The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers

Supporting better vision for all, since 1629

Sponsor the Master's Abseil Challenge

The Master Liz Shilling will be abseiling from the top of St Thomas' Hospital and raising money for the Spectacle Makers' Charity on Friday 20 September 2024. You can also support her in person on the day.

We are the only City of London Livery company dedicated to eye health.

We are the oldest existing optical body in the world.

Founded in 1629, our purpose is the same now as it was then. We support better vision for all. 

In the 21st Century we believe that nobody should be held back because of their vision.

 Today, you do not have to be involved in making spectacles to join our Company. Our members represent over 35 different professions in eye health, sight loss and many other fields. Through them, our reach spreads out from the City of London, right across the world. 

We seek to inspire future generations committed to visionary eye care, building on our rich heritage of almost 400 years.

We’re interested in everything that can be done to prevent unnecessary sight loss and increase access to work, sport and culture for people with partial or full sight loss. 

Rooted in tradition, we bring the best of our experience to bear on the continuing need for eye health provision, helping education, employment, life and leisure. 

To find out more, click below – or, even better, come and join us!

Find out more

CURRENT MEMBERS: For all the latest news and information, please click on the Members' Login button at the top of this page

Upcoming Events

19 June 2024, 11:00 am

Seeing is Believing: The Miracle of Modern Eye Health Care

The Lord Mayor Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli invited WCSM to present the next 'Knowledge Miles' virtual lecture series.

19 June 2024, 6:00 pm

Local gathering: Master’s drinks in Liverpool

The Master Liz Shilling invites Spectacle Makers in or near Liverpool to relaxed drinks at the Hope Street Hotel.

20 June 2024, 10:30 am

The 2024 Brigantes Breakfast

Liverymen based in or near the north of England are invited to book for the annual lunch, taking place in Liverpool.

24 June 2024, 11:30 am

The Election of Sheriffs

Liverymen with one year's standing can vote for the two Sheriffs of the City of London at Common Hall, Guildhall. There is the option to attend lunch at Barber Surgeons' Hall following the proceedings.

24 June 2024, 12:30 pm

Lunch after the Election of Sheriffs

Liverymen are invited to attend lunch at Barber Surgeons' Hall after the proceedings at Common Hall.

03 July 2024, 5:00 pm

Private Tour of St. Bride’s Church

A private tour of St. Bride's, Fleet Street, by The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, the Spectacle Makers' Honorary Chaplain.

16 July 2024, 7:30 pm

Horse Guards Parade

The Household Division presents a military musical spectacular with fireworks, massed bands and horses.

26 July 2024, 2:00 pm

Tour of Wimbledon Tennis Club

Join the Society for a private tour of the iconic Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club & Museum. Please book by Friday 26 April as space is limited!

03 September 2024, 11:00 am

Local gathering: Bristol - Visit to Essilor UK Laboratory

Paul Shimell has organised a tour of the Essilor laboratory for Spectacle Makers living in or near Bristol. Space is limited!

04 September 2024, 11:00 am

Local gathering: Bristol - Visit to Essilor UK Laboratory

Paul Shimell has organised a tour of the Essilor laboratory for Spectacle Makers living in or near Bristol. Space is limited!

13 September 2024, 11:00 am

The Master invites you to the South Downs

The Master, Liz Shilling, invites members to join her for one or more activities taking advantage of The Great Outdoors. On Friday 13 September there will be a private tour, tasting and lunch at a Sussex vineyard; on Saturday 14 September members can join us at the fabulous West Dean College and Gardens, near Chichester, for a tour of the house and gardens and/or a picnic lunch. A form listing the options available will be sent to all members in January 2024.

19 September 2024, 5:30 pm

Presentation Ceremony

The Annual Spectacle Makers' Presentation Ceremony for award winners, new Liverymen and Freemen who have joined the Company in the last year. Those who are invited will receive an invitation from the Clerk.

20 September 2024, 12:00 pm

The Master’s Abseil Challenge

The Master will abseil down St Thomas' Hospital to raise money for The Spectacle Makers' Charity. Come along and support her from a safe vantage point!

24 September 2024, 12:30 pm

City Walk for City Giving Day

A lunch time guided walk around the Square Mile, led by a seasoned City Guide, in support of The Mayor's Appeal for City Giving Day.

29 September 2024, 11:00 am

The Annual Sheep Drive

Join the Spectacle Makers in this rare opportunity to recreate an ancient London tradition and exercise your right as a Freeman to drive sheep over one of London's bridges!

05 December 2024, 12:30 pm

December 2024 Court Lunch

[Booking not open.] This year's December Court Lunch will be held at Painters' Hall in the City of London.

08 January 2025, 2:30 pm

Society Pantomime: Robin Hood

Book by 1 June 2024 to secure your place at a classic West End spectacle starring Julian Clary and Jane McDonald.


The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is an open company, which means we welcome members with professional backgrounds beyond the vision care and sight loss sectors.



Ideal for those at the beginning of their career in optics and vision care looking for extra support.

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Applying for Freedom of the Company is the first step to joining a community committed to better vision for all.

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Corporate Supporters