|Grocers' Hall Courtyard||City of London|
The Grocers’ Company, which had grown out of the Guild of Pepperers recorded in 1180, purchased the house of Lord Fitzwalter in 1427, at that time a much larger site. The Company’s first Hall dated from 1428-33 and was rebuilt over the years; it was let to the Bank of England from 1690-1734. The present Hall was built in 1970 after its late C19th predecessor was destroyed in a fire. There was a garden in Victorian times, although it was reduced in size when the Bank was extended and Prince’s Street realigned in 1798-1805, and encroached further when the Midland Bank was extended in the 1920s. What remains of the garden is a triangular courtyard with a small amount of planting along one side; a statue of St Anthony of Vienne is by the main entrance, formerly in the Hall of 1889.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2002
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Grocers' Hall Courtyard, December 2002. Photo: S Williams
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The Grocers’ Company, which had grown out of the Guild of Pepperers recorded in 1180, purchased the house of Lord Fitzwalter in 1427, at that time a much larger site; the Company’s first hall here dated from 1428-33. The Guild of Pepperers had formed as a religious and social fraternity of merchants and moneyers trading in spices, gold and other luxury goods from Byzantium and the Mediterranean; the expression 'peppercorn rent' derives from the occasional practice of using pepper as currency. The Hall was damaged in the Great Fire of 1666, and it was rebuilt and enlarged in 1680-82. From 1690 to 1734 the building was let to the Bank of England. In 1798-1802 a new Grocers’ Hall was built, designed by Thomas Leverton, later altered in 1838 but demolished in 1888. In 1889-93 the Company’s Surveyor, H. Cowell Boyes, designed a new hall, facing east, as well as offices situated between the hall and Prince’s Street.
The present Grocers Hall was built in 1970 on the site of Boyes’ hall which was destroyed in a fire in 1965. The Hall had a garden in Victorian times, but a large proportion of the garden to the east had been lost when the Bank was extended and Prince’s Street realigned in 1798-1805. The site was also encroached when the Midland Bank was extended in the 1920s, and what remains of the garden is a triangular courtyard with a small amount of planting along one side, but the courtyard is largely used largely for parking. By the main entrance of Grocers’ Hall is a statue of St Anthony of Vienne, taken from the earlier hall of 1889.
Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); B Plummer and D Shewan, 'City Gardens', London, 1992