Long hidden behind other buildings, Stationers’ Hall is one of the largest and most opulent of City livery halls, and they now hold regular public tours.
The tours started just last year, as part of an agreement to open up the hall to the public more often, and start in the next door church, with it’s own private door into the Stationers’ garden.
That original hall was destroyed, as so many were, during the Great Fire of London, so what stands here today is a “mere” 350 years old.
Inside, it’s lots of rich carpets and paintings and a series of large meeting rooms that once served for managing the monopolies on printing, and these days more often hired out for city folk to discuss city things.
A marvelously wooden paneled room has a German portrait of Bloody Mary on the wall, which seems apt as she was probably responsible for the Company doing its most prolific book burning activities.
The main star of the tour is, well, the Hall, with massive stained glass windows, oak panels, and an impressive ceiling. From mock-medieval, we go into gilt overload, with a fine court room for Company meetings with a lot of decorations around the walls and ceilings.
At time of writing there are tours on Wednesday 27th March, Wednesday 3rd April and Tuesday 9th April – other dates will be announced later.
Tours of Stationers’ Hall cost £10, which goes to the Stationers charity, not to the tour guides, who are all volunteers.
For details of the forthcoming dates and to book a tour, go here.