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About Us 2017-10-03T08:01:50+00:00

Exclusive corporate and private entertainment venue in the heart of the City of London

Skinners’ Hall dates from 1670 when it reopened having been rebuilt after the Great Fire of London. The Hall comprises of a variety of outstanding inside and outside spaces offering great flexibility. This fine facility combines stately halls, elegant chambers and homely rooms with a warm atmosphere and modern amenities.

A country house in the heart of the City

Entrance is via the ceremonial gates and charming paved courtyard, inspired by Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners Tommaso del Buono and Paul Gazerwitz. The building has many unique features which include a round gallery and open fire, the magnificent polished East India Table and the beautiful Italianate roof garden. The Skinners’ Hall also features unique works by the prolific Anglo/Welsh artist Frank Brangwyn, among other historically important artworks.

We would love to show you around – please call us to make an appointment.

OUR HISTORY

What makes Skinners’ Hall unique? 

Skinners’ Hall is the home of The Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the City of London’s Great Twelve Livery companies. The Livery developed from the medieval trade guild of furriers; the part religious, part secular fraternities of men involved in the fur trade eventually came together in one guild, dedicated to Corpus Christi, which became the Skinners’ Company.
The Company were responsible for ensuring the quality of furs and had control over the London fur trade throughout the country. Foreign competition and change in fashion saw the industry decline and by the end of 16th century the majority of prominent Company’s members were not skinners by trade. Nowadays the Skinners’ Company is a major not-for-profit organisation with main activities being education and philanthropy.

The Lynx (also called lucern and lizard) is visible throughout the Hall and included in the Skinners’ Company’s crest. The lynx is a short tailed wild cat whose fur was sought-after by mediaeval aristocrats; historically no one ranked lower than an Earl was allowed to wear it.

Today the Company is seeking ways to raise awareness of the critical decline of the Iberian Lynx through the work of the conservation charity Fauna and Floria International. Under Lynx facts they say:

To help the lynx, you can buy wine with cork stoppers. The lynx needs a combination of cork oak woodlands and open scrubland to survive. Cork harvesting is both traditional and sustainable – the outer layer of bark is peeled off, leaving the tree standing and able to grow it back for the next harvest. So by buying real corks, you are helping to maintain cork oak trees and indirectly, the conditions for the Iberian lynx.

In 1901 the Court of the Skinners’ Company decided to put aside some money for decorating the Great Hall, formerly known as the Banqueting Hall. The artist and craftsman Frank Brangwyn was commissioned to create 11 panels, all oil on canvas representing the “stir and colour of the long-drawn Pageant of the Guild”.

The subjects of the murals were taken from the history of the Skinners’ Company and events in the history of the City of London. The first panel to be completed, “The Departure of Sir James Lancaster” for the East Indies, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1904, while the last 2 additions, “Education” and “Charity”, were painted nearly 30 years later. This is a unique body of work, described by Walter Shaw Sparrow as “remarkable in the history of British art”.