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Skinners' Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Dowgate, City of London

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Latitude: 51.5112 / 51°30'40"N

Longitude: -0.0915 / 0°5'29"W

OS Eastings: 532537.786193

OS Northings: 180863.219504

OS Grid: TQ325808

Mapcode National: GBR RD.LG

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.C8HW

Entry Name: Skinners' Hall

Scheduled Date: 7 January 1952

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002031

English Heritage Legacy ID: LO 41

County: City of London

Electoral Ward/Division: Dowgate

Built-Up Area: City of London

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): City of London

Church of England Parish: St James Garlickhythe

Church of England Diocese: London


Skinners’ Hall, 47m east of St Michael Paternoster Royal.

Source: Historic England


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, altered in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It is situated between Dowgate Hill and College Hill, near Cannon Street Station in the city of London. The main frontage onto Dowgate Hill, formerly the Clerk's House, was rebuilt in about 1778 to the design of William Jupp. It is a three storey building with a white painted façade and a slated mansard roof. It has five bays of sash windows to the first and second floor and a rusticated ground storey. Between the first and second floor is an order of four Ionic pilasters supporting an enriched frieze and pediment with sculpture in the tympanum. The ground storey has two round arched entrances either side of three arched windows. No.9 Dowgate Hill is a continuation of the frontage but in brick with two windows and an arched doorway. The entrance of No. 8 ½ leads through a vaulted passage to a courtyard, on the west side of which is the Hall. It is a late 17th century building of red and black brick laid chequerwise with segmentally arched windows, two of which were blocked in 1848, and a painted cornice and parapet. At the centre, on the west side of the courtyard, the entrance to the Hall features a richly carved, arched doorcase surmounted by a curved pediment. The interior of the Hall was largely remodelled in the 19th century and includes screens with a gallery above, enriched plaster ceilings and a rear wing with a fine original staircase.

The Worshipful Company of Skinners is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London and received its first Royal Charter in 1327. It leased a hall on the current site, known as the Copped Hall, from about 1295. The Hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and rebuilt in about 1670. The interior of the Hall was remodelled to the design of George Moore in 1847. Restoration work was carried out following bomb damage during the Second World War.

Between 1987 and 1988, partial excavation was carried out at Skinners’ Hall. Archaeological and environmental remains relating to Roman London are considered to underlie the Hall and are included in the scheduling. Parts of the Roman waterfront, including Roman piles and transverse beams, have been identified below nearby Cannon Street Station. It is in close proximity to the remains of a Roman imperial palace, a separate scheduling to the east.

Skinners’ Hall is Grade I listed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 18th 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, Skinners’ Hall is a fine example of a 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 will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the earlier medieval hall 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

Source: Historic England


The Skinners’ Company, accessed 09-SEP-2009 from
NMR TQ38SW835. PastScape 405358. LBS 199429

Source: Historic England

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