Dyers Hall, 63m ESE 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 damage during the Second World War, Dyers Hall is a fine example of a mid-19th 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 retains potential for archaeological and environmental information relating to the earlier Dyers Hall, earlier houses and Roman London, sited as it is in close proximity to the remains of a Roman imperial palace and the Roman waterfront or wharf 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 mid-19th century livery hall situated on the corner of College Street and Dowgate Hill, near Cannon Street Station in the city of London. It was built in 1839-40 to the designs of Charles Dyer in red brick and stucco. The main façade, facing Dowgate Hill, is of four storeys and five window bays, the main entrance of which is to the right. It has a channelled and arcaded ground floor and red brick with painted dressings above. Four Ionic pilasters rise from 1st to 2nd floor level supporting a pediment with a lunette. The attic is crowned by a cornice and parapet. The College Street frontage is three storeys high with 5 windows to the channelled ground floor. On the first floor are three windows framed by Doric pilasters topped by urns and a balustrade above which are three small square windows. It is crowned by a large bracketed cornice. The interior includes a 1st floor Court Room with a beamed ceiling and marbled Corinthian colonnades at either end.
The Worshipful Company of Dyers gained their first Royal Charter under Henry IV in 1471. They moved to the present site, previously occupied by houses, in about 1731. The hall fell down and was replaced in 1769. It was subsequently condemned as being unsafe in about 1838 and was replaced with the current hall, the 3rd hall to stand on the site, in the following years.
During the 19th century rebuilding the remains of a Roman tessellated pavement were uncovered at a depth of nearly 5m below ground level. The scheduling includes the archaeological and environmental remains below the hall.
Dyers Hall is Grade II* listed. The remains of a Roman imperial palace or praetorium form a separate scheduling, a short distance to the east.