Innholders’ Hall, 50m south-east of St Michael Paternoster Royal.
Reasons for Designation
A livery hall is a type of guildhall belonging primarily to the London livery companies (chartered companies originating from the craft guilds), but also found elsewhere in the country. It is so called because of the livery worn by members of the guild. Guildhalls were traditionally the hall of a crafts, trade, or merchants’ guild but latterly had many different functions and became recognised in the 19th century as town halls. Some livery or guild halls were built in the medieval period but they became more widespread in the 17th and 18th centuries. The classic form was often a first-floor meeting room, raised on arcades, incorporating an open-sided market hall on the ground floor. They also often included administrative rooms or offices.
During the eighteenth century increasing architectural elaboration was given to halls, reflecting the success of livery companies, the growth of municipal self-awareness and urban identity. Until the Municipal Corporations Reform Act in 1835, boroughs (corporations), which were often based at guildhalls, acted as private bodies that existed for the benefit of their members rather than the community at large. The Act reformed the administration and accountability of incorporated boroughs and they subsequently gained greater municipal power and responsibility. This was reflected in the scale and architectural adornment of later guildhalls, which became high points of Victorian public architecture.
Despite some alterations and restoration, Innholders’ Hall survives well. It is a significant testament to the development of commercial activity and trade regulation in the city of London. The site will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the earlier hall and the Roman waterfront of Londinium.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 9 October 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a late 17th century livery hall, part-restored in the late 19th century and mid-20th century. It is situated on the south side of College Street, near Cannon Street Station in the city of London.
The hall is three storeys high and constructed of brick and Portland stone. The main façade faces College Street and includes an entrance near the centre with brick pilasters and a shaped pediment carved with a coat of arms. It has sash windows with red brick voussoirs and a cornice and parapet to the roof. The interior includes the Old Courtroom, with plaster ceiling of 1670, wood panelling and chimney piece, and the New Courtroom of mid 18th century character. The basement includes some timber framing and timber ceiling beams.
The Worshipful Company of Innholders received their first Royal Charter in 1514 and occupied a hall on the current site from about 1521. It was destroyed during the Great Fire of London and rebuilt in about 1670. It was altered in 1886 before suffering damage during the First and Second World Wars, with restoration work following in 1950-2. Partial excavation recorded archaeological deposits at the adjacent Dowgate Hill House in 1986-7. Parts of the Roman waterfront, including Roman piles and transverse beams, were also identified when laying the foundations of nearby Cannon Street Station in 1868 and during partial excavation in 1959. The scheduling includes the archaeological and environmental remains of the Roman waterfront, which will survive below Innholders’ Hall.
Innholders’ Hall is Grade II* listed.