Mansion House is the official home of the Lord Mayor of London. (Not to be confused with the Mayor of Greater London -- because that's the person we vote into City Hall every five years. The Lord Mayor just concentrates on the Square Mile, inside the old city walls. The Lord Mayor is the one who dresses up in ceremonial robes and attends events like the Lord Mayor's Parade.)
The tour will teach you both the history of the house, and provide some information on the previous Lord Mayors and Aldermen.
The guide will take you inside the interior courtyard, Egyptian Hall and boardroom, whilst regaling tales of the historical events that have happened here. You will learn all about the previous Lord Mayors, stretching back centuries, see historical objects like the Lord Mayor's Sword and Mace, Fire Cup and Pearl Sword, and see some paintings from its collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masters, by the likes of Frans Hals, Nicoleas Maes, and Jacob Ruisdael.
Craig has been on this tour himself, and thinks that it's a decent enough way to wile away an afternoon -- but it's probably not a good choice for a tourist. He thinks there are far better ways to spend your time if you're only here for a limited stay, but for anyone with an interest in London history then it's well-worth doing. Read his review of the Mansion House tour on his blog before you go, to get a feeling for what it's like inside. Feel free to ask him some questions as well.
If you do happen to enjoy this then Craig definitely recommends a guided tour of the Guildhall. You might like to go and see the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in action at the monthly meeting of the Common Council as well. Another spectacular interior worth seeing is the one at Banqueting House.
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Craig’s review – “I went on a tour of Mansion House today. That's the place where the Lord Mayor of London lives. You have to queue up round the side until a nice lady comes and lets you in at 2 PM.Our tour group consisted of about 25 old people and me. And some of them were even older than old, older than the building itself. Maybe that was why the security was so lax. The security… continued”
Read Craig’s review of this event
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