History of the Hall

History of the Hall

The Brewers’ Company has been housed on the same site in the City of London since 1403 and during this time its home, Brewers’ Hall, has been destroyed and rebuilt twice.

The Brewers’ Guild were one of the first to have a Hall of their own. The earliest reference to the Hall which stood on the same site as the present one occurs in the records of the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1403. Company records reveal that by 1422 Brewers’ Hall was regularly let out for use by other City Livery Companies, Guilds and other groups including the ‘ffootballpleyers’, one of the earliest known references to football in English.

Ye ffootballpleyers
Record of 'ye ffootballpleyers' hiring Brewers' Hall in 1422

Over the entrance door is a keystone, which features part of the crest of the Company, by Sir Charles Wheeler PRA.  The lead heads are enriched with the Brewers’ emblems and the date, which are gilded.  

The Court room is panelled in pine and has modelled plasterwork on the ceiling.  The architraves of the windows and doors are richly carved as are the ventilation grills.  The Verona marble fireplace, also by Charles Wheeler, is enriched with a panel of infant Bacchanals, with beer barrels and barley. 

The Livery Hall is panelled in English oak.  The four tall windows and the four side doors have beautifully carved architraves, as does the doorway into the Court Room.  At the far end is a central feature with oak piers and a segmental pediment, in which are set the arms of the Company.  The high cove that supports the ceiling has Coats of Arms displayed on either side, in modelled plaster, heraldically painted, which record key figures and benefactors from the Company’s history including: the Corporation of London; Sir Samuel Starling, Master in 1661 and Lord Mayor in 1669; Dame Alice Owen, who left a bequest to establish a school which bears her name; Saint Thomas Becket, the Company’s patron saint; Charles II, in whose reign the second Hall was built; Harry Charrington, Master in 1812; Samuel Whitbread, Master in 1846 and 1847, who left bequests for poor brewers; Richard Platt, Master in 1576 and 1581, and founder of Aldenham School; and James Hickson who founded a school (which no longer exists) and almshouses.  The plasterwork of the ceiling is enriched with a band of hop leaves and barley.

Brewers hall redevelopment

Brewers' Hall Redevelopment

In 2015 the Brewers’ Company embarked on an ambitious project to redevelop the Third Hall, which saw the addition of three new floors to the existing building, as well as extensive internal changes. The Brewers’ Company’s offices and ceremonial space now occupy the ground and first floors, while a new, separate, entrance in Aldermanbury Square provides access to four floors of purpose built, COVID-secure offices available to let. The redevelopment project was completed in 2022.

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The Destruction of Brewers’ Hall

Find out more about the destruction of the second Brewers’ Hall during the Blitz in 1940 in this news article from our archives.

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The Sixtieth Anniversary of Brewers’ Hall

Discover more about the third Brewers’ Hall in this news story written on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of its opening.

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Hiring Brewers’ Hall

Explore the opportunity to hold your meeting or event with us. Much as it was in 1422, Brewers’ Hall is still available for hire as an elegant event space in the heart of the City of London.

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