- On the east side of King Street at No. 23 (P.O. Directory). In Bassishaw Ward and Cheap Ward, extending east to Basinghall Street.Earliest mention: There may be a reference to the Guildhall in the "Terra Gialle," a MS. belonging to the D. and C. St. Paul's, c. 1130, in which mention is made of various lands in London.Mentioned in ordinance passed after fire of 1212 for protection of buildings, "Gildhall," 1244 (Lib. de Ant. Leg. p. 10).In grant of land 5 Ed. I., it appears that "the curtilage of the "Gihalle" was situate 25 3/4 ells west from the "vico regio," apparently Basinghall Street, as the land included in the grant is described as in the parish of St. Michael Bassishaw, which could hardly be the case if King Street were intended (Anc. Deeds A. 1857).It is described 15 Ed. III. as the hall of the pleas of the City (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. 1340-3, p. 227).Stow tells us that the Guildhall was rebuilt in the 15th century, the rebuilding being commenced by T. Knolles, Mayor in 1400, and in Letter Book I. there are several allusions to the new work there (S. 109, 273, 293).Fabyan gives the date as 1411 (ed. 1811, p. 576).Stow describes it previously to this rebuilding as a little old cottage in Aldermanburie Street, but there appears to be no authority for placing it so far west, and it is more probable that the original building occupied a portion at least of its present site and was approached from Aldermanbury by a passage only.The Executors of Ric. Whittington contributed to the paving of the Hall and the glazing of the windows (S. 274).The site of the "Guildehall" is described 4 Ed. VI., as in the parish of St. Michael Bassishaw, abutting east on Bassinghawstrete, west on "le Yeldehall chappell," south on Blackwell Hall, north upon "les grocers landes" (Pat. Roll, Ed. VI. Pt. 9).The Mayors' feasts were kept in the Guildhall from 1501, formerly held in Merchant Taylors' Hall or Grocers' Hall (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 42).Burnt in the Fire 1666, except the stone walls of the Hall (ib. 52).Repaired 1706. Re-erected 1789. Architect, G. Dance, the younger. Hall restored 1866-70.Numerous courts are held there for the transaction of the business of the City by the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty, and some of the City Companies hold their meetings there.The name occurs in early records as "Gialle," "Gihalle," "Guyhalle," "Gihale," "Guihalle," "Gyhale," "Gilda Aula," "Gildaula," "Gyhalda," etc, and it is said to be derived from A S "gild " = payment, and "gildan" = to pay. The Guildhall would be the appointed place where the burgesses would "yield" or pay their taxes, hence "Yeldehall," a not uncommon form of the name.The crypt has recently been restored and excavated, and has fine shafts and vaulting. It is divided into an eastern and western portion, the eastern being the more elaborate.There is an interesting account of these crypts in Tran. L. and M. Arch. Soc. N.S. II. (3), 277).A Roman pavement was found here under the Sewers' Office in 1861.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.