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Painters' Hall

Acquired in 1532 and rebuilt in 1670 after the Great Fire, the Hall was partially destroyed in 1941 by enemy action and rebuilt in a neo-Georgian style in 1960. The original charters are of particular interest.

Architect

H D Searles-Wood/Harrington (restoration)

Date

1915/1961.

9 Little Trinity Lane EC4V 2AD

Sat 10am-3pm. Max 80 at one time. Entry: court rooms, livery hall, painted chamber.

Mansion House

Blackfriars

4, 11, 15, 25, 76, 100, 172, 344

  • Access for wheelchair users
  • Toilets available

PAINTERS’ HALL

The first Hall for the company of Painter Stainers was donated to Henry VIII in 1532 by Sir John Browne, Sergeant-painter and was once his residence. However the original Hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Although it was rebuilt the Dining Hall and Court Room were then destroyed by bombing in World War II in 1941. The present building, on a slightly larger site than the original, was reopened in 1961 and designed by H D Searles-Wood.

Externally the hall is not an ostentatious but a prideful building with four bays and simple rustication. The first floor, as the most important storey of the building, is given greater prominence by this technique. Stylistically it is neo-Georgian which was popular in urban architecture at the time. The typical windows and symmetrical simplicity of the façade are all characteristics of the style.

The doorway is of especial interest. It is adheres to the neo-Georgian style in its classicism; a semi-circular pediment resting on two pilasters. However it is slightly baroque in that the pediment is broken by a relief, perhaps articulating a more passionate element that alludes to the artistic inhabitants of the building. The relief of Worshipful Company of Painters and Stainers is an elaborate gilded coat of arms. Florals surround the shield with a phoenix rising above.

It has loosely traditional interiors that make a grand setting. The reconstructions follow the 17th century arrangement. As is expected of the building the standard of decoration is exceptionally high especially in the Painted Chamber, which has been restored and decorated with its original painted panels.

The entrance hall as a notable dog-leg staircase and on the wall facing the entrance there are carved drops and garlanded capitals. These are originally from a former door case dating from c.1670 by Edward Pierce, later Master of the Company. In the Court Room of the Hall hangs the Royal Charter granted to the Painter Stainers by Queen Elizabeth in 1581.