Celebrating the 350th Anniversary of our Hall: Unearthing the Hall’s Hidden History through Stories from the Archives
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2023 marks the 350th anniversary of Stationers’ Hall and its rebuilding after Abergavenny House was destroyed in the Great Fire in 1666. The Hall is a piece of living architecture that has survived because it, and the Company, has adapted to changing demands over the centuries. The 17th century Company needed a Hall to function as both a business and social space. In some ways the Fire forced the Company to review what was needed, and rebuilding was completed relatively quickly as the Court records show. The rebuild was done in some style and the post Fire Hall and associated structures functioned well right into the 20th century and the bomb damage to the hall and Court Room. Arguably, the regulatory environment after the war and the ability to invest was more challenging in the post war world than the post Fire period.
The imaginative and stylish modern renovations that opened in 2022 complete a cycle of enhancement and continuing innovation. For our annual Archive Evening in April 2023, we brought together a panel of experts to explore the key players and personalities that have shaped our Hall and the site in its rebuild. From Sir Thomas Davies, the first Stationer Lord Mayor and Pepys’ bookseller, to Samuel Mearne, bookbinder to Charles II and member of the Committee for Building after the Fire, the panel investigated how the Hall survived, how it was used and how it was built and rebuilt through the stories of the people that made it happen.
Archive Evening attendees each received a printed Timeline illustrating the unique history of the Hall. This exhibition brings together the images used in that Timeline, and offers further background information.