Stationers Hall visit
16th March 2020
Aldersgate Ward Club visit to Stationers’ Hall, Monday 16th March 2020
The Stationers’ Company was formed in 1403 as a Guild for Scriveners (who had writing skills), Lymners (who decorated parchments), and Book-binders. As they all worked from fixed tables (or stations) in St Paul’s Churchyard, they became collectively known as the Stationers.
Prior to our visit, the twenty-four members gathered for a convivial lunch at the nearby Côte Brasserie in Ludgate Hill. We then met our guides in St Martin-within-Ludgate church, where one of the original bells referred to in the song ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is on display. The church building connects into the delightful private garden of the Stationers’ Hall, proudly boasting a two hundred year-old plane tree at its centre.
Our tour through the Hall visited several rooms, including the splendid Hall itself and the Stock Room named after the English Stock Company which in 1603 gave the Stationers a monopoly on selling Bibles, providing a source of great wealth. The Hall itself, like most of its surroundings, burnt down in the Great Fire, but was rebuilt by 1674 as we see it today.
Our guides were well informed with amusing anecdotes as well as historic facts, and we gave them a hearty round of applause as we enjoyed tea and biscuits at the end of our visit.