Inventory Site Record

Skinners' Hall: Inner Courtyard, Roof Garden (City of London)

Brief Description

The Worshipful Company of Skinners were furriers whose first Charter was given in 1327. The site of Skinner's Hall in this location dates from 1409, although rebuilt after the Great Fire and with subsequent alterations. Entered through the Company's fine ceremonial gates on Dowgate Hill, the small Inner Courtyard was originally used for the formation of guild processions. The east elevation of the Banqueting or Great Hall, dating from 1670, faces onto the courtyard, its entrance flanked by embellished pilasters with carved rabbits, whose fur was used by the lower orders in medieval society. The paved courtyard has two C18th water containers planted with flowers, and the stone cloister was added between 1902-16. In 1984-6 a Roof Garden was created above new kitchens, and this is paved, with a fountain, planters and statuary. In addition a terrace at the rear of the Hall also provides outside space.

Practical Information
Site location:
8 1/2, Dowgate Hill
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
City of London
Open to public?
Opening times:
private. Open days four times a year (April, July, September, October)
Special conditions:
Ticketed tours take place (maximum 50 tickets each open day), organised through Corporation of London Information Centre.
Public transport:
Tube: Cannon Street (District, Circle)
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.skinners.org.uk

Full Site Description

The Skinners Company were furriers whose first charter was given in 1327. The site of their hall in this location dates from 1409 onwards although the core of the present hall was built after the Great Fire of 1666, probably based on the medieval plan, with C18th and C20th additions. The frontage onto Dowgate Hill is the work of William Jupp Senior and dates from 1770-90. The east front faces the small inner courtyard, with a stone cloister added between 1902-16 by W. Campbell Jones. This is paved with limestone columns and two C18th water containers planted with flowers. There is also a rear courtyard or terrace, accessed from the Old Court Room. 

Additional outdoor space includes the Roof Garden, which was created between 1984-1986 by J. Sampson Lloyd, located on the flat roof above new kitchens. This garden has sculptures, olive trees and a circular central fountain, and is accessed via a square brick pavilion with a glazed octagonal lantern roof, or via the large Venetian windows of the gallery. The planting of the roof garden, and the inner and rear courtyards, takes into account the Company’s commitment to sustainable improvement.

Many of the grand rooms of the Hall are let out for private functions, with the outdoor spaces included in the hire.

Sources consulted:

Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); Skinners' Company website.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ325808 (532550,180886)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Skinners Company
Site management:
Skinners Company
Listed structures:
LBI and SAM: Skinners' Hall
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Queen Street
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Strategic Viewing Corridor

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.