Over 40 people (on 24 Zoom screens) were led by our own Peter Cave, Past Master of Lime Street Ward Club, who provided a Virtual ‘Walk and Talk’ around the main body of the Royal Exchange (today fully within Cornhill Ward) and its environs, which has so much history in such a small area , plus highlights being pointed out as we went along (and all from the comfort of our own armchairs.)
First Royal Exchange (1571-1666)
With historical and current day pictures via a Zoom link, Peter explained the founding of the Royal Exchange which was officially opened in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I and was a commercial marketplace founded by English merchant and financier – Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579)
Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579)
Second Royal Exchange (1669- 1838)
Following the total destruction of the Royal exchange by the Great Fire of London a second Royal Exchange was built and opened in 1669. Unfortunately, in 1838 the second exchange building was destroyed, again by fire.
Third and current Royal Exchange (1844- to date)
The third and present Royal Exchange building, opened by Queen Victoria in 1844- (still as a Bourse,) was designed by the English architect Sir William Tite. The Royal Exchange ceased to act as a centre of commerce in 1939 when, with the outbreak of the 2nd World War, trading stopped.
Inside the Third Royal Exchange today
Today, after sympathetic re-modelling in 2001, the Grade I listed building accommodates an exclusive retail centre with restaurants, cafes over 30 stores selling luxurious brands.
To watch and listen to the Virtual ‘Walk and Talk ‘around the Royal Exchange and its Environs in more detail – Peter Cave has provided a link in the ‘Members Area of this website. Click here