London is full of many hidden alleyways which are steeped in history, none more so than the City of London. One such fascinating area is Black Friars Lane, which hosts the Apothecaries’ Hall. This is the oldest livery hall, and dates back to 1672. London is full of many hidden alleyways which are steeped in history, none more so than the City of London. One such fascinating area is Black Friars Lane, which hosts the Apothecaries’ Hall. This is the oldest livery hall, and dates back to 1672. You will find the first shop in the world to sell pharmaceutical drugs adjacent to Apothecaries Hall. Its clients were the Army, the Navy and the Crown Colonies.
Other sites here include The King’s Wardrobe, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The curious name dates back to the medieval period, when the royal Wardrobe moved from the Tower to this area in 1381. The Wardrobe was more like a department of the royal household, charged with overseeing the King’s robes, armour and garments.
Shakespeare walked these streets and even lived here for a time, and in 1599 saw the opening of the Blackfriars Theatre which staged plays with boy actors from 1609 to 1642. It was the only indoor theatre of the Shakespeare Company.
Another very interesting area is St James’s with its Palace built by Henry VIII for his second wife, Anne Boleyn. St James’s Square is the only square in the area and is Neo Georgian in design. There’s a lot of history attached to it, from Eisenhower to Nancy Astor to The Queen Mother, and much more.
The area is affluent and has lots of gentlemen’s clubs, which saw the opening in the late 17th century of many specialist shops such as Berry and Rudd (wine merchants), Lock and Co (hats), and in the 19th century James Fox & Co (cigar merchants), followed by John Lobbs (shoemakers). There are many more specialist shops in the area.
Max 6 people. If there are more than 6 people in your group, please add tour once for 6 adults and then again for remaining people. Checkout will show x2 (or more) tours.
Free Cancellation: You will receive a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance of most experiences.
Please note we do not enter main sites.
Entrance tickets to attractions is NOT included.
All airport, port and pick-ups more than seven miles from the centre of London will carry a surcharge.
Duration of Tour is 4 hours.
Looking for more info? Send a question to the property to find out more.