The Saxon word for money (or payment) was ‘gild’, so the ‘gild’ hall was were the citizens of the City of London went to pay their taxes to the Corporation, who ran and managed the City.
This impressive stone structure has hosted some interesting events through the ages:
1. Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley were tried here in 1553.
2. Frederic Chopin gave his last public performance in the Hall in 1848.
3. The literary Man Booker Prize award ceremony is held here annually.
4. Ceremonial functions for the Corporation are held here throughout the year, including the Silent Ceremony and the Lord Mayor’s Dinner in November.
5. In 1606 Henry Garnet, was condemned in a trial for the part he played in the Gunpowder Plot.
6. The Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of the City are elected in the Court of the Common Council since the 1100s.
Although the structure itself has been changed, adapted and repaired over the centuries, the history and the soul of the City is still felt within the walls of the Guildhall.
Dawn Denton ©