Open House Festival

Guildhall Art Gallery


Richard Gilbert Scott, 1999

Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE

Open daily 10.30am-4pm. Regular guided tours 12.15pm & 1.15pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, see below. Home of the City of London's art collection, & remains of London's Roman Amphitheatre

Getting there


Bank, Moorgate, St. Paul's, Mansion House


Moorgate, Liverpool Street, City Thameslink, Cannon Street


8, 100, 76, 25, 43, 21, 141



Accessibility notes

Staff are on hand to assist with any access needs


General Access and Tours during Open House

During Open House, you can drop-in for general access between 10.30am to 4pm (last admission at 3.45pm).

Join one of our drop-in tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12.15pm and 1.15pm
These are combined tours of Guildhall Art Gallery and London's Roman Amphitheatre.


Many famous and much-loved pictures are on view for the public to see and enjoy in the new Guildhall Art Gallery which opened in 1999. The original gallery of 1885 was burned down during a severe air raid in May 1941.

The gallery displays about 250 works of art for free from the City of London's collection of paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture. In addition, temporary exhibitions explore different themes and allow other works from the collection to come onto public display.

Guildhall Art Gallery is also home to the City of London Heritage Gallery, and London's Roman Amphitheatre.

The Collection

Perhaps the most popular works in the Guildhall collection are its Victorian pictures, including well-known favourites like Millais' 'My Second Sermon', Rossetti's 'La Ghirlandata' as well as Tissot's 'The Last Evening'. The Guildhall Art Gallery also houses the famous painting 'The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar' by John Singleton Copley.

The City of London began collecting works of art in the seventeenth century, when it commissioned portraits of the judges appointed to assess property claims in the wake of the Great Fire of London of 1666. Its collection now comprises 4,000 works of art from period views of historic London to the work of contemporary artists. Since the Second World War, the City of London’s collection has concentrated on London subjects.

The Architect

Richard Gilbert Scott died in 2017. In his Guardian obituary Gavin Stamp wrote of his design for the Guildhall Art Gallery:

“[It] is much more sober, and monumental, than [his] west wing opposite. The consistent Gothic feeling was nevertheless maintained by abstracted giant tracery, but the general powerful massing, achieved by consistent wall and roof planes, is perhaps more reminiscent of Lutyens. [It has a] sophisticated but most unusual design, neither modern nor postmodern ...”

The project was begun in 1987 with an archeological investigation of the site, which unearthed medieval and Saxon remains and part of a Roman amphitheatre. The site was subsequently declared a scheduled ancient monument – with the result that Gilbert Scott had to design the new building around the remains, which are also on show to the public.

Online presence


Back to top of page