Sat 19 - Sun 20 Sep
Tours at 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm & 4.30pm each day
Free; no advance booking required
Each tour will last between 60-75mins
Films, Screenings & Talks
Community & Family
We are thrilled to once again be part of Open House London - the world’s largest architecture festival.
This year Open House London looks a little different, with a combination of building visits, guided and self-guided walking and cycle tours, other events, and an online only programme. Whilst Open House London 2020 will be on 19 & 20 September 2020, additional events will take place until the 27 September 2020.
Discover Shoreditch Town Hall's magnificent Grade II listed building in one of five free guided tours taking place each day. Please note that whilst there is no advance booking for tours, we can only accommodate 20 people per time slot. Attendance will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. All attendees will be expected to wear face coverings whilst in the building.
Designed by Caesar Augustus Long and built on the site of the old Fuller’s Hospital, Shoreditch Town Hall opened in 1866. It was known as “the grandest Vestry Hall in London” owing to its high-coved ceilings, Doric columns, large chandeliers and stained glass windows. Throughout the building the council’s motto ‘More Light, More Power’ can be seen. This, together with the statue of Progress enshrined their ambition to be a progressive, forward thinking Vestry, including through the provision of electric street lighting.
From its earliest days Shoreditch Town Hall was at the heart of civic life, managing all aspects of the parish. On 12 November 1888, the Vestry (now the Council Chamber) famously held the inquest into the murder of Jack the Ripper’s last victim, Mary Kelly.
In 1902, William Hunt led a series of expansions, which included the addition of the large Assembly Hall. Following a damaging fire in 1904, the new extended Assembly Hall was opened in 1907.
Whilst upholding its municipal duties until 1965 (at which point the metropolitan boroughs of Shoreditch, Stoke Newington and Hackney, merged to become the London Borough of Hackney), the Town Hall also provided Music Hall entertainment in the Assembly Hall, packing the building with variety and music acts from across the land.
In the 1960s the Assembly Hall became one of the East End’s premier boxing venues until 1969 when, after a brutal fight against Joe Bugner, the tragic death of Trinidadian Ulric Regis led to a ban on boxing throughout Hackney.
As a result, gradually the Town Hall began to fall into disrepair, only experiencing a brief but colourful revival in the 1990s when the now infamous Whirl-Y-Gig trance nights descended on the Assembly Hall.
By the mid 1990s, with costs for maintenance spiralling, the London Borough of Hackney began to explore selling the Town Hall for commercial development. As a direct response, Shoreditch Town Hall Trust was formed in 1997 to argue the case for the building to remain in community hands.
In 2002, the Trust commissioned the first phase of a large-scale restoration of the building and following major structural renovation and restoration the building reopened in 2004.
Welcoming over 70,000 people through its doors every year, Shoreditch Town Hall is now an established independent cultural, community and live events space. Since 2012, £2.5m has been invested in the restoration and development of the building, transforming the Town Hall from a beautiful but under the radar hire space, to a thriving cultural venue for Hackney, London and beyond.
Shoreditch Town Hall is now more in use than at any other point in its recent history with a year-round programme of bold and adventurous new theatre, music, dance, circus, comedy, talks and events, alongside a range of learning, community and engagement activities. The venue is also occupied by one of the most talked about restaurants of recent years, the Michelin starred Clove Club, in the west side of the building.
With eight main spaces from 40 to 800 capacity, the Town Hall works with 100 artists, community groups and arts organisations, programmes over 40 productions, hosts up to 200 events, and commissions up to 8 new pieces of live performance, every year.
The Town Hall’s cultural programme has recently included work with Andrew Schneider, Barely Methodical Troupe, curious directive, dreamthinkspeak, Jamie Lloyd, Kneehigh, Manchester International Festival, Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari, Royal Shakespeare Company, ThisEgg and The Wardrobe Ensemble, alongside events with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Amazon, Channel 4, Fred Perry, Jazz FM, Red Bull, UNICEF and the filming of 'The Death of Stalin', 'Florence Foster Jenkins' and 'The Lady in the Van'.
Shoreditch Town Hall is a registered charity (1069617) and receives no regular or revenue funding.