Considering the protective qualities of plaster, it is ironic that the first two Halls the Company owned would later be destroyed by fire. The first of them, situated at the corner of Addle Street and Philip Lane was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.
The second Hall was built in 1669 from the design of Christopher Wren and was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1882.
The Plaisterers was one of the original eight Companies who conceived the founding
of the City & Guilds of London Institute.
In 1877, Past Master S.M. Hubert represented the Company at two meetings of those Livery Companies which had promised to contribute to the proposed scheme for a national system of technical education.
By November 1877 eight Livery Companies had formed an
association for the purpose of united action in the promotion
of technical education by means of a City Guilds University.
This became the City and Guilds of London Institute.
Following the destruction of our building in 1882, the land was leased, but the building that was erected on this site was destroyed by enemy action in 1940.
The tenants disclaimed their lease and in 1956 – exactly 400 years after William Elder bequeathed our first known Hall – the site was compulsorily acquired by the Corporation of the City of London.
The foundation stone was laid on 27 May 1971 by the Lord Mayor, Sir Peter Studd and by 5 December 1972 the first banquet in the new Hall was held.
The Great Hall is the largest Livery Hall in the City and is decorated in the neo classic style created by Robert Adam in the 18th Century. The three chandeliers are purpose made and each is approximately twelve feet high and eight feet in diameter.
This was the 500th Anniversary of the Company. It was
celebrated in style, with a fanfare of trumpets from the Royal
Marines, King Henry VII swept in with his entourage. He had
come to re-present our Charter 500 years on.
In a wonderful regal speech he made clear the duties and
responsibilities the Company was directed to carry out.