Explore this majestic 15th-century structure, which encompasses several museums, as well as medieval crypts, a grand hall and a library.
London Guildhall is the administrative seat of the City of London and is also used for many ceremonial events. See its art gallery and other intriguing museums as you make your way through the building.
The guildhall stands on the site of an old Roman amphitheater, and is one of the few medieval buildings to have survived the devastating Great Fire of London and the Blitz. It did not emerge unscathed from either though and has undergone several reconstructions as well as modern additions.
Start in the main hall, where you can admire the plush red floor, impressive arches and lavish chandeliers. Be sure to check out the large limewood sculptures, which depict two legendary giants named Gog and Magog, who are said to have been imprisoned at Guildhall after losing a battle.
Make your way through the building to the East Crypt and West Crypt, which are the largest medieval crypts in the city. The memorials here honor significant figures, such as Winston Churchill and Horatio Nelson. On a plaque, you will see the name of Lady Jane Grey, who was trialed and executed here for treason as a teenager.
Visit the Guildhall Art Gallery to view the City of London’s art collection. It is housed in a Gothic stone building and includes hundreds of works from reputable artists including John Constable and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Among the other highlights here is Guildhall Library, where you can find tomes from the 11th century. It has a focus on London-themed reference books.
The building has been used for many official functions, including the Lord Mayor’s Show. The marathon route for the 2012 Olympics also passed through its yard. Its halls are open to the public during the annual London Open House event, which takes place in the third week of September.
London Guildhall is located between the Tube stops of St. Paul’s, Moorgate and Liverpool Street in the City of London. Use the Underground to reach any of these stops or ride the bus. Check ahead prior to your visit as the guildhall is often closed for events. Nearby attractions include St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Bank of England Museum and the Museum of London.