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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

29 April - 10 August 2017: The Great Parchment Book

The Great Parchment Book is known as the Domesday Book of the Ulster Plantation - now part of modern Northern Ireland.

Compiled in 1639, it documents the period immediately following James I’s deliberate settlement of English and Scottish Protestants in Ulster. The City of London and City Livery Companies managed estates in and around the City of Derry and the Irish Society was created by the City to carry out these responsibilities. In the 1630s James’s son, Charles I, seized these estates in a politically motivated court case and a survey to gather together information about the land and all contracts was done in 1639 and so “ the great parchment Booke” came into being.  The Book is a unique and highly significant historical source for the people of Northern Ireland.

Stored at Guildhall, it was totally damaged during a fire in 1786 but, following cutting edge conservation, it is on rare display.

For more information visit the Great Parchment book website.

Future Exhibitions

  • 12 August – 7 December 2017 a display featuring the 1199 Grant of Shrievalty

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.