Building    From 1566 

Royal Exchange

Categories: Commerce

The Royal Exchange was established by Thomas Gresham in 1566, following his, and his father's, favourable experiences of the Antwerp Bourse as a place where merchants could arrange credit and loans and so trade effectively.

The first building was lost in the Great Fire but replaced by 1669. A fire insurance company, Royal Exchange Assurance, was based in this building which is depicted on their insignia. Despite this, another, more localised, fire destroyed the second Royal Exchange building in 1838. Prince Albert laid the foundation stone of the third (and last, as of 2007) on 17 January 1842 and two years later Queen Victoria presided at the opening ceremony. This building is by Sir William Tite. If you want to know about the sculpture in the pediment, by Richard Westmacott, son of Richard Westmacott, then Ornamental Passions is the place to go.

Renovated in 2001, the Grade 1 listed building is now, it seems, mainly occupied by seriously expensive jewellery shops. IainVisits has (illicit) photos. 2017:Londonist visited the building and didn't like it very much.

Murals inside painted in 1892 by Lord Leighton and Frank Brangwyn. 2016: Londonist reports that these are at risk.

2023: Londonist's roving reporter found some statues from the building, the one destroyed in the 1838 fire, in the garden of a hotel in Swanage.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Royal Exchange

Commemorated ati

Prince Albert - Holborn

Prince Albert, dressed as a field marshal, doffs his hat to the passing traff...

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Other Subjects

Rosa Lewis

Rosa Lewis

Hotelier. Born Rosa Ovenden at Leyton, Essex. She started her working life as a servant and graduated to become an itinerant cook for many of the famous families of the time. In 1883 she married th...

Person, Commerce

1 memorial
Abbey National plc

Abbey National plc

Since 1927 Abbey head office had occupied the site where 221b Baker Street would be, Sherlock Holmes' address.  In 2002 Abbey moved to new premises in Triton Square.  See 221b for information about...

Group, Commerce

1 memorial
George Hibbert

George Hibbert

Merchant and politician. Born in Manchester. Along with Robert Milligan, he was the driving force behind the creation of the West India Docks. MP for Seaford from 1806 to 1812. Helped found the Roy...

Person, Commerce, Politics & Administration, Race Issues

1 memorial
Robert Harrild

Robert Harrild

Printer and engineer. Born in Bermondsey, where in 1801 he set up the Bluecoat Boy Printing Office, producing books and commercial stationery. He is noted for introducing 'composition rollers' whic...

Person, Commerce, Engineering

2 memorials
Stakis PLC

Stakis PLC

Hotel group founded in the 1960s by Reo Stakis. They bought Caxton Hall in 1986, intending to develop it as offices and flats, but by the time they were given approval, the property market had cras...

Group, Commerce

1 memorial