Conditions of Hire


Before hiring a room

If you would like to proceed with your enquiry, please phone the office (020 8340 3343) or email Luca Morelli at to discuss dates and details.


Once a date has been selected, a provisional booking is made. The prospective hirer then has two weeks to confirm, at which point, a return­able deposit of £250 will be required to secure the booking. This is banked and will be held until after the function in the event of any damage, excessive mess, over-running of booked time, and the creation of undue noise or the inclusion of more guests than agreed. We expect however that the premises will be left as you found them and your deposit will be returned within a few days. A caretaker will be on duty throughout your hire.


Payment of the deposit ensures a specific date is reserved, but is not guaranteed until the hiring contract has been drawn up to the satisfaction of both parties and signed, one copy to be retained by each, and full payment received by HLSI. Full payment (in addition to the deposit) must be paid within the due date set on the invoice.

Cancellation Fees

The following cancellation fees will apply. If notification is received more than four weeks in advance then 50% of the deposit will be retained. In the event of less than four weeks’ notice being given, a charge of 100% of the deposit will apply.

Access to the building

Access is only available at the start of the agreed hired time. The hirer is only entitled access to those rooms and facilities covered by the signed hiring agreement. We recommend preparing a list of guests and appoint a person who can stay at the entrance and check the guests against the list.

Civil Marriage & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

HLSI is a popular venue for civil marriage ceremonies. Ceremonies can be booked with or without a reception.

Couples are advised to contact Camden Registrars:



Please note registrars charge to officiate at all venues registered in Camden. We do not allow the use of confetti the use of confetti within or outside HLSI. This would result in £100 being deducted from your deposit.

Kitchen Facilities

The kitchen is equipped for the presentation (rather than preparation) of food. There are two fridges, two electric ovens, four-ring gas hob, large double sink, stainless steel preparation surfaces and a dishwasher. We can provide chairs and trestle tables (160 cm by 61.5 cm; 5ft 25ins by 2ft), crockery and cutlery for up to 110 people.

Cleaning up

Cleaning up is the responsibility of the hirer and should be completed within one hour of the function finishing, but still within the agreed hired time. All deliveries and collections should be done within the agreed hired time. The caretaker will supervise clear­ing up and secure the premises afterwards.

These matters need to be discussed with the Head of Operations, Luca Morelli, before the contract can be finalised for signature.


Parking is free except between 10:00 and 12:00 (Mondays to Fridays only). Vehicles may park temporarily on the pavement by the front steps for loading/un-loading only. Please note that hirers may not park in the garage yard behind the premises.

Disabled access

The Victoria Hall, the Members’ Room and the Library are located on the ground floor and are fully accessible. Please let us know in advance if you are expecting any disabled guests so as to give you guidance on entrances and to ensure staff are on hand to assist on the day if required.


This is a residential area and we ask you to be considerate of our neighbours. We regret therefore that the following cannot be permitted:

  • Excessively loud amplified music;
  • Smoke machines;
  • Helium or ordinary balloons;
  • Confetti, rice, glitter, or rose petals;
  • No smoking on the premises;
  • No alcohol or music after 23:30;
  • All guests must leave by midnight;
  • Deep fat frying;
  • Electric bicycle and electric scooter;
  • Any electronic cigarettes.

 Decorating the venue

Due to our Grade II listed status we cannot have anything attached to the walls in the venue, so it is best to plan your decoration around freestanding or table-top pieces. No naked flames are permitted in or around the building, but battery-powered LED candles etc. are of course fine. If in doubt, please check with the Head of Operations, Luca Morelli, before making a decision on your decorations.


The HLSI can recommend a few caterers who know the building well and have successfully catered for all kinds of events, but you are free to use you own caterer, if you wish to do so.


The Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution is not responsible for the failure in the supply of water, gas or electricity to its premises.


Individual radiators may be adjusted up or down as required (please ask the duty caretaker), but no additional heating appliances may be used.

Fire Precautions

Fire exits must remain unblocked at all times and hirers should familiarise themselves with the fire exits, the location of fire alarm points and fire extinguishers. It is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure any electrical appliances brought in to the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution are compliant with all Health & Safety requirements.


The hirer is asked to take full responsibility for any damage to the Institution’s property, including the historic pictures and prints in the Victoria Hall and Members’ Room, or for any damage to works of art which may be displayed on panels in the Victoria Hall during exhibitions. We request that you do not pin any notices etc. to the walls and that every precaution is taken to protect polished wooden surfaces.


Hirers are responsible for their own public liability insurance where appropriate. This can be taken out inexpensively and by the day.

Other matters

The Institution reserves the right to utilise any parts of the building which are not the subject of the hiring. The Institution reserves at all times the right of access to the rooms hired.

We request that you do not move the furniture.

If you do not wish to use our in-house furniture, you can hire your own. All we request is that you liaise with us regarding dropping off and collecting, as we do not have any storage space for additional furniture.

Audio/Visual System & Live Streaming

If you wish to hire our equipment, please discuss with Luca Morelli. Note that only HLSI personnel can operate the HLSI Audio/Visual System. Please note, for safety reasons we cannot allow any other external equipment or cables to be connected to ours.

Live music/DJs

Thanks to its superb acoustic, the Victoria Hall is ideal for concerts. Before confirming your entertainment, please let us know in advance what setup you are planning so that we can work with you to ensure everything goes smoothly.


The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our top priority. We ask that all users of our building follow the current hygiene guidelines.  The NHS guidelines can be found here. If the official guidance changes we will respond straight away