Derivatisation of upper-rim hydroxy groups of pyrogallarenes produced completely acylated and tosylated pyrogallarene derivatives. Mesitylation of pyrogallarene, however, resulted in a regioselective derivatisation of hydroxy groups, i.e. eight OH groups out of 12 were mesitylated. Crystal structures of the synthesised pyrogallarene derivatives indicate that completely substituted pyrogallarenes exist in a distorted crown conformation despite of the lack of stabilising intramolecular hydrogen bonds. In contrast, the partially substituted pyrogallarene adopts a boat conformation and has an open cavity for the inclusion of small guest molecules.