Tour of Drapers Hall (afternoon)
Tuesday 26th March 2019
Start: 2.00pm | Finish: 4.00pm
The Master and Mistress are both Freemen of the Worshipful Company of Drapers. The wonderful Drapers’ Hall has been home for this distinguished Great 12 Livery Company since 1543. Its majestic setting and magnificent interiors, steeped in history, have provided a dazzling backdrop for many films, including the King’s Speech when it doubled for Buckingham Palace. Our tour offers a rare opportunity to view the Drapers’ Company’s very special collection of art, silver and artefacts, which has been collated over the centuries. We will see the four principal rooms whilst hearing the Company’s story, and that of the Hall and its art. We will conclude the visit in the silver vault; the most treasured item is the silver-gilt cup and cover presented by William Lambarde in 1578. Around the rim of the cup is the inscription “A proctour of the poore am I, remember theim before thou dye” which sums up the philanthropic purpose of the Company today.
The present Hall, situated in Throgmorton Street, was bought from King Henry VIII in 1543 for the sum of 1,800 marks (approximately £1,200). This had been the house of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex and Chief Minister to Henry, but had been forfeited to the King on Cromwell's execution in July 1540.
Destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666, Drapers’ Hall was rebuilt between 1667 and 1671 to designs by Edward Jarman. In 1772, it was again rebuilt after a fire which did considerable damage and, in the 1860s, the frontage was changed and the interior altered by Herbert Williams. It was later altered once more in 1898-9 by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson.
There will be an optional lunch at Drapers' Hall between the tours, see event 1c.
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