Overlooking Tower of London and the River Thames, Trinity House is one of London’s most elegant event venues, offering its space for corporate functions and weddings.
Upon arriving to the venue to attend Association of National Tourism Office (ANTOR) event, I was greeted by Edgar King, Events Manager at Trinity House and headed to The Library where the exhibition took place, with 27 international destinations exhibitors and welcomed over 85 media representatives from travel industry and consumer press.
We were offered a tour of The House which was conducted by Geoff Boyd, City of London Guide. The tour was very insightful and interesting, highlighting key historic milestones and showing us all the function rooms. I was very impressed that almost every piece of furniture, décor and pictures was carefully selected to reflect venue’s story and maritime history.
Trinity House is a Charity set up to improve the state of navigation in our waters and to provide support and training for mariners. The venue’s history goes back to 1794-96 when the original house was built by Samuel Wyatt, Surveyor to the Corporation but gutted in 1940 during World War II when an incendiary bomb destroyed all of the original building except the Trinity Square façade. By using photographs of the rooms, taken by Country Life magazine, Professor (later Sir) Albert E Richardson was able to reconstruct The House to almost its original form and it was re-opened after the War in 1953.
The building is Grade I listed and is refurbished on an annual basis with half a million pounds spend over the last year (August 15 – August 16) on new carpeting and redecoration, improved air-conditioning and working fire places.
The tour began in the Entrance Hall showcasing the different pieces from the nautical industry, including different vessels, acetylene-regulating clock and a “catoptric” lamp reflector, covering periods from 1610 to 1763. We continued the tour to hear about the Lower Passage and Stairs, where on each side of the staircase stands a statue of a benefactor of the corporation – Captain Robert Sandes and Richard Maples – and in front of the statues two globes, the terrestrial to the right, and celestial to the left, dating back to 1824, created by John Cary. The beautiful twin-curved staircase leads us to The Quarterdeck, which showcases a fine collection of paintings from the 18th century and the Bell from The Royal Yacht Britannia which was given to The House when The Royal Yacht was decommissioned.
The first room we viewed was The Courtroom, the second largest which can accommodate up to 130 delegates for a standing reception and smallest groups of 30 delegates boardroom style. It’s a very impressive room with high ceilings and a selection of full length portraits of royals on the walls so it gives it the character of a drawing room in a great country house.
The Library, where the ANTOR exhibition took place, is the largest and can accommodate up to 180 delegates for a standing reception, 130 delegates seated and smallest group of 46 delegates boardroom style. Even though called The Library, the precious collection of rare books is safely protected behind the room’s panelled doors. The direct view over Tower of London makes it the most attractive choice for corporate meetings or wedding receptions.
Previously, I attended another event organised by the Event Marketing Association which took place in this room. The furniture was supplied by Great Hire, we had sofas and tables and we were about 30 participants, all set very comfortably for the presentation. The Courtroom was used for drinks reception.
We continued our tour to view The Luncheon Room which can accommodate up to 40 delegates for a standing reception and smaller groups up to 18 delegates in boardroom style. The smallest room, The Reading Room, is perfect for intimate gatherings or meetings and can accommodate up to 20 delegates for a standing reception and 10 delegates in round tables setting. All rooms are located on the Quarterdeck which runs virtually the length of the House and this makes it very convenient for organisers who maybe want to use one of the smaller rooms as their office or for short speaker briefings or ‘break-out’ rooms.
It was beneficial to attend two different events in Trinity House and experience the venue in various settings. The venue does not offer in-house catering but has 12 approved catering suppliers. Other suppliers include florists, entertainment, photography, insurance, audio visual services and hotel partners. Because the venue has a great variety of suppliers it gives the organiser great flexibility in terms of price and quality they want for their event.
The House has very rich history, and therefore I would highly recommend offering guided tours such as the one we had with a guide from City of London Guides to unlock its story.
This post is sponsored by Trinity House. You can contact Trinity House in the following ways:
Contact person: Edgar King – Events Manager
Phone: +44 (0) 20 74816931
Photos by Sandeep Rai