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Visit to Art Gallery at the Guildhall

On 10 February the Master and 18 company members and guests visited the London Guildhall Art Gallery.  We were amazed at the variety of paintings displayed and vastly entertained by the charismatic guide who basically showed us his favourite paintings.  The Gallery was first established in 1886 as a “Collection of Art Treasures worthy of the capital city” and contains works dating from 1670 to the present, including 17th century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and a range of paintings documenting London’s dramatic history. The highlight of the tour was a parchment 950 years old being a charter given by William the Conqueror in 1067, the year after the Norman conquest, confirming the legal rights of the citizens of London.

We then went under the Guildhall and visited the remains of a wooden Roman amphitheatre which was discovered during the redevelopment of the Guildhall in 1985.  The City of London was under Roman rule for a fifth of its history and it has been estimated that the amphitheatre seated more than 7,000 spectators who sat on tiered wooden benches in the open air to watch wild animal fights and the execution of criminals.

The City Art Collection now contains approximately 4,500 works of art and members of the public can visit at any time to see the small selection on display.  It’s well worth another visit if only to be shown another set of favourites by another guide. Also, the parchment is just the start of a year of displays and events celebrating the history of London and Londoners from the Normans to the present day. You will also be able to see the outline of the amphitheatre in the large courtyard outside the Guildhall.

After our visit we all had dinner in a nearby pub and those out of town still caught their trains.

you can view all the pictures from the visit in our Gallery, here: