London Tour

Inside Goldsmiths’ Hall

Along Foster Lane in the City you can easily walk past this stone, 19th century building without giving it much thought. But it’s worth looking a bit closer at Goldsmiths’ Hall, an institution that’s been here since 1339.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

I was recently invited to have a look inside and can confirm the interior is far more glittering than the outside suggests!

History of the Goldsmiths’ Company

One of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London, the Goldsmiths received their first Royal Charter in 1327 but were probably operating as a trade guild for a long time before.

They regulated the quality of craftsmen and traders and since 1300 have been responsible for testing the quality of gold and silver.

This still continues today in their adjoining assay office which still tests precious metal and applies hallmarks. The word, hallmark , coming from the Goldsmith’s hall where craftsmen would receive their mark .

Another historic legacy is the trial of the pyx, an annual ceremony dating back to the 12th century where the realm’s coinage was tested. 

goldsmiths hall tours

Public records start in 1248 and record twelve City Goldsmiths taking part. Until 1870 the ceremony took place in the Pyx Chamber at Westminster Abbey but now it takes place in the Goldsmiths Hall.

Unlike many of the other 111 City Livery Companies, the Goldsmiths retain very close links with the trade and one of their main objectives is to support craftspeople and the wider industry.

The Goldsmiths’ Leopard

Even before you enter, you’re met with some of the key symbols of the Goldsmiths’ Company, the major one being the leopard’s head.

Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

The leopard’s head first appears in 1300 as the King Edward I’s mark to confirm the standards of gold and silver objects.

Leopard is actually a corruption of “ leo part ” heraldic speak for a lion’s face head on. But it’s changed throughout history to look more defined (and fearsome) so can be seen absolutely everywhere.

goldsmiths hall tours

And that goes for the wider City of London too, the Goldsmiths own a lot of property across the Square Mile so it’s worth looking out for their crest which is a signal that they own the freehold. It’s something we talk about on my City: Power and Sacrifice walking tour .

The current hall was built in 1829-35, designed by Philip Hardwick.

goldsmiths hall tours

The first room is the Staircase Hall. Originally this was covered in wood panelling but upgraded to colourful marble in 1871.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

Flanking you up the stairs are four statues depicting the seasons carved by Samuel Nixon in 1844.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

There’s also a brilliant gilded wooden statue of St Dunstan, patron saint of the company, which dates from 1744 and who used to stand at the front of the Company’s state barge.

goldsmiths hall tours

Dunstan who lived c.909-988AD rose to Bishop of London and then Archbishop of Canterbury but was once a lowly Blacksmith. In one hand he clutches his Bishop’s crosier but in the other are his blacksmith’s tongs which by tradition he used to pinch the devil on the nose when he appeared to tempt him.

The show stopper room is the Livery Hall itself with its opulent coffered ceiling with epic chandeliers designed by Perry & Co and dating to 1835.

goldsmiths hall tours

In amongst the decoration you can spot pineapples, a symbol of wealth and hospitality. The Goldsmiths’ have apparently very much leaned into this and if you ever visit for a dinner here you will always be served the ‘Goldsmith dessert’ on a pineapple theme!

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

Another nice detail pointed out to me was the patch of darker ceiling, showing the results of restoration work.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

Unsurprisingly the hall is used for a lot of filming and most recently appears in The Crown Season Four (see great pictures in the here and here as well as Killing Eve , Bridgerton and an even an Ellie Goulding music video ).

There were more fun details to find in the light-filled Drawing Room.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

These included 17th century Le Clerc tapestries that were seemingly too risqué for the Victorian members, the ladies’ exposed leg only relatively recently revealed when the tapestries were cleaned!

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

In The Court Room you’re transported back in time to the former 18th century hall, with oak panelling and portraits of Goldsmith members.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

At one end there’s an amazing stone altar, dating from the 2nd Century AD and a piece of Roman London uncovered while digging the foundations for the current hall in 1830.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

One of the most striking paintings a wonderful portrait of Queen Elizabeth II’s post-coronation banquet at Mansion House.

Terence Cuneo | Goldsmith's Hall

It’s painted by Terence Cuneo whose trademark was including a tiny mouse in every painting so we had a lot of fun trying to track it down, eventually finding it hiding on the table amongst the floral displays!

Terence Cuneo | Goldsmith's Hall

The final room we saw was the Exhibition Room, a starkly different feel as it was designed post-WWII. So while some of the rooms like the Drawing Room were also redesigned following bomb damage, they were done in a more historic style.

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

Visit Goldsmiths’ Hall

Although it’s not regularly open to the public, Goldsmiths’ Hall, unlike many of the City’s Livery Halls, is a bit easier to visit. 

Each year they open for the Goldsmiths’ Fair so not only can you admire the building but they also have a display of contemporary jewellery, artwork and crafts to purchase. You can find out more about the 2023 fair and get tickets here . 

Inside Goldsmith's Hall | Look Up London

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Gary Curtis

How wonderful. Its a magnificent building on the outside so interesting to see if it matched inside! And it does. I love the grandeur of it all.

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Living London History

A Look Inside The Magnificent Goldsmiths’ Hall

goldsmiths' hall history

I was delighted to recently be invited to have a look around Goldsmiths’ Hall.

goldsmiths hall

Located at the junction of Gresham Street and Foster Lane, just North of St Paul’s Cathedral, it is one of the most opulent buildings in London. It is the headquarters of the Goldsmiths Company, one of the 111 livery companies in the City.

You can see another of my blog posts on livery halls here .

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths 

The livery companies generally started as medieval trading guilds around certain trades: ironmongers, butchers, saddle-makers etc.

The Goldsmiths Company received its royal charter in 1327; recognising its established position in regulating the standards of gold and silverware at the time. It also acted as a combination between a trade union and business association for gold and silversmiths in London. 

Later in the 14th century they bought land in this area of the City to set up their first headquarters. They have been in this area of the City, just to the North of St Paul’s Cathedral ever since. 

I was lucky enough to be shown a few very old documents from the Company’s extensive archives. 

This is a 15th century book of Ordinances, showing their rules and regulations.

goldsmiths company book of ordinances

As you can see, it is incredibly well preserved, the colours still bright and fresh. 

Below is the Apprentice Book listing the names of the apprentices being trained by the company at the time.

apprentice book goldsmiths company

You can see this entry below for example for a Samuel Todd in 1649.

apprentice book goldsmiths company

It looks like Samuel was illiterate when he joined the company, because he has marked his name with an ‘x’. 1649 for context was the year Charles I was beheaded during the English civil war and I think the writing almost looks like it could have been written yesterday! 

Origins of ‘hallmarking’

From 1290 the King passed a law that required all gold or silver smiths to bring their metal to Goldsmiths’ Hall to be checked for weight and quality. If it was of the correct quality it would be stamped or marked with the leopards head, a symbol taken from the three lions on the royal coat of arms.

goldsmiths company flag

This is where we get the term ‘hallmarked’ from, as it would have to be brought to the hall to be marked. 

The leopard heads were later incorporated into the coat of arms of the Goldsmiths and is the emblem of the Goldsmiths Company still today. 

goldsmiths company coat of arms

They still have a hallmarking service at the hall today and they make their own hallmarks and punches, meaning they are one of the only surviving manufacturing businesses in the Square Mile. 

Other Roles

The Goldsmiths also do an annual check of new coinage in a ceremony called the Trial of the Pyx. The ceremony dates back to the 12th century. The ‘pyx’ bit refers to the chests in which the coins were traditionally kept (in Westminster Abbey in the Pyx Chamber), from the latin ‘pyxis’ meaning for a small box.

They also put a lot of money into training apprentices in the trade, have an annual contemporary jewellery fair and act as a society for goldsmiths and jewellers across the country. 

The History Of The Hall

Not very much is known about the first hall on the site. It was rebuilt in the 1630s but was then gutted during the Great Fire, with only the exterior walls remaining.

It was subsequently restored and remained looking like it does in the picture below until the 1830s.

goldsmiths hall history

By the 1830s it was a bit dilapidated so was rebuilt again.

The current building was designed by the Company’s surveyor Philip Hardwick. It was opened officially on the 15th July 1835 with a lavish dinner with guests including Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington. 

goldsmiths hall

From the outside it is a grand Italianate, Portland stone building, dominating the corner site of Gresham Street and Foster Lane.

Features of the Hall

The staircase hall.

entrance staircase

You enter the building and enter the majestic Staircase Hall. 10 different types of marble are used and a rich red carpet flows up the stairs.

entrance staircase goldsmiths hall

The four sculptures are by Samuel Nixon and represent the four seasons. Look up to see the incredible domed ceiling.

dome goldsmiths hall

This gilded wooden statue at the top of the stairs depicts St Dunstan, patron saint of goldsmiths. and it was made for the front of the Goldsmiths’ state barge in 1744. 

st dunstan statue

The Livery Hall

livery hall goldsmiths

This is the stunning main space: the livery hall. It has an extravagant moulded ceiling and everywhere you look are little details and gold gilding.

livery hall ceiling

The hall has four huge chandeliers each holding 48 candles that can be lowered and lit. Large oil paintings of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Queen Adelaide sit between the columns and sculptures of other monarchs.

goldsmiths livery hall

The Court Room

court room goldsmiths

Lots of features of this room are actually from the previous Goldsmiths Hall, such as the 18th century fireplace. 

court room fireplace

The clock over the fireplace dates from 1720 and the mirror is a George I mirror purchased in 1741. 

The mahogany furniture was specifically made for this room, including the long table for council meetings. 

The room is of course covered in leopard head symbols, there are apparently 55 in total in the hall. 

court room chair

At the end of the room you will find this stone.

roman altar goldsmiths hall

Amazingly, it is a Roman stone altar, dating from the second century AD, found by workmen in 1830 excavating the foundations of this building.

It was traditionally thought to depict the goddess Diana but they now think it is a London hunter-god. 

The Drawing Room

drawing room goldsmiths hall

This is a beautiful drawing room. It may look rather familiar to some readers as it is often used as a replacement for Buckingham Palace in TV shows and films.

The Crown was filmed here, for example, including the scene when Diana rollerskates around the palace and the ones of her in her wedding dress. You can see some photos here .

Parts of Bridgerton were also filmed here. 

goldsmiths coat of arms

On the walls are a couple of large 18th century tapestries.

tapestry goldsmiths hall

The odd-looking orange leg was revealed in a recent renovation of the tapestry. It had apparently been erased in the 19th century for being a bit racy…

The Luncheon Room

luncheon room goldsmiths hall

This is the Luncheon Room, originally the ‘Tea Room’. In the room you will find the below painting by Terence Cuneo. It depicts Queen Elizabeth II at a Mansion House banquet in 1954.

terence cuneo goldsmiths hall

Cuneo is known for hiding a little mouse in all of his paintings.

terence cuneo goldsmiths hall

How To Visit

Goldsmiths’ Hall is not ordinarily open to the public but there are a couple of opportunities to visit.

They hold a few open days a year, you can see them here . They also host the Goldsmiths’ Fair once a year for a fortnight in Sep/Oct.

Thank you for reading, more of London’s incredible history below…

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Share this:, 8 thoughts on “a look inside the magnificent goldsmiths’ hall”.

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Thanks Jack for another great post!

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Loved this, spectacular

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So beautiful, what a stunning place. Thank you for sharing this.

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Thank you so much, Jack, for this travel to the past along the opulent building and exciting storyline

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Thank you for this post. An incredible building

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Love reading your posts. They make me dream of a return visit. You are a wonderful ambassador for the city.

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Tours for 2024 all sold out!

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Absolutely WONDERFUL!!!!!! Thank you so very very much. Patsy

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  • 20th Century

Imperial Goldsmiths: The Rise of the House of the Fabergé

goldsmiths hall tours

Sarah Roller

18 nov 2021, @sarahroller8.

goldsmiths hall tours

Synonymous with the romance, decadence and wealth of imperial Russia, the House of Fabergé supplied jewels to the Russian emperors for over 40 years. The firm’s fortunes rose and fell with those of the Romanovs, but unlike their patrons, Fabergé’s creations have withstood the test of time, remaining some of the world’s most sought-after pieces of jewellery and craftsmanship.

In 1903, Peter Carl Fabergé chose to open his only foreign branch in London – a testament to the close relationship between the British and Russian royal families at the time.

Just over 10 years later, in 1914, war broke out across Europe, bringing an end to the glamour and excess of the early 20th century. Revolution in Russia proved to mark the end of the House of Fabergé. Its stock was confiscated and the business was nationalised by the Bolsheviks. Fabergé himself fled on the last diplomatic train to Riga, ultimately dying in exile.

Here is the story of the rise and fall of one of the most iconic jewellers in history, the House of Fabergé.

The first Fabergé

The Fabergé family were originally French Huguenots : they travelled across Europe as refugees initially, eventually ending up in the Baltic. Gustav Fabergé (1814-1894) was the first member of the family to train as a goldsmith, studying under a leading St Petersburg craftsman, and earning the title Master Goldsmith in 1841.

The following year, Gustav opened his own jewellery shop, Fabergé. Before that point, the family had spelled their name as ‘Faberge’, without the accented second ‘e’. It’s likely that Gustav adopted the accent to add an extra touch of sophistication to the new firm.

It was Gustav’s son, Peter Carl Fabergé (1846-1920), who really saw the firm boom. He travelled around Europe on a ‘Grand Tour’, studying with respected goldsmiths in Germany, France, England and Russia. He returned to St Petersburg in 1872 to work at his father’s shop, mentored by existing jewellers and craftsmen there. In 1882, Carl took over the running of the House of Fabergé, aided by his brother Agathon.

goldsmiths hall tours

‘Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’

The talent and craftsmanship displayed by the House of Fabergé did not take long to be noticed. Fabergé’s work was displayed at an exhibition in 1882, where it won a gold medal. The piece was a copy of a 4th-century Scythian gold bangle, and the Tsar, Alexander III, declared it indistinguishable from the original. Alexander III subsequently ordered Fabergé artefacts to be displayed in the Hermitage Museum as examples of the pinnacle of contemporary Russian craftsmanship.

In 1885, the Tsar then commissioned the first of what would become a series of 52 Imperial Easter eggs . Originally, it was simply a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna. The Tsar was so impressed by Fabergé’s creativity and workmanship, and his wife was so delighted, that he began commissioning them every year, awarding Fabergé the title ‘Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’.

goldsmiths hall tours

The Alexander Palace Egg (1908), created by Fabergé’s Chief Workmaster Henrik Wigstrom.

Image Credit: Courtesy of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Unsurprisingly, royal patronage further bolstered the firm’s success and cemented its reputation at home in Russia, as well as across Europe. Fabergé opened branches in Moscow, Odessa and Kiev by 1906.

Russian and British ties

In the early 20th century, the royal houses of Europe were all closely linked by blood and marriage. Queen Victoria’s children had married heirs to many of Europe’s royal houses: Tsar Nicholas II was the nephew of King Edward VII, and his wife, Empress Alexandra, was also a blood niece of Edward VII.

goldsmiths hall tours

King Edward VII and Tsar Nicholas II onboard the Russian imperial yacht, the Standart, in 1908.

Image Credit: Public Domain

As Fabergé’s reputation grew abroad, London increasingly became the obvious choice for the firm’s international outpost. King Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandra were already keen collectors of Fabergé pieces and London’s position as the world’s financial capital meant there was a wealthy clientele and plenty of money around to be splashed on luxury retail.

As well as the fabled Imperial Easter eggs , Fabergé also created luxury jewellery, ornamental and decorative objects and more useful items including photograph frames, boxes, tea sets, clocks and walking sticks. Cigarette cases were also a specialty of the firm: usually enamelled, they often featured bespoke gemstone designs imbued with meaning, making them excellent gifts.

The end of an era

The glittering start of the 20th century did not last. When war broke out in 1914 , extravagances and indulgences largely fell by the wayside: patronage dried up and raw materials, including gemstones and precious metals, became hard to come by or in demand elsewhere. Many of Fabergé’s workshops were conscripted to make munitions.

goldsmiths hall tours

In 1917, tensions which had been simmering for years in Russia finally spilled over into revolution: the Romanovs were ousted and imprisoned, and a new Bolshevik government took control of Russia. The excesses of the imperial family, one of the things which had hardened popular opinion against them, were seized and taken into state ownership.

Fabergé’s London branch closed in 1917, having struggled to stay afloat in wartime, and in 1918, the Russian House of Fabergé was taken into state ownership by the Bolsheviks . Any remaining works were either sold to finance the revolution or melted down and used for munitions, coins or other practical things.

Carl Fabergé himself died in exile in Switzerland in 1920, with many citing his cause of death as shock and horror at the revolution in Russia. Two of his sons carried on the family business, setting up as Fabergé & Cie in Paris and trading and restoring original Fabergé pieces. An imprint of Fabergé continues to exist to this day, still specialising in luxury jewellery.

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Virtual Tour

Positioned at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street, north east of St. Paul's Cathedral, the magnificent Hall, opened in 1835, is one of London's hidden treasures.

The Hall is the third Hall, the Goldsmiths' Company being located here since 1339. Little is known of the first Hall but the second was erected in 1634-6 and restored after the Great Fire of 1666. It lasted for almost two centuries, but was eventually demolished in the late 1820s.

The third Goldsmiths' Hall by Philip Hardwick, remains much as he designed it, although there have been changes to the decorative schemes and the use of rooms. The Hall narrowly escaped complete destruction when in 1941 a bomb exploded inside the south-west corner. Faithfully restored on the exterior after the War and internally modified, it retains much of the charm of an urban palazzo. A major refurbishment which was completed in 1990 has further adapted this great building for the 21st century.

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Highlights from the archives.

The Company’s archives date back to the 14th century, and the Library's collections include over 8,000 books and over 15,000 images, magazines, journals, films and special research collections.


Internationally recognised, the Goldsmiths’ Company has one of the finest collections of silver made in Britain, numbering some 8,000 examples from 1350 to the present day.

History of the Company

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, more commonly known as the Goldsmiths' Company, is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London and received its first royal charter in 1327.

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Campus Tours

Our campus tours are guided by current students and help to give you an insight into studying at Goldsmiths.

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What happens during a campus tour  .

Current students will take you on a tour of our campus and point out noteworthy places in the local area.  

Although you won’t be able to meet academic staff on the day, our friendly students will be there to answer your questions. If you wish to speak to academic staff, we recommend you book onto one of our virtual  Open Days .

If you're an international student visiting campus outside of our Campus Tour dates, please get in touch with our International Team who will be happy to help.

Campus Tour information

Where do i come for a campus tour.

Our guided Campus Tours begin on the College Green, which is at the end of  Laurie Grove .

What if I can't make it?

If you can't attend a scheduled tour, then please see our advice on visiting us virtually .

If you have already booked a tour and need to cancel, please email  [email protected]  to free your space.

How long does the tour last?

The tour will last approximately one hour.

Visit us virtually

If you’re unable to  visit,  we  have created ways you can explore Goldsmiths online:

  • Take a look at our  Online Campus Tour - we have collated some of the key locations you would visit during our regular tours into a handy virtual version for you to explore.
  • If you would like to take a closer look at some of our facilities, you can find out what it's like to study at Goldsmiths with our Virtual Tour . You can explore some of our key facilities via 360-degree images and videos, or experience a Day in the Life as a Goldsmiths student.

A drone shot of the Goldsmiths campus and surrounding area in New Cross.

Peter Bradley-Fulgoni studied first in England with Beryl Chempin and then at the Purcell School (where early performances included the Goldsmiths Hall and Cecil Sharp House, London) followed by the Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor and Phyllis Sellick, where he achieved the top grade for piano performance. Not long after he became the winner of the Bromsgrove Festival’s International Young Musician’s Platform. He undertook postgraduate work with Alexander Kelly of the Royal Academy of Music and took part in masterclasses with Edith Vogel and Sidney Harrison. He studied in London with Andrzej Esterhazy (a pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus), in Italy with Bruno Mezzena (a pupil of Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli) and in Moscow with Mikhael Murach (a pupil of Vera Gornastaeva). Peter, throughout his career, won numerous prizes and awards, including the F. Neglia International Piano Competition and was also awarded a ‘Diploma of Honour’ for two years running at the Maria Canals International Piano Competition, as well as gaining a significant mention by Paul Badura-Skoda at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and participation in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Peter made his Wigmore Hall debut after winning the Peter Morrison prize, a competition organised under the auspices of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Subsequent engagements included recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe together with frequent broadcasts in the UK for BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, Classic FM TV, Thames Television and also in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Poland (Zelazowa Wola), Malaysia, China and in the Ukraine where he gave masterclasses as well as performances at the Lviv Conservatory of Music in the Virtuosi International Music Festival. Whilst based in Italy Peter was selected by Carlo Maria Giulini and Marcello Abbado to play at the conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome in a concert series organised by A.GI.MUS. (The Association of Italian Young Musicians). In 1992, as part of the Harvington Festival, he performed on harpsichord with the flautist Eva Stewart in the Great Chamber of Harvington Hall and with the violinist Benedict Cruft in St Mary’s church Harvington and in 2000 he played at Trinity College Cambridge and at Balliol College, Christchurch College and St Edmund Hall Oxford. In 2001 he played at St Martin-in the-Fields, London, as part of the Pianists of the World series. Peter’s repertoire ranges between different periods and styles, from the forty-eight preludes and fugues of  the ‘Well-Tempered Clavier’ of J S Bach, the thirty-two piano sonatas of Beethoven to Boulez and Di Gesu, including many obscure gems from the western canon, such as works by Domenico Zipoli and Robert Gerhard. His CD of Brahms piano music on the Altamira label received excellent critical acclaim as have all his subsequent recordings: an album of Schumann piano music for Delphian Records, followed by an album of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Sinfonia of Leeds on the Foxglove Audio label. Peter released a DVD on the “Sound Techniques” label for Classic FM TV which was launched in 2007. Peter is recognised as an inspirational teacher also giving piano and chamber music masterclasses. In September 2003 he became part of the Ashworth Trio to give the World Premiere of the Alun Hoddinott Horn Trio. In the summer of 2007 he performed at the Skrjabin Museum in Moscow. In 2008 Peter gave a concert tour of the Ukraine as a recitalist and soloist with the Lviv Philharmonic together with masterclasses, organised by the Lviv Philharmonic Society as well as performing at the Sviatoslav Richter Memorial Apartment in Moscow under the auspices of the Pushkin Museum and for the Moscow State University. In the summer of 2009 he was invited to play by Natalia Gutman to perform for the Sviatoslav Richter Foundation in the Tarusa Festival dedicated to the great Russian virtuoso and in 2010 performed under the auspices of Opera Nomade at the Salle Cortot in Paris. More recent engagements have included a recital in Malta in the Teatru Manoel in Valetta.

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The Crown Season 5 Filming Locations: In Detail

The Crown Season 5 Filming Locations: In Detail

The Crown Season 5 filming locations include Ardverikie, Lancaster House, the Royal Yacht Britannia, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Wellington College, Cobham Hall School, Winchester College, Burghley House, Brompton Cemetery, Greenwich ORNC, Lincoln’s Inn and the London Coliseum. Further scenes were filmed on the Netflix show’s extensive sets around Elstree Studios.

As the Netflix drama moves into the 1990s, it revisits some of the established locations for the royal palaces, and adds new settings. We’re also in for a change of cast, led by Imelda Staunton as the Queen, with Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.

Marcia Warren steps in the Queen Mother, while Timothy Dalton plays Peter Townsend for a brief reunion. Dominic West takes over as Prince Charles, with Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles.

New figures for The Crown Season 5 include Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw) and his son Dodi (Khalid Abdalla), Penny Knatchbull (Natascha McElhone) and John Major (Jonny Lee Miller). Flashbacks also give us glimpses of earlier cast members and filming locations.

Where Was The Crown Season 5 Filmed?

goldsmiths hall tours

The Crown Season 5 was filmed in Chatham, Greenwich, the Moray Firth, Ardverikie, Knebworth, Wellington College, Brompton Cemetery, Somerley House, Eastbourne Pier, Winchester College, Wrotham Park, Lancaster House, Lincoln’s Inn, and more stunning locations.

However, with the show growing bigger each season, the number of sets at Elstree has also grown. The Britannia, royal residences and Downing Street are among the custom-built backdrops.

The Crown Series 5 Filming Locations

John brown and company shipyard.

Clock Tower Building - Chatham Dockyard

We see the ship in two eras. After Claire Foy’s Elizabeth has launched the ship, we see Imelda Staunton’s Queen at Chatham Historic Dockyard as she boards the Britannia to sail to Balmoral.

And here’s where to watch the real Britannia launch! It’s right here on the BBC Scotland News Facebook page .

Royal Yacht Britannia

The Crown Season 5 Britannia scenes were filmed on the real Royal Yacht and a replica built at Elstree Studios . The recreated top deck of the Royal Yacht’s appears in the dinner scene at the start of Episode 5. Other parts of the ship were duplicated elsewhere at the Netflix show’s Elstree base.

In an interview with Elle Décor , production designer Martin Childs confirmed the filming locations for the Britannia in Season 5 of The Crown. And it’s confirmed that the lower decks were used. We think these are the engine room scenes, which show off the machinery visible from above on the tour.

You can visit the real Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, to the north of Edinburgh. Visitors can see the real engine rooms, Prince Philip’s art supplies, family lounges and bedrooms on the now-decommissioned Britannia. There’s also a permanent Royal Deck Tea Room , if you want to dine like the royal family in the scenes from The Crown Season 5.

Balmoral Castle

Knebworth House

Interior shots for the Balmoral scenes have been filmed at Knebworth throughout the Netflix show’s run. Knebworth House confirmed that it’s a filming location for The Crown Season 5, sharing the news online the day before its release .

Knebworth’s dramatic architecture makes it a popular filming location, and The Crown’s substitute for Balmoral’s Scottish Baronial style. You can visit this location easily – check for opening days and special events!

The exterior belongs to Ardverikie in Newtonmore - also known as Glenbogle from Monarch of the Glen. And the surrounding land appears in the show as well.

Balmoral Estate

Balmoral scenes for The Crown Season 5 were filmed around Kinloch Laggan and Lossiemouth. Kinloch Laggan is where Ardverikie is situated, and this is a real Highland location. Like the real Balmoral Estate, it’s in the Cairngorms National Park . This year, other locations add to the landscape for loch scenes.

The Crown’s loch scenes were filmed around the Moray Firth near Lossiemouth and the Covesea Lighthouse. The Strathspey and Badenoch Herald caught Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville in costume for the scenes.

In the Season 1 Episode 1 loch scenes, Princess Margaret and the Queen spend time together in a boat on the loch.

Range Rover Scenes

Prince Philip’s driving scenes were filmed in Hertfortshire. Back in October 2021, Jonathan Pryce was spotted filming the Range Rover driving scenes - part of Prince Philip’s life outside the palace. In Season 5, we see the Duke of Edinburgh following his love of driving and of carriage racing.

Lowther Horse Show

According to the Stamford Mercury , the Lowther Horse Show scenes were filmed at Burghley’s grounds.

As the series goes on Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull's friendship attracts controversy – until Prince Philip asks the Queen to give her approval. While the Netflix series raises questions about the relationship, there’s no doubt that Prince Philip was devoted to carriage racing.

The Duke of Edinburgh competed in the sport, notably the Royal Windsor Horse Show, until the early 2000s. As described in the episode, he sought it out as an alternative to polo .

Kensington Palace

Wellington College

Wellington College has been used as Kensington Palace in The Crown from Season 3 onwards. It appears again in Episode 4, “Annus Horribilis”, and other scenes involving Princess Diana. The Princess of Wales famously lived in one of the palace’s apartments after her split from Prince Charles.

London Streets

Lincoln’s Inn Fields appear in The Crown’s London street scenes as Princess Diana agrees to be interviewed for Andrew Morton’s book. The gateway is visible, along with the surrounding terraces.

Buckingham Palace

Lancaster House

Wrotham Park has been used as the Queen’s audience room since The Crown Season 1. Over the years, The Crown has filmed Buckingham Palace scenes at Wilton House, Goldsmiths Hall and Greenwich Old Royal Naval College.

The palace’s portico scenes used to be filmed in Greenwich, but have been switched for a replica in Elstree Studios. Other palace interiors are filmed on custom sets at Elstree too.

The Ritz Paris

The Crown’s Ritz hotel filming location is Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. The Rothschild mansion appears in Season 5 Episode 3 “Mou Mou”. Look out for the dining room’s mantelpiece and mirrors. This room is seen in the meeting to buy the Ritz, and later when Mohamed Al-Fayed speaks with Sydney Johnson, personal valet to the Duke of Windsor.

Of course, the real Ritz Paris has taken on a different role in the story of the Royal Family, Princess Diana, and the Al-Fayeds. But in Season 5 Episode 3, we’re focusing on the Al-Fayed patriarch’s story and love of prestigious settings.

Bois du Boulogne/Villa Windsor

The Crown’s Bois du Boulogne locations are Halton House and West Wycombe Park. Halton House appeared as the former Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s French retreat in the Netflix show’s earlier seasons. It makes a return in Season 5 Episode 3. Look out for the exterior as the former king trains his valet.

Halton recently appeared in Enola Holmes 2 as the Lyon family home – one of many screen moments. It was built for the Rothschilds, who still own the nearby Waddesdon Manor, and as a result they share some architectural links.

West Wycombe Park is another original Bois du Boulogne filming location from The Crown Season 1 that appears in Season 5 Episode 3. Look out for it in the interior shots as Mohamed Al-Fayed and Sydney Johnson inspect Wallis Simpson’s house after her death. Halton House’s entrance and West Wycombe Park’s as the Queen’s representative removes Edward VIII’s abdication desk and letters.

As shown in the Netflix series, Sydney Johnson worked at the house in its heyday and during its renovation. The real valet to the former Edward VIII said, of the Villa Windsor’s restoration:

“I feel on top of the world… the restoration is so authentic I expect to see the duchess stepping down the staircase asking, ‘How do I look?’” Sydney Johnson, Valet to the Duke of Windsor and Mohamed Al-Fayed

If you want to see the real Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s décor, Architectural Digest has captured it in amazing detail . Everything from the clocks to the North Persian carpets is recorded.

Look out for Harrods in the shots of Mohamed Al-Fayed looking over his newest purchase. This looks very much like the real Harrods department store in Kensington, complete with its illuminations.

The real Harrods is a fixture of Knightsbridge to this day. But the prestigious shopping destination’s relationship with the Royal Family has changed over the years.

In 2000, Prince Philip withdrew his royal warrant. The store had held royal warrants since the 1950s. But after the Duke of Edinburgh declined to renew, Mohamed Al-Fayed spoke out to say he wouldn’t seek to renew the Queen or Prince of Wales’ warrants. Harrods then-owner elaborated:

“We are proud of the Harrods reputation as the world’s finest store and we naturally welcome discerning shoppers from all over the world… The royal family, with the exception of Prince Philip, are welcome to shop at Harrods at any time.” Mohamed Al-Fayed

Sydney Johnson’s Grave

The Crown cemetery location for Sydney Johnson’s grave is Brompton Cemetery in London. In The Crown, we see Mohamed Al-Fayed paying his respects over the gravestone. The engraving reads Sydney Johnson, Valet to the King.

Brompton Cemetery opened in 1840, and is still a working cemetery to this day. But it’s also a Grade I-listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens and a precious green space. You can find guides to the well-known figures who are buried there, and popular walking routes, on the Royal Parks website.

Moscow Streets

The Netflix show’s Moscow scenes were filmed in Bradford. In The Crown Season 5, the Queen’s car is seen driving through the streets of the Russian capital, actually Bradford’s Forster Square area.

The Telegraph and Argus caught filming in progress , with Russian signage appearing on Holdsworth Street, Canal Road and Valley Road.

Windsor Castle

Look out for Burghley Castle as The Crown’s Windsor Castle location in Season 5. The famous Windsor Castle fire scenes were filmed at Burghley, and smoke billowing over its roof . A replica of one of its rooms was also used as a fire-damaged Windsor in scenes of the Queen and Prince Philip surveying the damage.

Burghley also provides St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle after the repairs. It appears in the scenes of Prince William and the Queen having tea at Windsor during his time at Eton. Look out for it again when the Queen and Director General of the BBC have a tough conversation after Martin Bashir’s interview is screened.

You can visit this Crown location – check the opening dates for the house, grounds and restaurant.

Guildhall Jubilee Lunch

The Painted Hall, Greenwich

Look out for the exterior of the ORNC buildings at the opening of the episode, as the Queen exits the car. She is seen walking into the Painted Hall, climbing the steps to its distinctive black and white floor.

The artwork has a royal theme of its own. Among the scenes depicted around the Painted Hall, you’ll find the accessions of William and Mary, and George I. And you can indeed find the paintings for yourself, because it’s open to the public – check the website for current admission details .

The Queen really did make her famed “annus horribilis” comment during the Guildhall Jubilee Lunch . In reality, the Ruby Jubilee banquet on 24th November 1992 took place just days after the fire at Windsor Castle.

The real Guildhall , with its 600-year-old Great Hall, is the home of the Corporation of the City of London, who hosted the event. While it didn’t appear in this episode of The Crown, it is a popular filming location in its own right.

The Eton town and school locations in The Crown are Winchester College in Hampshire and the Cobham Hall School in Kent. Prince William’s car passes the entrance to the Winchester College in Season 5 Episode 7, “No Woman’s Land”, before the press call.

Winchester was founded in 1382, pipping Eton to the post by about 60 years. Princes William and Harry’s former school was founded in 1440, on the banks of the Thames. As seen in The Crown when the Queen considers inviting William for tea, Eton sits just on the edge of Windsor.

Eton College

Kent’s Cobham Hall School appears in glimpses of Eton’s courtyard and interior shots. Look out for the Gravesend school in the press call and William’s lesson on Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot.

It was confirmed as a filming location by Visit Kent , along with other local spots appearing in the likes of Enola Holmes 2 . While Eton is an all-boys school and Winchester has only recently become co-educational, Cobham Hall is an all-girls day and boarding school.

It was founded by socialite Bhicoo Batlivala , who had attended another prestigious school, Cheltenham Ladies’ College. But the building itself boasts its own royal connections. Cobham Hall has been home to the Barons of Cobham, Earls of Lennox and Earls of Darnley. Over the centuries, the residents have hosted royalty of their era, from Elizabeth I to the Duke of Windsor.

Broadcasting House

It looks like a real glimpse of Langham Place in Season 5 Episode 8, “Gunpowder”, with CGI assistance bringing the BBC’s Broadcasting House back to the 1990s. Built in 1932 , the Broadcasting House building was later updated with the glass-lined piazza space that occasionally appears in BBC features.

Eastbourne Pier

The Crown Season 5 Episode 8 features shots of Eastbourne’s pier and seafront . Look out for several angles in quick succession at the start of the sequence before the Bashir footage is reviewed.

Eastbourne’s shingle beach is another location seen in the episode, as the race to halt or allow the broadcast begins.

The Queens Hotel

Queens Hotel, Eastbourne

Royal Variety Performance

The Royal Variety Performance scene was filmed at the London Coliseum on St Martin’s Lane in London . The London Coliseum’s exterior is seen as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive for the Royal Variety Performance on their wedding anniversary. The real auditorium appears as well, with shots from various angles throughout the second half of the episode.

As a side note, while the London Coliseum has hosted the event, it wasn’t the venue that year. On 19th November 1995, the day before Princess Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir aired, the Royal Variety Performance was held at the London Dominion.

The Queen and Prince Philip would have watched acts including Cirque du Soleil, Allan Stewart, Des O’Connor, Riverdance and Elaine Paige. Thanks to the Royal Variety Charity’s archive, you can check out the line-up right here .

Prince Charles’ Hong Kong scenes were filmed in London’s West End . The area already has a strong connection to China and Hong Kong, through local expat communities and Chinatown’s restaurants and importers.

Journals and essays written by King Charles III were shared with the press after he took the final trip in the Royal Yacht Britannia. In the texts , he wrote about his thoughts on the journey itself and the Hong Kong handover.

The Theatre

Lyceum Theatre, London

While the Princess of Wales’ fashion choices influenced the costumes shown in The Crown, they don’t appear at the same events. As Yahoo Life UK point out, the blue dress Diana is seen wearing to Swan Lake harks back to a Jaques Azagury dress she wore to an event at the Serpentine Gallery in 1995.

The Crown’s Highgrove location is the Somerley Estate in Dorset. Somerley appeared in Season 4 as Highgrove, and is also set to reappear in Season 6. Filming took place in October 2022 , before Season 5 had arrived on Netflix.

While Somerley isn’t open to the public, you can stay at this Crown location. There are holiday lets on the estate – or you can host a wedding or special event at the house. That said, you can visit the real Highgrove gardens . In fact, King Charles III’s private residence in Gloucestershire has hosted garden tours for 25 years.

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