Since its inception in 1891 the Foundation has opened its doors to the people of Fleet Street, Farringdon and the surrounding areas and welcomed them into what was, and is, one of the most fascinating community focused organisations in the City of London.
The Foundation was originally designed to provide a social, cultural and recreational centre for local people with particular emphasis for those in the printing and associated trades. Apart from the Printing School and outstanding technical library, the Foundation also housed a swimming pool, which we believe to be the first public swimming pool in the City of London as well as a gymnasium.
The Printing School moved to the south of the River Thames many years ago, but much equipment remains on site and is now being used, bringing the teaching of printing back to Fleet Street. The St Bride Library is now generally acknowledged to be a world class resource with extensive collections relating to printing, typography and graphic design. Readers come from across the globe to delve into the archives.
The Foundation has always prided itself on being there for local people and local charities. Many of its beautiful rooms have always been available to the public for a variety of uses. The impressive Bridewell Hall has been used for a huge variety of events on a regular basis.
Rooms for hire range from the small and intimate suitable for board meetings, to the grand and stately Salisbury Room which is not only in demand as a board room, but also for fine dining, tailor-made receptions, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
From classics to contemporary, the Bridewell Theatre offers evening programmes with something for everyone. We play host to a variety of companies from the “Musical Theatre Academy and London School of Musical Theatre” to “London Ballet Company”, offering you, our audience, the opportunity to see the up and coming, the experienced, the amateur and the professionals tread our boards.
Finally, we have the Bridewell Bar, not just for drinks in the wee small hours, but other special events, including a gallery featuring artists and photographers.
In recent years the Foundation has experienced a total renaissance and is now a living and breathing community once again, in the heart of the City of London.
The doors are open to all and you will always be assured of a warm welcome.