Dyers Hall

The Dyers Company are held to have been somewhat profligate with their halls over the years. Traditionally, we believe our first hall was built in about 1482 in Anchor Lane, St. Martins in Vintry Ward. No records exist of this and its fate is not known, but in 1545, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt gave to the Company his great messuage in Upper Thames Street known as "The Three Stars" and Dyers Hall was constructed there. This did not survive the great fire of 1666.

However the Dyers bounced back and almost immediately rebuilt in the same place. The enthusiasm of the day is to be lauded but the new hall was again destroyed by fire in 1681. For the next fifty years, a somewhat chastened Company met in other halls or private houses until 1731 when two houses on the Company's Dowgate Hill Estate were converted. Regrettably and perhaps because of the unintended increased use of the structure, this hall fell down in 1763

Never happier than when facing adversity, in 1768 the Dyers appointed a surveyor, one Mr. Jupp, who began construction of hall number 4 in 1769. This turned out not to be as well-founded as Mr. Jupp had doubtless asserted and in 1831 another surveyor, one Charles Dyer, discovered why. Much of the foundation work had been on made-up ground and enclosed wooden sleepers which had rotted away.

The upshot, not surprisingly, was that in 1840, hall number 4 was pulled down and work started on hall number 5 - the present one!

Our current hall has a much happier history and is in regular use. Opened in October 1842, it is amongst the smaller of the City Livery halls and has a comfortable, almost family atmosphere, not frequently met with elsewhere. Damaged during WWII, repairs were completed by 1948 and there has been regular refurbishment and redecoration since. Decoration makes much use of colour as you would expect, typified by the Millennium window installed in 1999.

Dyers Hall from lower Dowgate Hill. Click for larger image in a new window

Much more historical information with illustrations of some elements of our history can be found here.

The hall is not open to visitors, being in daily use, but reference may be made to "The Halls of the Livery Companies of the City of London" by Tony Englefield, sometime Clerk to the Painter-Stainers Company, illustrated with original pencil drawings by Howard Penton and published in 1981 under the patronage of Jones Lang Wootton, Chartered Surveyors of London.

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