Livery Halls of London
Marble columns and rich fabrics in the Fishmongers’ Hall. Photography: The Fishmongers’ Company

London’s Livery Halls are architectural treasures hidden among the corporate towers of the capital’s Square Mile.

Evolving out of the ancient guilds of the Middle Ages, the halls were built to administer and promote the trades of the day – from butchery to carpentry – and they still retain enviable positions in the heart of the City. Despite the ravages of the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of WWII, many of these buildings remain unchanged in design, though some of the more recently built halls reflect aspects of contemporary style.

Today, the Livery Companies still manage their trade’s quality control and use their accumulated wealth and property resources to provide training, education and to support related charities. The halls – often used as venues for fashion shows and parties – contain centuries-old art and artefacts and all of them maintain a sense of pride, tradition, pomp and circumstance.

Here, we go inside some of the finest.

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