The Company - History of the Hall

The Worshipful Company of Pewterers

THE FIRST HALL: The Company's earliest records show that its members attended every year at the Austin Friars Monastery on the Feast of the Blessed Virgin; after doing business in the Offices, a feast was held in the Hall of the Monastery. Very soon after receiving its first Charter the Company looked for suitable premises for its own Hall and in 1484 acquired a site in Lime Street, which it still owns today. A Hall was completed in 1496 and provided a centre for business and recreation, having both a garden and a vinery. It was a source of pride to its owners, being the centre of their trade government and of their social life. The Hall, as much other Company property, was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.

 

THE SECOND HALL:  A second, more modest, Hall was completed on the same site in 1670. Like many others, it was let occasionally to Protestant dissenters, as well as for dancing, fencing, funerals and meetings. However, usage declined slowly and the Company last dined there in 1801, other activities being transferred to one of the houses fronting Lime Street. Following a fire in 1840, there was no attempt to repair the Hall and it was demolished in 1932. For many years the oak panelling from the Charles the Second Master's Parlour and a copy of its elaborate ceiling was displayed in the Geffrye Museum it is now in temporary storage.

 

Left: The Master's Parlour, as it was displayed at the Geffrye Museum, London

 

THE THIRD HALL: The Company intended to build a new Hall in Queen Victoria Street in 1940 when a lease expired. In the event, that property was sold to the City Corporation for development. The Company acquired the site of the present Hall in Oat Lane in exchange. The foundation stone was laid in 1960 and the building was opened the following year. The Court Room incorporates the oak panelling and chandeliers from the Hall in Lime Street.