Guildhall Great Hall
Home of the City of London Corporation, Guildhall Great Hall has been the centre of City government since the Middle Ages. This City's only surviving secular medieval building dates from 1411. With 27m high ceilings and a cathedral-like ambience, the historic building is situated on top of London's largest medieval crypts.
Visit the Great Hall
Join a guided tour of Guildhall on the days that the Court of Common Council meets. You'll learn how the City operates, its livery companies, famous events that took place within its medieval walls and admire the impressive memorials to some of Britain’s most important historic figures. Tours take place in the morning and last about an hour. Why not go along to the Court of Common Council afterwards and see the City’s democracy in action?
Tickets must be booked in advance via City of London Guides. 2022 public tour dates: 21 April, 19 May, 16 June, 21 July, 8 September, 13 October, 10 November, 8 December.
Private group bookings can also be made on other dates, contact City of London Guides for details.
The Great Hall has witnessed its share of drama. During the turmoil of the Reformation, peers, an archbishop and a queen were tried here for treason. It has been the setting for the pomp and circumstance of state and mayoral occasions since 1502.
Guildhall Great Hall is the third largest civic hall in England, where royalty and state visitors have been entertained throughout 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.
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 .
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 built 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.
Hire of Guildhall for corporate events
With its distinctive and evocative features, Great Hall can be adapted to a variety of events, styles and numbers.
For more information call 020 7332 1313 or email the Guildhall Events Team.