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Small reception room

A brief history and overview of the Small reception room at Chartered Accountants' Hall, home to ICAEW since 1893.

Chartered Accountants' Hall, headquarters of ICAEW in the City of London, was built between 1890 and 1893. The elegant small reception room conveys restrained luxury through its eighteenth and nineteenth century furnishings, chandelier and historic paintings.


Chartered Accountants' Hall was designed in the 1880s by architect John Belcher, who used a Baroque Revival style inspired by Baroque architecture he had observed while travelling in Europe.

The small reception room (originally the committee room) presents a mystery. The original plans for Chartered Accountants' Hall show that Belcher's plans for the room would have delivered an ornate and rich design in keeping with the style adopted in the rest of the building. The original design would have seen the lower half of the walls lined with oak panelling; a deeply coffered ceiling above; striking doric pilasters on either side of the bay; and most notably, a magnificent stone fireplace with supporting atalantes. Instead, a much more restrained but elegant design was adopted here.

The room has been a popular choice for high profile meetings over the years, the most famous of these being when Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Margaret Beckett and Peter Mandelson convened a meeting in 1997 to determine the path of New Labour.

The room's fireplace includes an impressive bronze fire surround by British sculptor Arthur Stevens, a leading figure in the Classical and Renaissance revival. The design features a reclining classical style central figure, surrounded by decorative ribbons and birds.


ICAEW Small Reception Room (formerly the Committee Room), photographed 1936
Small Reception Room (formerly known as the Committee room), photographed 1936

this intimate room retains much of its original character."

Peter Boys, Chartered Accountants' Hall - the first hundred years (1990)

Further sources of information

The ICAEW Library & Information Service holds a collection of books and articles on Chartered Accountants' Hall, covering the original building and the later extensions. See our Further reading page for details of these, as well as links to web pages on the sculptors and artists whose work decorates the building.

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One Moorgate Place

Information on how to hire One Moorgate Place, home of Chartered Accountants' Hall, for conferences, meetings, weddings, parties, private dining and special occasions.

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