London Guildhall

Guildhall .—This may be regarded as the Town-hall , or what the French would call the Hotel de Ville , of London; where are held meetings of the livery to elect members of parliament, lord mayor, sheriffs, and others, and where the grandest civic entertainments are given.  It is situated at the end of King Street, Cheapside.  The building is old, but received a new front, in a strange kind of Gothic, in 1789.  The interior of the grand hall is 153 feet long, 48 feet broad, and 55 feet high; it is one of the largest rooms in London, and can accommodate about 3,500 persons at dinner.  Two clumsy colossal figures, called Gog and Magog, the history of which has never clearly been made out, are placed at the west end of the hall.  Around it are some fine marble monuments to Lord Mayor Beckford, Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, the Earl of Chatham, and his son, William Pitt.  Note the stained glass with the armorial bearings of the twelve great city companies; also observe, in the passage leading to the common-council chamber, the portrait of General Sir W. F. Williams, the heroic defender of Kars in 1855.  At the top of the council chamber will be seen Chantrey's statue of George III.; a picture of the siege of Gibraltar, by Copley; and Northcote's ‘Wat Tyler slain by Lord Mayor Walworth,' with other pictures and portraits.  Near by are several offices for corporate and law courts.  The Library  contains many valuable antiquities, books, coins, pottery, &c., and some interesting autographs.  Note that of Shakespere, on a deed of purchase of a house in Blackfriars.  The Crypt  is a curious underground vault.  On Lord Mayor's Day the grand dinner usually costs about £2,200.  On the 18th June, 1814, when the Allied Sovereigns dined here, the gold plate was valued at £200,000.