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

Samuel Jones and Company

Samuel Jones and Company

A stationery firm founded in 1810 by Edward Jones. A Museum of London photo shows one of their products, captioned: "Reel of 'Nulli Secundus' adhesive mending tape stored within a tin reel with a c...

Group, Commerce

1 memorial
Sir Ambrose Heal

Sir Ambrose Heal

Furniture designer and retailer. Born at Crouch End. Studied at the Slade School of Fine Art before joining the family firm which ran the Heal & Son department store. He designed the simple, st...

Person, Commerce, Craft / Design

3 memorials
Sir Rowland Hill

Sir Rowland Hill

Initiator of the uniform Penny Post in 1840. Due to him Britain was the first country to use adhesive stamps and thus we do not have to put the name of our country on them. This is analogous to the...

Person, Commerce, Politics & Administration

5 memorials