It can hardly be said that the Guildhall, seen from King Street, presents an appearance worthy of the Council Hall of the Corporation of the Metropolis. The Hall was originally built at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The present front, designed by Dance, was erected in 1789, and since then there have been various other alterations. The arms of the City will be noticed above the porch, through which the handsome Great Hall (see p. 54) is entered. The building to the right is the Art Gallery of the Corporation, containing many fine pictures; and to the left is the Guildhall Police Court, where a man has evidently been summoned to answer a charge of cruelty to the horse standing in the square.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896