Skip to main content  


The City of London has a working record of its history stretching back nearly one thousand years, enjoy a rare opportunity to view treasures held in trust for the nation.

General admission is FREE.

Getting here

Located within Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2V 5AE

The documents on display belong to the collection of the London Metropolitan Archives whose holdings of records, documents, films, photographs and maps take up the equivalent of 100 km (62 miles).

On display

12 August - 14 December 2017: The Grant of Shrievalty

Discover one of the City’s oldest documents, an 1199 grant from King John which gave Londoner’s the right to vote for their own Sheriff.

The office of Sheriff actually has greater antiquity than any other in the City of London, including that of Lord Mayor, and is mentioned in seventh century Anglo-Saxon laws. The word Sheriff comes from the old English “shire reeve”, the official responsible to the King for keeping the peace in a shire and collecting taxes on his behalf.  Directly appointed by the King, the Sheriffs were the most important City officials at the time of the Norman Conquest.

This Charter is the earliest surviving legal document with the phrase “to have and to hold”. Visit the Heritage Gallery for a chance to see this fascinating document.

Future Exhibitions

  • Next exhibition TBC - check back for details 

Opening hours

  • Monday 10am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 10am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday 10am - 5pm
  • Friday 10am - 5pm
  • Saturday 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday - 12pm - 4pm


Closures are sometimes required at short notice due to civic or state functions at Guildhall.

Call 020 7332 3700 / textphone 020 7332 3803 for a daily recorded message or for more information.

The City history
  • News
    Explore our history
    Explore Our History

    Unearth 2,000 years of history of the City of London

  • News
    magna carta
    Magna Carta

    The City Corporation owns one of the last remaining copies of the Magna Carta

  • Magna Carta
    Close up Magna Carta

    ​Did you know the City Corporation owns one of the few copies of the Magna Carta in existence today?

    Kept in storage at Guildhall Library and periodically displayed at the Heritage Gallery, the document is widely regarded as one of the finest surviving 13th-century copies.

    Because of its delicate nature, it is not on permanent display.