Royal Exchange in London

Friday, 1 January 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, House of the Month, London

© flickr.com - Rev Stan/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Rev Stan/cc-by-2.0

The Royal Exchange in London was founded in the 16th century by the merchant Sir Thomas Gresham on the suggestion of his factor Richard Clough to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The site was provided by the City of London Corporation and the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who still jointly own the freehold. It is trapezoidal in shape and is flanked by Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, which converge at Bank junction in the heart of the City. It lies in the ward of Cornhill.

It has twice been destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt. The present building was designed by Sir William Tite in the 1840s. The site was notably occupied by the Lloyd’s insurance market for nearly 150 years. Today the Royal Exchange contains a Courtyard Grand Cafe, Threadneedle Cocktail Bar, Sauterelle Restaurant, luxury shops, and offices.

Traditionally, the steps of the Royal Exchange is the place where certain royal proclamations (such as the dissolution of parliament) are read out by either a herald or a crier. Following the death or abdication of a monarch and the confirmation of the next monarch’s accession to the throne by the Accession Council, the Royal Exchange Building is one of the locations where a herald proclaims the new monarch’s reign to the public.

© Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - DAVID HOLT/cc-by-sa-2.0 © flickr.com - Rev Stan/cc-by-2.0 © Reguiieee Monument to Baron Paul Julius von Reuter by Michael Black © Kaihsu Tai/cc-by-sa-3.0 Courtyard © flickr.com - J c/cc-by-2.0
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Monument to Baron Paul Julius von Reuter by Michael Black © Kaihsu Tai/cc-by-sa-3.0
Richard Clough initially suggested building the exchange in 1562, and its original design was inspired by the Antwerp bourse, the world’s first purpose-built bourse with which Thomas Gresham, the representative of the English crown in Antwerp, was familiar, and on which the designs of the bourses of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Middelburg would also be based.

It was Britain’s first specialist commercial building, and Clough oversaw the importing of some of the materials from Antwerp: stone, slate, wainscot and glass, for which he paid thousands of pounds himself. The Royal Exchange was officially opened on 23 January 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I who awarded the building its royal title and a licence to sell alcohol and valuable goods. Only the exchange of goods took place until the 17th century. Stockbrokers were not allowed into the Royal Exchange because of their rude manners, hence they had to operate from other establishments in the vicinity, such as Jonathan’s Coffee-House. Gresham’s original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A second complex was built on the site, designed by Edward Jarman and opened in 1669, but that also burned down, on 10 January 1838. It had been used by the Lloyd’s insurance market, which was forced to move temporarily to South Sea House following the 1838 fire.

Read more on Royal Exchange and Wikipedia Royal Exchange (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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