1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Guildhall
GUILDHALL, the hall of the corporation of the city of London, England. It faces a courtyard opening out of Gresham Street. The date of its original foundation is not known. An ancient crypt remains, but the hall has otherwise undergone much alteration. It was rebuilt in 1411, beautified by the munificence of successive officials, damaged in the Great Fire of 1666, and restored in 1789 by George Dance; while the hall was again restored, with a new roof, in 1870. This fine chamber, 152 ft. in length, is the scene of the state banquets and entertainments of the corporation, and of the municipal meetings “in common hall.” The building also contains a council chamber and various court rooms, with a splendid library, open to the public, a museum and art gallery adjoining. The hall contains several monuments and two giant figures of wood, known as Gog and Magog. These were set up in 1708, but the appearance of giants in city pageants is of much earlier date.