The Skinners' Company is overseeing an exciting major redevelopment of its scheduled ancient monument that aims to protect and conserve its unique building and outside spaces for future generations.
Skinners' Hall will be enhanced with sustainable mechanical and electrical services, improved accessibility and access to increased venue spaces .
Full operations are planned to resume in the Spring of 2024.
During this time updates will appear on the dedicated 'skinnershall' Instagram page.
The first Skinners met each other in local taverns or churches to discuss their trade and problems, but as they became wealthier they began to pay for more permanent rooms.
By the end of the 13th century they were using the building known as the Copped Hall that later became Skinners’ Hall.
This original property faced Dowgate Hill and was divided into five shops with rooms above. Behind the shops was the main hall reached via a courtyard that gave ample space for preparing processions and pageants. Harbin’s “Dictionary of London” states that the Skinners’ were in possession of the Copped Hall in the time of Henry 111 (1216-1272). Harbin refers to a deed dated 1267, however this deed is not in the Company’s ownership. The earliest reliable deed is dated 1295.
Work started on rebuilding Skinners’ Hall in 1667, and parts of the current building date back to 1670. The cellars in Skinners' Hall pre-date The Great Fire.
Established in 1600 as a joint-stock association of English merchants trading to the 'Indies'. During a period of rivalry the East India Company rented Skinners' Hall from 1698 to 1709. A 'new' East India Company, the United Company, was formed in 1709, and as a parting gift the Skinners’ Company was presented with the mahogany East India table which is still in use today in the Old Court Room.
The Hall was rebuilt after the Great Fire with two entrances to the Hall from the street. Between 1683 -1783 the Hall underwent many changes improving the façade, the inner courtyard, the Outer Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Court Room, and the Cedar Drawing Room.
A bomb fell on Upper Thames Street on 27 July 1944. George Styles, the Company's butler on fire watch duty, is said to have saved the day by persuading other fire fighters to give priority to the Hall by providing them with refreshments from the spirits cupboard. The bomb blast destroyed the partition by the staircase in what was the Court Room, and the ceiling in the room above.