Did you know that...
The area Mansion House takes its name after the famous Mansion House building in Central London. This Grade I listed structure is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. The building also hosts official events and white tie dinners. Mansion House was built in the 18th century by the British architect George Dance the Elder. It was built on the site of the Stock Market which was closed two years before the construction works began in 1739. During the works, springs were found on the site. This made the foundation building more complicated as piles had to be sunk.
The two clerestory roof extensions were called Mayor’s Nest and Noah’s Ark. The latter was demolished in 1795 when architect George Dance the Younger redid the roof of the central courtyard. Two rooms took the place of the original grand staircase. The Mayor’s Nest was removed in 1842 after the Mansion House ballroom was renovated. The Walbrook private entrance was added in 1845. Four years later, the Swordbearer’s Room became the Justice Room. It was the magistrates’ court of London until 1999. The story of how Mansion House was funded features in Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Mansion House had a court of law and even holding cells. Women’s rights activist Sylvia Pankhurst was a prisoner here. The EC4 mansion houses a collection of 84 Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century. The collection is considered the UK’s finest selection of such paintings. The five ceremonial London swords are part of the plate collection. Mansion House Street in front of the building takes its name after it. The building is closed for the public most of the times, however, public access is allowed on Tuesdays. The reception room is named the Egyptian Hall because Dance borrowed Roman architect Vitruvius’s Egyptian column arrangement.