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Archive for December 6th, 2011

an invitation to the Guildhall

whoo hoo!!! I was lucky enough to secure an invitation to attend a lecture at the Guildhall in City of London for a lecture by Dr Simon Thurley and the launch of the book: ‘London 1000 years: treasures from the collections of the City of London’, in celebration of the 600th Anniversary of Guildhall.    Imagine!!! 600 years of history!  The building encompasses parts of the original building that date back another 200 years, years both calm and turbulent.

Guildhall is a fascinating building and the oldest secular building in the city, it has survived fire and 2 world wars, albeit not unscathed.  The facade of the building is beautiful and as you walk into Guildhall Yard  the ornate exterior gives you a taste of what lies within.  The area is redolent with history and the Lord Mayor’s Show starts from here where the Lord Mayor swears allegiance to the city in a ceremony that dates back to 1189 with the first Lord Mayor Henry Fitz Ailwin.

the first Lord Mayor of London - Henry Fitz Ailwen

Needless to say, heading off into the City after work was a thrill and I was agog with anticipation wishing the day away.  An invitation to the Guildhall!!!! never in my life.  The interior of the building is so gorgeous and filled to the brim with statues and memorials and relics of the past and I never tire of visiting.  The courtyard is enclosed by more modern buildings, an ancient church St Lawrence Jewry

St Lawrence Jewry

and other ancient buildings and the piece de resistance is what lies beneath!!! A Roman Amphitheatre discovered some years ago.

As part of the launch for the book (which I bought needless to say!) they displayed some of the amazing treasures that are housed in the Guildhall.  One of which was the original London Magna Carta dates from 1297 and Edward I.   Awesome to stand in front of that document that is hundreds of years old.  There was a letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne as well as other amazing documents and poignant letters.

It felt kinda weird sitting amongst the Aldermen of the City and to be no more than 20 feet away from the Lord Mayor.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and of course loved the lecture which was filled with history.  After the canapes

food from the 15th century - freshly made 🙂

I went walkabout through the city to Bank Station and just enjoyed the quiet streets and the sights of the buildings lit up like beacons in the dark.

Royal Exchange

London is such a beautiful city.

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