Royal Exchange Building London, London

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The Royal Exchange in London was founded in the 16th century by the merchant Sir Thomas Gresham on the suggestion of his factor Richard Clough to act as a centre of commerce for the City of London. The site was provided by the City of London Corporation and the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who still jointly own the freehold. It is trapezoidal in shape and is flanked by Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, which converge at Bank junction in the heart of the City. It lies in the ward of Cornhill. The building's original design was inspired by a bourse Gresham had seen in Antwerp, the Antwerp bourse, and was Britain's first specialist commercial building.


It has twice been destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt. The present building was designed by Sir William Tite in the 1840s. The site was notably occupied by the Lloyd's insurance market for nearly 150 years. Today the Royal Exchange contains a Courtyard Grand Cafe, Threadneedle Cocktail Bar, Sauterelle Restaurant, luxury shops, and offices.


Traditionally, the steps of the Royal Exchange is the place where certain royal proclamations (such as the dissolution of parliament) are read out by either a herald or a crier. Following the death or abdication of a monarch and the confirmation of the next monarch's accession to the throne by the Accession Council, the Royal Exchange Building is one of the locations where a herald proclaims the new monarch's reign to the public.
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  • Visited for a business breakfast recently. Great coffee, good food, friendly table service BUT the greeter (I won’t give her the honour of being referred to as a maître d') is rude, sneering and...  more »
  • We went to the Royal Exchange, a lovely old building, with a few upmarket shops, mainly watches and jewellery, to see a watch at Watchfinder, which I didn't buy. However we had a drink at the...  more »
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