Girdlers’ Hall Garden, a charming oasis nestled in the heart of the City of London. With its rich historical significance and enchanting beauty, this private garden is truly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Let us embark on a journey through time and explore the captivating allure of Girdlers’ Hall Garden, where the past seamlessly intertwines with the present.
The Origins of Girdlers’ Hall
A Storied Past
Girdlers’ Hall has a history that spans back to the year 1431 when the first hall was erected by the Worshipful Company of Girdlers. Unfortunately, this structure fell victim to the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was reduced to ashes. Undeterred by this tragedy, the hall was reconstructed in 1680-81, only to face another calamity during World War II when it was destroyed by bombing in 1940.
In a tale of resilience, Girdlers’ Hall emerged once more in 1961, with its present-day incarnation featuring a delightful rear garden. Within this garden stands a magnificent mulberry tree, which originated from a cutting of a tree believed to have been planted around 1750. Symbolizing endurance and continuity, this ancient mulberry tree has witnessed centuries of change and history.
A Fascinating Location
Embraced by Tradition
Girdlers’ Hall Garden graces a prime location, just a stone’s throw away from the esteemed Guildhall, the historic center of the City of London. Basinghall Street, where the garden is located, was once adorned with halls belonging to various craft guilds, including coopers, masons, and weavers, dating as far back as the 15th century. Today, Girdlers’ Hall remains as the sole survivor, bearing testament to its endurance and standing as a testament to the patron saint of Girdlers, St. Lawrence. Adjacent to the Guildhall Plaza, the church of St. Lawrence Jewry further adds to the historical significance of the area.
A Reborn Garden
After the devastating destruction of the garden during the Blitz of 1941, the City of London embarked on a transformative journey. Acquiring the surrounding land, the city undertook a post-war reconstruction plan that would shape the landscape we see today. In 1961, the new Girdlers’ Hall building, designed by Waterhouse and Ripley, was unveiled to the public, along with its accompanying garden. Throughout the years, the hall has undergone various renovations and expansions, including the addition of an upper floor in 2007-2008. However, amidst these changes, the rear garden has managed to retain its timeless charm, boasting a meticulously manicured lawn, elegant stone walkways, lush shrubs, towering trees, and a delightful fountain adorned with a cherubic figure.
An Oasis of Colors and Traditions
A Harmonious Delight
Step into the Garden of Girdlers’ Hall, and you will be greeted by a captivating display of vibrant colors. The clever arrangement of annual flowers within the garden reflects the liveries and antique carpets found within the hall itself. This attention to detail creates a unique and mesmerizing atmosphere, enveloping visitors in a visual enchantment that truly sets Girdlers’ Hall Garden apart.
A Treasure Guarded by the Worshipful Company of Girdlers
Preserving a Legacy
Ownership and management of Girdlers’ Hall Garden have been entrusted to the Worshipful Company of Girdlers, an esteemed artisan guild. Committed to safeguarding and enhancing this exceptional space, the guild not only upholds its legacy of craftsmanship but also plays an integral role in the tradition and ceremonies associated with the sword of state and the coronation of new rulers.