If the Stationers’ Hall was impressive, the Drapers took municipal wealth to a whole new level.
Before the Industrial revolution, and from the 14th to 16th centuries, much of Britain’s wealth came from her wool trade. It’s not surprising that the company of cloth merchants should capitalise on this.
Near to Bank station, the hall is comparable with John Jacob Astor’s London residence at 2 Temple Place, or indeed rather like what I imagine the Titanic to have been. Caryatids hold up the front door and balcony, the entrance hall is carpeted in purple and you climb an elaborate Gothic staircase to a plethora of chandeliers and marble, two salons, a colonnade, rows of Royal busts, and a final ballroom in deep purple and gold.
If some of it feels familiar, it’s because some of the rooms were used as Buckingham Palace in the film The King’s Speech.
If the building by itself wasn’t enough, the art collection is just as stunning.
All photos September 2016 as part of Open House London.