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had halls at one time, and they were disposed of in two groups of four. The northern group stretching along a line of approximately a third of a mile just south of the northern part of the City Wall, and reading from West to East were those of the Plaisterers, the Masons, the Carpenters, and the Bricklayers. The southern group stretching along a line of approximately a quarter of a mile in length just north of Thames Street, and reading from West to East were those of the Glaziers, the Painters, the Joiners and the Plumbers. The record may be summarised as follows:

The Carpenters had acquired their hall probably by 1430 and retain a hall on the same site to this day, although having survived the fire and “remodelled” in the 1670s and again in the 1770s, was rebuilt in the 1880s and again after damage in World War II in the 1950s. However, even the Carpenters who from the earliest times had been the wealthiest of these Companies had at times found it hard to afford the cost of maintaining a hall and at times had to resort to letting it, at least in part. Indeed Alfred and Barker in their “History of the Carpenters Company” (1968) writing of the late 17th century refer to the Company’s main achievement at the time as being “to have survived at all”, adding that without its “unusually large property interest it would probably have totally collapsed.”

The Masons appear to have leased their hall at first in 1463 and acquired the freehold a century later. They ceased to occupy it in 1864 and sold it the following year.

The Joiners appear to have acquired their hall between 1520 and 1550 and thereafter retained its use until 1811 despite destruction by fire in 1666 and thereafter retained its use until 1811 despite destruction by fire in 1666 and 1694. When it was yet again destroyed by fire in 1811 it was rebuilt but not as a hall and the site was acquired by compulsory purchase in 1951.

The Plumbers rented a hall from 1531-1638 and subsequently owned their second hall, which was destroyed in 1666 and rebuilt, until 1863 when it was acquired by compulsory purchase for the construction of Cannon Street station. Since then they have had no hall.

The Painters received the freehold of their hall on its present site as a gift in 1532 and retain it still despite destruction in 1666 and again in World War II.