The Company’s first hall was bequeathed by William Elder, Citizen and Plaisterer in 1556. It was situated on the corner of Addle Street and Philip Lane but was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Its second hall was built in 1669 to the design of Sir Christopher Wren, although this too met the same sad fate by being destroyed by fire in 1882. The third hall on the site was destroyed during a bombing raid in 1940.
The site of these halls is now marked by a blue plaque in Aldermanbury Square which notes the location of Plaisterers’ Hall in Addle Street from 1556 to 1940.
The current Plaisterers’ Hall, opened in November 1972, reflects the grandeur of a bygone era in an ultra-modern setting. Its décor is of the neo-classical style created by Robert Adam in the 18th century with various Robert Adam designs having been faithfully reproduced in great detail both on plaster and wood, some being taken from his original moulds.
The hall, set within One London Wall and designed by Foster + Partners, backs on to the remains of the original London Wall, which dates back to the 3rd century when the Romans built it.
The Jubilee Garden
In 1977 to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, Plaisterers Hall Limited obtained a licence from the City to create a formal garden in stone at the east end of the Great Hall, with two fountains and steps leading up to a balustrade over the old Roman Wall. This was supervised by the Chairman of Plaisterers Hall Limited, Harry Humber and architect, Godfrey Gilbert.
Many challenges arose as consents had to be obtained from not only the City Surveyor, the City Architect and Planning officer, the City Engineer and the Comptroller and City Solicitor, but also from the Consultant to the City Corporation on Ancient Monuments, the Department of the Environment, the Museum of London, the City of London Museum, and the Trees, Gardens and City Open Spaces Committee! Three years later the City agreed to extend the licence to the strip of land between the Jubilee Garden and Noble Street running to the old watchtower further along.
Laying of the Foundation Stone
27th May 1971 saw the laying of the Foundation Stone of the new Plaisterers’ Hall, a realisation of Past Master Harry Humber’s 15 year dream. Thanks his efforts, a new site was found and the Hall we enjoy today was built.
Many thanks to PM Hugh Kersey and LM Jake Kersey for keeping and sending in the images and newspaper articles that documented the opening.
2021 Entrance Hall Project
Thanks to the generous endowment left by the late assistant John Robinson we were able to carry out our entrance hall enhancement project.
This was a positive step, confirming our commitment to the Hall and in line with the wishes of John who wanted the Entrance to reflect the rest of the Hall. Discussions with his partner, Liveryman Derek Stubbs, prior to the work commencing have allowed this work to be a fitting memory of John’s wishes. The project was completed in 2021 and visitors can now admire this stunning entrance as they attend events in the Hall.
Plaisterers and the Abolition of Slavery
Following an unexpected visitor to the Hall in 2017, Professor Paul Lovejoy from York University, Toronto Canada, an expert on what is now called the African Diaspora, this opened up an interesting but forgotten aspect of the Company’s history in the second half of the 18th Century.
Find out more about the visit and the history it uncovered: