Prayers for the dead, attendance at funerals of gildsmen, periodical banquets, the solemn entrance oath, fines for neglect of duty and for improper conduct, contributions to a common purse, mutual assistance in distress, periodical meetings in the gildhall, - in short, all the characteristic features of the later gilds already appear in the statutes of these Anglo-Saxon fraternities.
As a consequence of the close commercial relations early existing between England and the Rhenish-Westphalian towns, the merchants of Cologne were the first to possess a gildhall in London and to form a "hansa" with the right of admitting other German merchants on payment of a fee.
The Gildhall, used as a court-house, is in the upper part of Bar Gate.
To Henry VI., that of 1401 (2 Henry IV.) granting further to the mayor and bailiffs cognisance of all pleas to be held in the Gildhall (guyhalda).
The other public buildings of the town include the gildhall and law courts, in the Italian style with Corinthian pillars and pilasters, built in 1847 and internally remodelled in 1901; a prison (1829); a fine market hall (1830), rebuilt in 1897; a cattle market and abattoirs (1869); the Albert Hall for concerts and public meetings (1864); the; Royal Metal Exchange (1897); harbour trust offices (1904); a central post office (1901) and two theatres.