enquiry .
How to hire Guildhall
For bookings please telephone 020 7332 1461/ 020 7332 1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remembrancers Department, City of London, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London, EC2P 2EJ
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 12 noon. Find out more and see upcoming dates here.