The Royal Exchange – One of London’s grandest buildings and an ever-evolving hub of the modern City. A monumental building located in the heart of the City used for different purposes throughout it’s extraordinary history. The Royal Exchange is a must-see London landmark and ranks high on the list of the Most Instagrammable Places in London. Breath-taking architecture, luxury shopping and all-day dining, the more I found out about it, the more interesting it got.
About The Royal Exchange
The Royal Exchange was officially opened on the 23 January 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I. She awarded the building it’s Royal title and a licence to sell alcohol.
The building has an imposing, eight-column entrance inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
The building has been destroyed twice by fire since it was first built. The present building was designed by William Tite in the 1840’s.
The Royal Exchange was the first purpose-built centre for trading stocks in London. It is modelled on the Bourse in Antwerp, the world’s oldest financial exchange. This was where Gresham had been based as a Royal agent.
How to get to the Royal Exchange London by Public Transport.
- The Royal Exchange – Bank, City of London, EC3V 3LR
- Bus: 11, 133, 141, 21, 25
- Tube: Central, District, Northern Lines. Closest Tube station BANK.
Things to do
A Cocktail bar for the fashionable ladies of the City and an array of designer luxury stores for your retail therapy. Enjoy dining options to suit every occasion.
Three restaurants with the finest food, drink and entertainment the City has to offer. Start your morning with a coffee and cake at Cutter & Squidge café, to late-night drinks at Grind. Enjoy the all-day dining at the historic Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant
The steps of the Royal Exchange was a place where Royal proclamations were read out.
The original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A second complex was built on the site and opened in 1669, but that also burned down.
The site was notably occupied by the Lloyd’s Insurance market for nearly 150 years which was forced to move out following the 1838 fire.
Stockbrokers were not allowed into the Royal Exchange because of their rude manners.
The proclamation of King Edward VII took place on 23 January 1901 at The Royal Exchange, mere days after the death of Queen Victoria. Throughout its history, the building served as an important rallying point for the Empire.
Trading at the Royal Exchange was suspended following the outbreak of World War II. The Royal Exchange survived the war, albeit the damages caused made the traders move out, leaving the building in a state of disuse for several decades.
In the 1980’s, The Royal Exchange briefly returned to its glorious past when the London International Financial Futures Exchange moved in. During this time, the rotting Victorian roof was replaced and two floors of new office space were added.
In 2001 it was transformed into a luxury shopping and dining destination. Though an entirely different building from it’s original design, the modern-day Royal Exchange pays homage to it’s founder. With the gilded copper grasshopper weather-vane – a symbol taken from the Gresham family crest the Royal Exchange continues.
Today, The Royal Exchange continues to remain true to it’s retail roots. Unique in the City, it remains one of London’s finest landmarks.
If you asked me to summarise – The Royal Exchange offers it’s guests an unrivalled collection of International Luxury brands complimented by impeccable British Hospitality wrapped in London’s most historic building