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Coopers' Hall

Managing Numerous Projects at the Late 17th Century Coopers’ Hall

Director Sam Field MRICS is formally appointed as Surveyor to the Worshipful Company of Coopers.

This particular Livery Company was created to regulate professionals in the cask-making industry, and the earliest found mention of it is contained in the record of the Mayor's Court held on the 22nd May, 1298.  Sam sits on the Hall Committee, and during his long-standing relationship with this client, he has managed numerous renovation and redecoration projects at the late 17th century Coopers’ Hall in the City of London for over 20 years.

Coopers’ Hall is a pre-Georgian late 17th century, timber-framed merchant's house with a Georgian frontage. A Livery Hall since 1957, it features a fine Courtoom, dining room and an impressive staircase spiralling up the entire height of the building. It is one of the oldest and most elegant of the Livery Halls and is conveniently situated in the heart of the City of London opposite Liverpool Street Station.

It is available for hire for private and corporate functions, and thus the hall, plus access to it and all related facilities, have to be maintained in top condition of renovation and redecoration, and meet health and safety requirements.

External work

The external renovation and redecoration programme to the building’s front elevation included the following.

Replacement of the parapet gutter which had been leaking into the top floor. It was replaced with a lead sheet gutter which was dressed up the face of the parapet wall and terminated under the coping stones to form a waterproof barrier.

Helifix bar repairs to cracks in the wall. These repairs were blended in so that they are not visible until pointed out. This proved particularly hard to achieve as the brickwork was not cleaned.

Removal of over 35 layers of paint using a poultice applied to the metal railings which revealed their original simple design.

The concrete slurry was removed from the steps and railing upstand to reveal the original Portland stone. This had been applied in the 1960s as a temporary measure prior to more substantial repair work and had been left there for over 50 years!

The Coat of Arms

Perhaps the most prominent element of our recent work at Coopers’ Hall was the repair and redecoration of the Coat of Arms, which is located above the entrance door and welcomes all visitors.

The Coopers’ Company was granted its coat of arms in 1509. It consists of three Tudor lilies and in the field three annulets with chevron bearing tools. The supportive are camels with annulets and the crest is a heath-cock carrying a lily in its beak. After the Reformation, later in the 1500’s, the motto “Gaude Maria Virgo” (Rejoice, Virgin Mary) was replaced by “Love as Brethren.”


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The lilies refer to the Virgin Mary, the annulets represent the hoops which bind the casks, and the tools feature the special Coopers’ axe. Its blade and handle are on different planes so that the hand is protected when trimming the staves.

There was some debate about whether the shield’s colours should be sequenced red/black or black/red, as it exists in both formats throughout the building. To resolve the matter, the Clerk decided that it should be red/black.

The photo below shows how it was after it was repainted and installed.

Internal work

At the same time as the recent external work was carried out, we oversaw an electrical upgrade throughout the building. This involved removing asbestos ceiling boards from the sub-basement, which was replaced with a fire rated plaster board ceiling, and the lifting of floor coverings to work out cable routes that would not require complete removal of floors in various rooms to be taken up, or walls to be damaged.

However, every time we lifted a floor covering to investigate a potential cable route, we found material that looked like asbestos.  This was always tested, and in most cases, it was found to be positive and was subsequently removed.

Previous internal projects at Coopers’ Hall have included:

Complete refurbishment and upgrading of the finishing kitchen that caters for functions at the hall. Work included new ceilings, wall and floor coverings, electrical upgrades, lighting, and the installation of new equipment.

Refurbishment of the Livery Company’s Museum, prior to its decommissioning in 2016. This included liaising with specialists who advised on types of lighting and chemicals that could be used in safe knowledge they would have no detrimental effect on the items on show.

Space limitations mean that only a fraction of the Coopers’ Company historical artefacts are on show at any time in display cases. Further work involved the installation of a vent system to the sub-basement. This introduced tempered air to prevent mould growth on artefacts being stored there.

We were also required to administer full toilet and washroom renovation and redecoration for staff and visitors’ use.

We are extremely proud of our role in keeping this historic building and its contents in top condition through renovation and redecoration. The most recent work in particular was a great project, and the hall looks amazing. If you wish to receive a guided tour or view any artefact or resource stored at Coopers' Hall, please contact the Clerk at or call on 020 7247 9577.

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Coopers' Hall
Coopers' Hall