Tallow Chandlers' Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
City and County of the City of London (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 32554 80888


Tallow Chandlers’ Hall, 65m north-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, Tallow Chandlers’ Hall is a fine example of a late 17th century livery hall, which survives well. It is a significant testament to the development of commercial activity and trade regulation in the city of London. The site is likely to contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the earlier medieval house and Roman London, sited as it is in close proximity to the remains of a Roman palace complex and the Roman waterfront.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 September 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, altered in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is situated at the corner of Cloak Lane and Dowgate Hill, near Cannon Street Station in the city of London.

The Hall is a three storey building with attics around a central courtyard approached by a passage between No.3 and No.5 Dowgate Hill. It is constructed of red brick with painted stone dressings and has a deep wooden eaves-cornice with carved modillions. An open loggia formerly ran around the courtyard at ground-floor level but only the arches on the west side remain open. The tympanum of each arch is filled with carved decoration. At first and second floor level are several sash windows. The west side has circular clerestory openings above the first floor windows. The roofs are covered with tile, over the Hall, or slate. On the west side, the ground floor contains the kitchens and the first floor the Livery Hall. The north side includes the Parlour on the first floor and Court Room above. The interiors include fine original panelling and enriched plaster ceilings. The Livery Hall has a carved frieze to the entablature below the clerestory.

The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers was formed in about 1300 and gained a Royal Charter in 1462. It engaged in the regulation of candle making using animal fats (tallow) as well as the trade of oil, ointments, lubricants and fat-based preservatives. They moved to the current site, probably at that time a merchant’s house, in 1476. It burnt down in the Great Fire of London and was replaced by the current hall in about 1672. However two large beams of the earlier medieval building are preserved in the basement of the Hall. The Hall was altered in 1881 and, following Second World War bomb damage, part-restored in the mid 20th century.

Archaeological watching briefs were carried out prior to works on the site in 1986 and 1990. Archaeological and environmental remains relating to Roman London are considered to underlie the Hall and are included in the scheduling. It is in close proximity to the remains of a Roman palace complex, a separate scheduling to the east.

Tallow Chandlers’ Hall is Grade II* listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
LO 43
Legacy System:


The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers, accessed from http://www.tallowchandlers.org/
NMR TQ38SW836. PastScape 405359,


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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