As the trading aspect of the guilds expanded, members required a Hall where they could meet to discuss and co-ordinate business. Initially, individuals' houses were used but in the 1420s the Drapers' guild decided to build its own Hall. This first Hall was in St. Swithin's Lane.
The present Hall, situated in Throgmorton Street, was bought from King Henry VIII in 1543 for the sum of 1,800 marks (approximately £1,200). This had been the house of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex and Chief Minister to Henry, but had been forfeited to the King on Cromwell's attainment and execution in July 1540.
Destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666, Drapers' Hall was rebuilt between 1667 and 1671 to designs by Edward Jarman. In 1772, after a fire which did considerable damage, it was rebuilt by John Gorham; it was new fronted and the interior altered by Herbert Williams in the 1860s and again altered in 1898-9 by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson.
For further information about Drapers Hall please visit: www.thedrapers.co.uk.
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