The Royal Exchange has seen many different uses throughout its extraordinary history
Take a tour through time, from the 16th century to the present day, with a look at The Royal Exchange’s ever-evolving role as a London landmark and hub of the City.
The Royal Exchange was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1566 as a ‘comely bourse for merchants to assemble upon’.
PLACE OF ROYAL PROCLAMATIONS
Queen Elizabeth I officiated The Royal Exchange in 1571. To this day, royal proclamations are still announced here.
The enterprising Gresham added two additional floors to house retail units, effectively creating Britain’s very first shopping mall.
The Mermaid Theatre took up residence in The Royal Exchange courtyard from 1953–1959. Notable performances included Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
LONDON INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL FUTURES EXCHANGE
In 1982, The Royal Exchange went back to its trading roots when the London International Financial Futures Exchange briefly moved in.
In 2001, the Grade-I listed building was transformed into the luxury shopping and dining destination it is known as today.
HUB OF THE CITY
Today, residents, visitors and professionals come together at The Royal Exchange to meet, shop and dine in the heart of the City.
Visit our heritage page to read more about The Royal Exchange’s extraordinary history.