Guild Halls of York

Early 19th century engraving of St Anthonys Hall - York Art Gallery

The biggest guilds were rich and powerful, as can be seen from the four surviving guild halls in York:

The Guildhall, behind the Mansion House  – built by the city and the Guild of St Christopher and George in about 1449-1459. Originally intended as a hall for York’s guilds, it evolved into the meeting place for the city corporation, which met here for the first time in 1459.

The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate – built between 1357 and 1368 on the site of a Norman mansion as the communal meeting hall, chapel and undercroft hospital of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity. This was a religious and charitably mutual association.

The Merchant Taylors’ Hall, Aldwark – founded by the Guild of St John the Baptist which developed into a merchant company in the 15th century. The first recorded mention is in 1380.  Its brick exterior dates from the end of the seventeenth century.  Two stained glass windows by Henry Gyles were added in about 1700.

St Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Green – built by the guild of that name in about 1450. The larger eastern part of the building was added between c1485 and 1500.  The Guild was dissolved in 1627, and the building was used for many purposes: a storehouse, a hospital, a house of correction, and from 1705-1946 the it was a childrens' home called the Blue Coat School.

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