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City of London
The City • Square Mile
The skyline, as seen from City Hall, in 2008

Flag

Coat of arms
Motto: Domine dirige nos
Latin: Lord, guide us
Shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Status Sui generis; City and ceremonial county
Admin HQ Guildhall
Roman settlement c. 50 AD
(Londinium)
Wessex resettlement 886 AD
(Lundenburh)
Government
 - Local authority City of London Corporation
 - Lord Mayor Nick Anstee
 - Member of Parliament Mark Field
 - London Assembly John Biggs
Area
 - Total 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2)
Elevation 20-59 ft (6-18 m)
Population (mid-2008 est)
 - Total 7,900
 Density 7,054/sq mi (2,724/km2)
 - Ethnicity 84.4% White
(68.3% British
12.8% non-British
3.3% Irish)
6.8% South Asian
2.6% African-Caribbean
2.0% Chinese
 - ONS code 00AA
  Population Ranked 353rd
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcode
(Royal Mail)
EC & WC
Area code (phone) 020
Patron saint St Paul
Website http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though remains a notable part of Central London. It is often referred to as the City or the Square Mile, as it is just over one square mile (1.12 sq mi/2.90 km2)[1] in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's financial services industry, which has historically been based here.

In the medieval period, the City was the full extent of London. The term London now refers to a much larger conurbation roughly corresponding to Greater London, a local government area which includes 32 London boroughs as well as the City of London, which is not one of the 32 London boroughs. The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the United Kingdom, and has some unusual responsibilities for a local authority in Britain, such as being the police authority for the City. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City's boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, a separate (and much older) office to the Mayor of London.

The City is today a major business and financial centre, ranking on a par with New York City as the leading centre of global finance;[2] in the 19th century, the City served as the world's primary business centre.[3] The City has a resident population of approximately 8,000, but around 320,000 people work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession form a major component of the western side of the City, especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas; these are where the Inns of Court are located, of which two — Inner Temple and Middle Temple — fall within the City of London boundary.

Contents

Extent

The City of London is England's smallest ceremonial county, both by population and by area, and with the 4th highest population density. Of the 354 English districts, it is the second smallest by population, after the Isles of Scilly, and the smallest by area. It can also be regarded as the second smallest British city in population, after St David's in Wales.

Changes over time

The size of the City was constrained by a defensive perimeter wall, known as London Wall, which was built by the Romans in the late 2nd century to protect their strategic port city. However the boundaries of the City of London no longer coincide with the old city wall, as the City expanded its jurisdiction slightly over time. During the medieval era, the City's jurisdiction expanded westwards, crossing the historic western border of the original settlement - the River Fleet - along Fleet Street to Temple Bar. The City also took in the other "City bars" which were situated just beyond the old walled area, such as at Holborn, Aldersgate, Bishopsgate and Aldgate. These were the important entrances to the City and their control was vital in maintaining the City's special privileges over certain trades.

The walls have almost entirely disappeared, although several sections remain visible. A section near the Museum of London was revealed after the devastation of an air raid on 29 December 1940 at the height of the Blitz. Other visible sections are at St Alphage, and there are two sections near the Tower of London. The River Fleet was canalised after the Great Fire of 1666 and then in stages was bricked up and has been since the 18th Century one of London's "lost rivers", today running entirely underground as a storm drain.

The boundary of the City then remained fixed until minor boundary changes in 1994, when it expanded slightly to the west, north and east, taking small parcels of land from the London Boroughs of Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. The main purpose of these changes was to tidy up the boundary in places where its course had been rendered obsolete by changes in the urban landscape. In the process the City lost small parcels of land, though there was an overall net gain of land. Most notably, the changes placed the (then recently developed) Broadgate estate entirely in the City.[4]

Southwark, to the south of the City on the other side of the Thames, came within the City between 1550 and 1899 as the Ward of Bridge Without, a situation connected with the Guildable Manor. The City's administrative responsibility there, however, had in practice disappeared by the mid-Victorian period as various aspects of metropolitan government were extended into the neighbouring areas. Today it forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. The Tower of London has always been outside the City and today comes under the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Today's boundary

Borders of the City of London, showing surrounding London boroughs and the pre-1994 boundary (where changed). The area covered by the Inner and Middle Temple is marked.
Dragon statue at Temple Bar monument, which marks the boundary between the City and Westminster.

Beginning in the west, where the City borders Westminster, the boundary crosses the Victoria Embankment from the Thames, passes to the west of Middle Temple, then turns for a short distance along Strand and then north up Chancery Lane, where it borders Camden. It turns east along Holborn to Holborn Circus, and then goes north east to Charterhouse Street. As it crosses Farringdon Road it becomes the boundary with Islington. It continues to Aldersgate, goes north, and turns east into some back streets soon after Aldersgate becomes Goswell Road. Here, at Baltic Street West, is the most northerly extent of the City. The boundary includes all of the Barbican Estate and continues east along Ropemaker Street and its continuation South Place on the other side of Moorgate, becomes South Place. It goes north, reaching the border with Hackney, then east, north, east on back streets, with Worship Street forming a northern boundary, so as to include the Broadgate estate. The boundary then turns south at Norton Folgate and becomes the border with Tower Hamlets. It continues south into Bishopsgate, and takes some backstreets to Middlesex Street (Petticoat Lane) where it continues south-east then south. It then turns south-west, crossing the Minories, so as to exclude the Tower of London from the City, and then reaches the river. The City's boundary then runs up the centre of the Thames, though the City controls the full spans of London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge but only half of the river underneath them, a feature which is unique in British local administration.

The boundaries of the City are marked by black bollards bearing the City's emblem, and at major entrances, such as at Temple Bar on Fleet Street, a grander monument, with a dragon facing outwards, marks the boundary.

Official boundary map, with wards.

In some places the financial district extends slightly beyond the political boundaries of the City, notably to the north and east, into the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington, and informally these locations are seen as part of the "Square Mile". Since the 1990s the eastern fringe of the City, extending into Hackney and Tower Hamlets, has increasingly been a focus for large office developments due to the availability of large sites there compared to within the City.

History

Roman origins

It is believed that Roman London was established as a trading port by merchants on the tidal Thames around 50 AD. The new settlement and port was centred where the shallow valley of the Walbrook meets the Thames. However in around AD 60, little more than ten years after Londinium was founded, it was sacked by the Iceni, led by the their queen Boudica. Londinium was rebuilt as a planned settlement soon after and the new town was prosperous and grew to become the largest settlement in Roman Britain by the end of the first century. By the end of the century, Londinium had replaced Colchester as the capital of Roman Britain ("Britannia"). At its height, the Roman city had a population of approximately 45,000-60,000 inhabitants. The Romans built the London Wall some time between 190 and 225. The boundaries of the Roman city were similar to those of the City of London today, though Londinium did not extend further west than Ludgate/the River Fleet and the Thames was considerably wider than today, thus the shoreline of the city was north of its present position.

However already by the time of the construction of the London Wall, the city's fortunes were in decline, with problems of plague and fire. The Roman Empire entered a long period of instability and decline, including for example the Carausian Revolt in Britain. In the third and fourth centuries, the city was under attack from Picts, Scots and Saxon raiders. The decline continued, both for Londinium and the Empire, and in 410 AD the Romans withdrew entirely from Britain. Many of the Roman public buildings in Londinium by this time had fallen into decay and disuse, and gradually after the formal withdrawal the city became almost (if not, at times, entirely) uninhabited.

Plaque near Southwark Bridge noting the activities around the time of King Alfred.

A number of Roman sites and artefacts can be seen in the City of London today, including the Temple of Mithras, sections of the London Wall (at the Barbican and near the Tower of London), the London Stone and remains of the amphitheatre beneath the Guildhall. The Museum of London, located in the City, holds many of the Roman finds and has permanent Roman exhibitions, as well as being a source of information on Roman London generally.

Anglo-Saxon restoration

See main article: Anglo-Saxon London

Map of London c. 1300.

Alfred the Great, King of Wessex and often regarded as the first King of England, occupied and began the resettlement of the old Roman walled area, in 886, and appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia over it as part of their reconquest of the Viking occupied parts of England. The refortified English settlement was known as Lundenburh. The historian Asser stated that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly ... and made it habitable once more."[5] Alfred's "restoration" entailed reoccupying and refurbishing the nearly deserted Roman walled city, building quays along the Thames, and laying a new city street plan.[6]

In the tenth century, Athelstan permitted eight mints to be established, compared with six in his capital, Winchester, indicating the wealth of the city.

Medieval period

See also: Norman and Medieval London

Civitas Londinium; Agas' Map of London, (1570-1605?)
The 1666 Great Fire of London destroyed nearly 80% of the City.

Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched on London, to Southwark and failed to get across London Bridge or to defeat the Londoners. He eventually crossed the River Thames at Wallingford, pillaging the land as he went. Rather than continuing the war, Edgar Ætheling, Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamsted. William rewarded London in granting the citizens a charter in 1075; the City of London was one of the few institutions where the English retained some authority.

William ensured against attack by building three castles nearby, to keep the Londoners subdued:

In 1132, Henry I recognised full County status for the City, and by 1141 the whole body of the citizenry was considered to constitute a single community. This 'commune' was the origin of the City of London Corporation and the citizens gained the right to appoint, with the king's consent, a Mayor in 1189 and to directly elect the Mayor from 1215.

The City was composed of wards governed by Aldermen, who chaired the Wardmotes. There was a folkmoot for the whole of the city held at the outdoor cross of St Paul's Cathedral. Many of the medieval positions and traditions continue to the present day, demonstrating the unique institution which the City, and its Corporation, is.

The City was burned severely on a number of occasions, the worst being in 1123 and then again (and more famously) in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Both of these fires were referred to as the Great Fire. After the fire of 1666, a number of plans were drawn up to remodel the City and its street pattern into a renaissance-style city with planned urban blocks, squares and boulevards. These plans were almost entirely not taken up, and the medieval street pattern re-emerged almost intact.

Growth of London

The 18th century was a period of rapid growth for London, reflecting an increasing national population, the early stirrings of the Industrial Revolution, and London's role at the centre of the evolving British Empire. The urban area expanded beyond the borders of the City of London, most notably during this period towards the West End and Westminster.

In 1708 Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, was completed on his birthday. However, the first service had been held on 2 December 1697; more than 10 years earlier. This Cathedral replaced the original St. Paul's which had been completely destroyed in the Great Fire of London and is considered to be one of the finest in Britain and a fine example of Baroque architecture.

Expansion continued and became more rapid by the beginning of the 19th century, with London growing in all directions. To the East the Port of London grew rapidly during the century, with the construction of many docks, needed as the Thames at the City could not cope with the volume of trade. The arrival of the railways and the Tube meant that London could expand over a much greater area. By the mid-19th century, with London still rapidly expanding in population and area, the City had already become only a small part of the wider metropolis.

19th & 20th centuries

St Paul's Cathedral surviving the Second Great Fire.

An attempt was made in 1894 to amalgamate the City and the surrounding County of London, but it did not succeed. The City of London therefore survived, and does so to this day, despite its situation within the London conurbation and numerous local government reforms. Regarding representation to Parliament, the City elected four members to the unreformed House of Commons, which it retained after the Reform Act 1832 and into the 20th century. Today it is included wholly in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, and statute requires that it not be divided between two neighbouring areas.

The City's population fell rapidly in the 19th century and through most of the 20th century as people moved outwards to London's vast suburbs and many houses were demolished to make way for modern office blocks. The largest residential section of the City today is the Barbican Estate, constructed between 1965 and 1976. Here a major proportion of the City's population now live. The Museum of London is located here, as are a number of other services provided by the Corporation.

The City, like many areas of London and other British cities, fell victim to large scale and highly destructive aerial bombing during World War II, in what is known as The Blitz. Whilst St Paul's Cathedral survived the onslaught, large swathes of the City did not. A major rebuilding programme therefore occurred in the decades following the war, in some parts (such as at the Barbican) dramatically altering the City's urban landscape. The destruction of the City's older historic fabric however allowed, and continues to allow, the construction of modern and larger-scale developments in parts of the City, whereas in those parts not so badly affected by bomb damage, the City retains its older character of smaller buildings. The street pattern, which is still largely medieval, was altered slightly in certain places, although there is a more recent trend of reversing some of the post-war modernist changes made, such as at Paternoster Square.

The 1970s saw the construction of tall office buildings including the 600-foot, 42-storey Natwest Tower, which became the first skyscraper in the UK. Office space development has intensified especially in the central, northern and eastern parts of the City, with a second (30 St Mary Axe) and most recently a third skyscraper (the Broadgate Tower) being built. A fourth skyscraper, the Heron Tower, is currently under construction, and will become Britain's tallest building when completed. A fifth, the Bishopsgate Tower is set to begin rising in late 2010, and will overtake the Heron Tower to become the tallest building in the City of London, and the second tallest in Britain after the under-construction Shard of Glass at London Bridge Station.

The Latin motto of the City of London is "Domine dirige nos", which translates as "Lord, guide us". The City has its own flag and coat of arms. The red sword is commonly supposed to commemorate the killing of Peasants' Revolt leader Wat Tyler by the Lord Mayor of London William Walworth in 1381, but in fact is the symbol of the martyrdom of Saint Paul, London's patron saint.

Present-day developments

Temple Church; once numbering over 100, there are today 47 churches in the City.[7]
30 St Mary Axe. Scenes of contrast between new and old are common in the City.

The trend for purely office development is beginning to reverse as the Corporation encourages residential use, although the resident population is not expected to exceed 10,000 people. Some of the extra accommodation is in small pre-World War II listed buildings, which are not suitable for occupation by the large companies which now provide much of the City's employment.

Since the 1990s, the City has diversified away from near exclusive office use in other ways. For example, several hotels and the City's first department store have opened. A shopping mall is being built at New Change, near St Paul's Cathedral. However, large sections of the City remain very quiet at weekends, especially those areas in the eastern section of the City, and it is quite common to find pubs and cafes closed on these days.

A number of skyscrapers have been built in recent years in the City of London and further skyscrapers are either under construction or planned to be built. These include:

  • Bishopsgate Tower - 63 floors, 288 metres/945 feet, foundations and basements under construction.
  • Heron Tower - 47 floors, 246 metres/807 feet, under construction and nearing completion.
  • The Leadenhall Building - 48 floors, 225 metres/738 feet, began construction but temporarily on hold.
  • 20 Fenchurch Street - 36 floors, 160 metres/525 feet, site demolished but construction now on hold; nicknamed the "Walkie Talkie".

Population

Year Pop.  %±
1631 111,605
1700 208,000 86.4%
1750 144,000 −30.8%
1801 128,129 −11.0%
1821 124,137 −3.1%
1841 123,563 −0.5%
1861 112,063 −9.3%
1881 50,569 −54.9%
1901 26,846 −46.9%
1911 19,657 −26.8%
1921 13,709 −30.3%
1931 10,999 −19.8%
1951 5,324 −51.6%
1961 4,767 −10.5%
1971 4,234 −11.2%
1981 6,700 58.2%
1991 5,400 −19.4%
2001 7,400 37.0%
2004 8,600 16.2%
2006 7,800 −9.3%
2007 8,000 2.6%
1

1. not strictly comparable with the 1971 figure

Economy

See also: Economy of London

Bishopsgate, in the City's financial area

The City houses the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), Lloyd's of London (insurance) and the Bank of England. There are over 500 banks with offices in the City, with established leads in areas such as Eurobonds, foreign exchange markets, energy futures and global insurance. The Alternative Investment Market has been a growth market over the past decade, allowing London to also expand as an international equity centre for smaller firms.

Since 1991 Canary Wharf a few miles east of the City in Tower Hamlets, has become a second centre for London's financial services industry and now houses banks and other institutions formerly located in the Square Mile. However, fears that the City would be damaged by this development appear to have been unfounded with growth occurring in both locations. Canary Wharf may have been of great service to the Square Mile by providing large floorplate office buildings at a time when this was difficult within the City boundary, and therefore preventing companies such as HSBC from relocating abroad. In 2008, the City of London accounted for 4 percent of UK GDP.

The Bank of England, on Threadneedle Street, is the central bank of the United Kingdom.

BT Group (British Telecom) had its world head office in the BT Centre in the City of London.[8][9] Unilever PLC has its head office in the Unilever House in the City of London.[10]

Local government

The Guildhall - the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City
Mansion House - the official residence of the Lord Mayor
Former Lord Mayor of London John Stuttard during the Lord Mayor's parade of 2006

The City of London has a unique political status, a legacy of its uninterrupted integrity as a corporate city since the Anglo-Saxon period and its singular relationship with the Crown. Historically its system of government was not unusual, but it was not reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835 and little changed by later reforms.

It is administered by the City of London Corporation, headed by the Lord Mayor of London (not the same as the more recently created position of Mayor of London), which is responsible for a number of functions and owns a number of locations beyond the City's boundaries. The City is a ceremonial county, although it has a Commission, headed by the Lord Mayor, instead of a Lord-Lieutenant.

Wards

The City is made up of 25 wards, which had their boundaries changed in 2003, though the number of wards and their names did not change. Four of the wards are today regarded as being primarily residential, and recent boundary changes have reinforced this. They are: Portsoken, Queenhithe, Aldersgate and Cripplegate.

The wards are ancient and their number has only changed twice since time immemorial: in 1394 Farringdon was divided into Farringdon Within and Farringdon Without, and in 1550 with the creation of Bridge Without (Southwark).[11] However, as Southwark gradually was removed from the City's administration during the 19th Century, Bridge Without was eventually merged with Bridge Within, in 1978[12] and the ward is today usually called simply "Bridge" (after London Bridge). Following changes to the City of London's boundary in 1994 and later reform of the business vote in the City, a major boundary and electoral representation revision took place to the wards in 2003. The ward boundaries and electoral representation are currently being reviewed again, though not to such a dramatic extent, and the review is being conducted by senior officers of the Corporation and senior judges of the Old Bailey.[13]

Current arrangements are that each ward elects an Alderman, to the Court of Aldermen and Commoners (the City equivalent of a Councillor) to the Court of Common Council of the Corporation. Only electors who are Freeman of the City of London are eligible to stand. The number of Commoners a ward sends to the Common Council varies (from 2 to 10) and depends on the size of the ward, in terms of the number of eligible votes. Since the 2003 review it is agreed that the four residential wards send 20 of the 100 Commoners, with the business-dominated wards returning the remaining allocation of 80 Commoners.

The City does not have any civil parishes and since the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (which allowed for the creation of civil parishes in the London boroughs) the City is the only part of England where civil parishes cannot be created.

The Temple

Inner Temple and Middle Temple (which neighbour each other) are two of the few remaining liberties, an old name for a geographic division. They are independent extra-parochial areas,[14] historically not governed by the City of London Corporation[15] (and are today regarded as local authorities for most purposes[16]) and equally outside the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. They geographically fall within the boundaries and liberties of the City, but can be thought of as independent enclaves. They are both part of the Farringdon Without ward of the City.

Elections

The City has a unique electoral system. Most of its voters are representatives of businesses and other bodies that occupy premises in the City. Its ancient wards have very unequal numbers of voters.

The principal justification for the non-resident vote is that about 450,000 non-residents constitute the city's day-time population and use most of its services, far outnumbering the City's residents, who are fewer than 10,000. Nevertheless, the system has long been the cause of controversy. The business vote was abolished in all other UK local authority elections in 1969.

A private act of Parliament in 2002[17] reformed the voting system for electing Members to the Corporation of London and received the Royal Assent on 7 November 2002. Under the new system, the number of non-resident voters has doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. Previously disfranchised firms (and other organizations) are entitled to nominate voters, in addition to those already represented, and all such bodies are now required to choose their voters in a representative fashion.

Bodies employing fewer than ten people may appoint one voter; those employing ten to 50 people may appoint one voter for every five employees; those employing more than 50 people may appoint ten voters and one additional voter for each 50 employees beyond the first 50.

The Act also removed other anomalies that had developed within the City's system, which had been unchanged since the 1850s.

Proposals for further change

Part of the interior of Smithfield Market, in the Farringdon area of the City

The present system is seen by some as undemocratic[citation needed], but adopting a more conventional system would place the 7,800 residents of the City in control of the local planning and other functions of a major financial capital that provides most of its services to hundreds of thousands of non-residents.

Proposals to annex the City to one of the neighbouring London boroughs, possibly the City of Westminster, have not widely been taken seriously. One proposal floated as a possible reform is to allow those who work in the City to each have a direct individual vote, rather than businesses being represented by appointed voters.

In May 2006 the Lord Chancellor stated to Parliament that the government was minded to examine the issue of City elections at a later date, probably after 2009, in order to assess how the new system has bedded down.[18]

Other functions

Within the City, the Corporation owns and runs both the Smithfield Market and Leadenhall Market. The Corporation owns and is responsible for a number of locations beyond the boundaries of the City. These include various open spaces (parks, forests and commons) in and around greater London, including most of Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath and many public spaces in Northern Ireland through The Honourable The Irish Society. It also owns Old Spitalfields Market and Billingsgate Fish Market, both of which are within the neighbouring London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The Corporation also owns and helps fund the Old Bailey the Central Criminal Court for England and Wales, as a gift to the nation, it having begun as the City and Middlesex Sessions.

The City has its own independent police force, the City of London Police - the Corporation is the police authority. The rest of Greater London is policed by the Metropolitan Police Service, based at New Scotland Yard.

The City of London has one hospital, St Bartholomew's Hospital. Founded in 1123 and commonly known as 'Barts', the hospital is at Smithfield, and is undergoing a long-awaited regeneration after many doubts as to it continuing in use during the 1990s.

The City is the third largest UK funding-patron of the arts. It oversees the Barbican Centre and subsidises several important performing arts companies.

The Port of London's health authority is also the responsibility of the Corporation, which includes the handling of imported cargo at London Heathrow airport.[19] The Corporation oversees the running of the Bridge House Trust, which maintains five key bridges in central London, London Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge. The City's flag flies over Tower Bridge, although neither footing is in the City.[20]

Transport

See also: Transport for London

London Underground roundel (flanked by City dragons) at Bank station.
The Millennium Bridge, looking north towards St. Paul's Cathedral and the City.

Rail

The City is well served by the London Underground network, as well as the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with 11 tube stations and 2 DLR stations within its boundary. Three National Rail termini stations are located in the City, at Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street and Cannon Street, and London Bridge station is on the other end of London Bridge in Southwark. Thameslink services call at Blackfriars and City Thameslink. As well as being an Underground station, Moorgate is the terminus of the Northern City Line. The whole of the City of London lies in Travelcard Zone 1.

The high capacity west-east Crossrail railway line, which is scheduled to be completed by 2017, will run underground across the north of the City, with two stations at Farringdon/Barbican and Moorgate/Liverpool Street.

Road

The national A1, A3, and A4 road routes begin in the City of London. The entirety of the City lies within the London congestion charge zone, with the small exception on the eastern boundary of the parts of the A1210/A1211 routes which form part of the inner ring road.

The following bridges, listed west to east (heading downstream), cross the River Thames from the City of London to the southern bank: Blackfriars Bridge, Blackfriars Railway Bridge, Millennium Bridge (footbridge), Southwark Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge and London Bridge. The famous landmark, the Tower Bridge, is not in the City of London.

The City, like most of central London, is well served by buses, including night buses. Two bus stations are located in the City, at Aldgate on the eastern border with Tower Hamlets, and at Liverpool Street by the railway station there.

River

One London River Services pier exists on the Thames along the City of London shore, the Blackfriars Millennium Pier, though the Tower Millennium Pier lies adjacent to the City's boundary, near the Tower of London. One of the Port of London's 25 safeguarded wharfs in central London, Walbrook Wharf, is located on the City of London's shore, adjacent to Cannon Street station, and is used by the Corporation of London to transfer waste via the river. Swan Lane Pier, just upstream of London Bridge on the City shore, is proposed to be replaced and upgraded for regular passenger services. This work is planned to take place in the period 2012-2015. Before then, Tower Pier is to be extended.[21]

Riverside walk

A public riverside walk exists along the entire shoreline of the City, having been instigated in stages in recent years, with the only remaining section not running along the river being a short stretch at Queenhithe. The walk runs along Walbrook Wharf and is only closed to pedestrians at this point when waste is being transferred onto barges.

Education

The City has only one directly maintained primary school,[22] Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School at Aldgate[23] (ages 4 to 11). It is a Voluntary-Aided (VA) Church of England school, maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.

City residents may send their children to schools in neighbouring Local Education Authorities, such as Islington, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Southwark.

The City controls three very well regarded independent schools, City of London School (a boys school) and City of London School for Girls (girls) which are in the City itself, and the City of London Freemen's School (co-educational day and boarding) which is in Ashtead, Surrey. The City of London School for Girls has its own preparatory department for entrance at age seven. It is also the principal sponsor of the City of London Academy which is based in Southwark.

The City is also home to the renowned Cass Business School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and parts of three of the universities in London: The Maughan Library of King's College London's Strand Campus, and the business school of London Metropolitan University. A third business school in the City is a campus of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business at Ropemaker Place. The College of Law has its London campus in Moorgate.

Public libraries

Libraries operated by the City of London include Barbican Library, Camomile Street Library, City Business Library, Guildhall Library, and Shoe Lane Library.[24]

Gardens

Tower 42 rises behind Finsbury Circus.
Aerial view with 30 St Mary Axe and Tower 42 in the background. Also seen are the Willis Building, Aviva Tower, 99 Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street Station and the Stock Exchange Tower. At the bottom is the Broadgate Tower, the latest skyscraper to be built in the City.

The City has no sizeable parks within its boundary, but does have a network of a large number of gardens and small open spaces, many of which are maintained by the Corporation. These range from formal gardens such as the one in Finsbury Circus, containing a bowling green and bandstand, to churchyards such as one belonging to the church of St Olave Hart Street, to water features and artwork found in some of the courtyards and pedestrianised lanes.[25]

Gardens include:

Additionally there are a number of private gardens and open spaces, found often within courtyards of the larger commercial developments. Two of the largest private gardens are those of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, in the far southwest of the City.

The Thames and its riverside walks are increasingly being valued as open space for the City and in recent years efforts have been made to increase the ability for pedestrians to access and walk along the river.

Policing and Security

The City has its own territorial police force, the City of London Police, which is a separate organisation to the Metropolitan Police Service which covers the rest of Greater London. The City Police have three police stations, located at Snow Hill, Wood Street and Bishopsgate, and has 813 police officers, 85 Special Constables and 48 PCSOs. Covering just the City of London, it is the smallest territorial police force in England and Wales, both in terms of geographic area and the number of police officers.

Where the majority of British police forces have silver-coloured badges, those of the City Police are gold. The force also have a unique red and white chequered sleeve and cap bands (red and white being the colours of the City of London), which in most other British police forces are black and white. City police officers wear slightly larger helmets than other forces whilst on foot patrol. These helmets do not feature the Brunswick Star, which is used on most other police helmets in England and Wales.

The City's position as the United Kingdom's financial centre and a critical part of the country's economy, contributing about 2.5% of the UK's gross national product,[26] has resulted in it becoming a target for political violence. The Provisional IRA exploded several bombs in the City in the early 1990s, including the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing.

The area is also spoken of as a possible target for al-Qaeda. For instance, when in May 2004 the BBC's Panorama programme examined the preparedness of Britain's emergency services for a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 attacks, they simulated a chemical explosion on Bishopsgate in the east of the City.

The "Ring of Steel" is a particularly notable measure, established in the wake of the IRA bombings, that has been taken against terrorist threats.

London Fire Brigade

Dowgate fire station

The City has fire risks in many places, including St Paul’s Cathedral, The Old Bailey, Mansion House, Smithfield Market, the Bank of England, the Guildhall, Tower 42 (formerly the NatWest Tower) and 30 St. Mary Axe (The Gherkin). There is one fire station within the City, at Dowgate, with one pumping appliance.[27] The City relies upon stations in the surrounding London boroughs to support it at some incidents. Within the City the first fire engine is in attendance in roughly five minutes on average, the second when required in a little over five and a half minutes.[27] There were 1,814 incidents attended in the City in 2006/2007 - the lowest in Greater London amongst the 32 London boroughs. No one has died in an event arising from a fire in the City in the last four years prior to 2007.[27]

Tallest buildings

The City of London's core skyline, as seen from the south, in December 2009. The Heron Tower is seen under construction

The tallest buildings in the City are:

Rank Name Built Use Height Floors Location
metres feet
1 Heron Tower (under construction) 2011 Office 198 (As of February 2010) 650 47 110 Bishopsgate
2 Tower 42 1980 Office 183 600 42 25 Old Broad Street
3 30 St Mary Axe ("The Gherkin") 2003 Office 180 590 40 30 St Mary Axe
4 Broadgate Tower 2008 Office 164 538 35 201 Bishopsgate
5 CityPoint 1967 Office 127 417 36 Ropemaker Street
6 Willis Building 2007 Office 125 410 26 51 Lime Street
7 Aviva Tower 1969 Office 118 387 28 Undershaft, St Mary Axe
8 99 Bishopsgate 1976 Office 104 340 26 99 Bishopsgate
9 Stock Exchange Tower 1970 Office 103 339 27 125 Old Broad Street

Buildings over 150 metres either under construction or proposed:

Name Height Floors Location Status
metres feet
The Pinnacle ("Helter Skelter") 288 945 63 22-24 Bishopsgate Under construction
The Leadenhall Building ("Cheesegrater") 225 737 48 122 Leadenhall Street Approved; Site Cleared; On hold
Heron Tower 202 662 47 110 Bishopsgate Near completion
100 Bishopsgate 165 542 39 100 Bishopsgate Approved; On hold
20 Fenchurch Street ("Walkie Talkie") 160 525 39 20 Fenchurch Street Approved; Site Cleared; On hold

References

  1. ^ "City of London Resident Population Census 2001" (PDF). Corporation of London. July 2005. http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/nr/rdonlyres/10feeb0b-3ded-4c2d-93d1-8534fcb28cc5/0/Census%202001.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  2. ^ Z/Yen Limited (November 2005). "The Competitive Position of London as a Global Financial Centre" (PDF). CityOfLondon.gov.uk. http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/131B4294-698B-4FAF-9758-080CCE86A36C/0/BC_RS_compposition_FR.pdf. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  3. ^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 24. 
  4. ^ The City and London Borough Boundaries Order 1993
  5. ^ Asser's Life of King Alfred, ch. 83, trans. Simon Keynes and Michael Lapidge, Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources (Penguin Classics) (1984), pp. 97-8.
  6. ^ Vince, Alan, Saxon London: An Archaeological Investigation, The Archaeology of London series (1990).
  7. ^ Churches of the City of London
  8. ^ "Contact BT." BT Group. Retrieved on 8 September 2009.
  9. ^ "Boundary Map." City of London. Retrieved on 8 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Unilever registered offices." Unilever. Retrieved on 5 March 2010.
  11. ^ Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section City of London wards
  12. ^ Barry One Off The Wards, or Aldermanries, in the Square Mile
  13. ^ Corporation of London Ward Boundary Review (2010)
  14. ^ Association for Geographic Information What place is that then? (PDF)
  15. ^ City of London (Approved Premises for Marriage) Act 1996 "By ancient custom the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple exercise powers within the areas of the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple respectively ("the Temples") concerning (inter alia) the regulation and governance of the Temples"
  16. ^ Middle Temple as a local authority
  17. ^ HMSO City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002 (2002 Chapter vi)
  18. ^ Parliamentary Debates, House of Lords, 25 May 2006, columns 91WS–92WS
  19. ^ Port Health Authority
  20. ^ britishflags.net- City of London
  21. ^ River Thames Pier Plan
  22. ^ Schools
  23. ^ Primary schools
  24. ^ "City of London libraries." City of London. Retrieved on 13 January 2009.
  25. ^ Gardens of the City of London
  26. ^ Key facts
  27. ^ a b c London Fire Brigade - City of London Profile

External links

Official websites
Geographical information
Local information

London/City of London travel guide from Wikitravel

Coordinates: 51°30′56″N 0°05′32″W / 51.5155°N 0.0922°W / 51.5155; -0.0922


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to London/City of London article)

From Wikitravel

A dragon marking the boundary
A dragon marking the boundary

The City of London [1], also known as The City, or The Square Mile (after its approximate size), is the area of London that originally lay within the ancient city walls. This part of Central London is not as big a tourist destination as the West End, Westminster or South Bank, but is a must for anyone wishing to explore and understand London.

Understand

Although London grew from this area, the official City did not change in size and the borders of the City of London have barely changed in centuries (they still follow the line of the old city walls to a great degree). The walls around the city, originally built by the Romans, have now largely disappeared (several vestiges still remain, one of the largest of which can be seen outside the Museum of London, another just near the Tower of London) but various place names and streets hint at their prior existence. Locations such as Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Ludgate and Moorgate mark where the main gates were in the city walls.

The City of London is not a London borough and has an ancient and unusual local governance, with rights and privileges greater than those of anywhere else in United Kingdom. The local authority is the City of London Corporation and the chief position is the Lord Mayor. Whilst the rest of London has the Metropolitan Police, the City of London has its own police force.

The City of London does not include Tower Bridge or the Tower of London, they are in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. A number of bridges over the River Thames do connect the City with Southwark and the two oldest of them, London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, are unusual in that the City of London's boundaries include the whole span of the bridge (the border otherwise runs along the middle of the Thames). Small statues of Dragons (sometimes described to be Griffins) mark the boundary of the City on most roads.

The Tower of London
The Tower of London

The City is the world's leading centre of international finance. In British parlance, The City often refers to the financial sector, just as Americans might refer to Wall Street. This area contains 255 foreign banks, which is more than any other financial centre. It also is home to the Bank of England and houses other institutions such as Lloyds and the London Stock Exchange. Every weekday approximately three hundred thousand workers come into the City to work in small and large business and financial institutions.

The City has a very small resident population which, despite a recent increase, is little more than 8,000 people. At weekends the area can resemble a ghost town, with empty streets, closed shops and cafes.

Visit during the week. No shops and almost no restaurants are open on the weekend. It is hard to believe how dead the area is on the weekend and it can barely be stressed enough that if you are in The City on a weekend, it will seem like the movie 28 Days Later (although this was actually filmed in Canary Wharf, which exhibits a similar ghost town quality at weekends). This though could be a blessing if you want to wander around the place at your own pace, admiring the architecture and character of the streets and buildings! You may also come across the filming of a TV advert, TV programme or even a film at this time.

  • City Information Centre, St. Paul's Churchyard EC4M 8BX (tube: St Paul's), 020 7332 1456.  edit

Get in

From the airport

Underground services are connected to all major London airports, as well as Express train services that take you directly to some of the main stations in the centre of London. [2]

  • Bank (Central, Northern, Waterloo & City lines and the DLR) and Monument (Circle and District lines) stations - linked by an underground walkway. Bank, near the Bank of England, is perhaps the most central to access the City of London.
  • Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines), Moorgate (Circle, Hammersmith and City, Northern and Metropolitan lines) and Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines) - for the north and north east of The City.
  • Old Street (Northern line) - for the north west of The City
  • St Paul's (Central line) - for the west of The City
  • Blackfriars, Mansion House, Cannon Street (closed Su), Tower Hill (for Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Fenchurch Street National Rail station) (all Circle and District lines) and Aldgate (Circle, District and Metropolitan lines) - for the south of The City.

On foot

Once in the City, its small and compact nature means travelling on foot between attractions is possible and advised. You can quite easily get lost and miss out interesting features if new to the City. The street pattern is particularly chaotic in some parts (being medieval and unplanned) and there are many fun shortcuts and routes that take you away from main roads. Buy and bring a detailed map!

  • Barbican, Blackfriars (to/from Gatwick and Luton airports), Cannon Street (closed Sa, Su and public holidays), City Thameslink (to/from Gatwick and Luton airports, no tube), Fenchurch Street (tube: Tower Hill), Liverpool Street (to/from Stansted Airport) and Moorgate. All also tube stations except City Thameslink and Fenchurch Street.

By boat

An increasingly popular way of travelling through London, by both tourists and residents, is by boat on the Thames itself. The City can has two piers from which regular services operate to and from: Blackfriars Millennium Pier (in the west) or Tower Millennium Pier (in the east).

Bank of England
Bank of England

See

The City sustained a great deal of damage from German bombing during the 'Blitz' of World War II, so there are far fewer older buildings than one might expect from so ancient a settlement. The Great Fire of London in 1666 also fairly comprehensively destroyed the City's medieval building stock. Nonetheless, many interesting older buildings remain, including the domed St. Paul's Cathedral (heroically saved by firefighters when it was bombed during the Second World War), nineteenth-century buildings at Leadenhall, Smithfield, and Spitalfields, the Gothic-style Guildhall, many monuments (including one built to remember the Great Fire of London), and the Temple Inns of Court. Remarkably, the City also retains its medieval street pattern, which you do not find so clearly preserved in other large British city centres. You will find many narrow streets, passages, courtyards, etc between the main thoroughfares.

West portico of St Paul's Cathedral
West portico of St Paul's Cathedral
  • Mansion House, (tube: Mansion House), [4]. By appointment only for visits by organised groups (minimum 15 maximum 40). Official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, completed in 1753.  edit
  • Monument, (tube: Monument), +44 20 7626 2717 (), [5]. 9:30AM-5:30PM daily (last admission 5PM). Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this tall column (which can be ascended to get a great view) marks the alleged site where the Great Fire of London broke out in September 1666. £3/£1.  edit
  • Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court), (between Holborn Circus and St Paul's Cathedral, tube: St Paul's then follow signs), +44 20 7248 3277, [6]. M-F 10AM-1PM, 2PM-5PM. No bags, cameras, drink, food or mobile phones - no facilities for safekeeping. This is the probably the most famous criminal court in the world, and has been London's principal criminal court for centuries. It hears cases remitted to it from all over England and Wales as well as the Greater London area. The present building dates largely from 1907 (a new block was added from 1970 for more modern facilities) and stands on the site of the infamous medieval Newgate Gaol. The Central Criminal Court is of course best known today for its association with John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey character, novels and television series. Daily case listings are available at [7]. Children under 14 not admitted.  edit
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
  • St Paul's Cathedral, Ludgate Hill (tube: St Pauls), +44 20 7246 8357 (), [8]. M-Sa 8:30AM-4PM. The great domed cathedral of St Paul's, designed by Sir Christopher Wren to replace the Gothic medieval cathedral destroyed in 1666 in the Great Fire of London, was built between 1675 - 1710. It's a significant building in British history, having been the site of the funerals of several British military leaders (Nelson, Wellington, Churchill), and significantly held peace services marking the end of the two world wars. The cathedral is also famous for its Whispering Wall, as well as its stunning view over the city. The crypt is also open to the public, holding the tombs of Nelson, Wellington and Christopher Wren. For budget travelers it is possible to get in for free. The cathedral is open to the general public for free during midday service. Visitors who get in at this time won't be escorted out. To get to the top you must however hold a valid ticket. £9, £8 concession, £3.50 child (7-16), £21.50 family.  edit
  • Tower Bridge (technically not in the City), (tube: Tower Hill), +44 20 7403 3761 (), [9]. Exhibition 10AM-5PM. Magnificent 19th century bridge, decorated with high towers and featuring a drawbridge. The bridge opens several times each day to permit ships to pass through - timings are dependent on demand, and are not regularly scheduled. When Tower Bridge was built, the area to the west of it was a bustling port - necessitating a bridge that could permit tall boats to pass. Now the South Bank area sits to its west, and the regenerated Butler's Wharf area of shops, reasonably priced riverside restaurants and the London Design Museum lie to its east. For a small charge you can get the lift to the top level of the bridge and admire the view: this includes a visit to a small museum dedicated to the bridge's history and engineering. Bridge free, exhibition £6.  edit
  • Tower of London (technically not in the City), (tube: Tower Hill), +44 8444 827777 (), [10]. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su M 10AM-5PM Mar-Oct; Tu-Sa 9AM-4PM, Su-M 10AM-4PM Nov-Feb. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066, enlarged and modified by successive sovereigns, the Tower is today one of the world's most famous and spectacular fortresses. Discover its 900-year history as a royal palace and fortress, prison and place of execution, mint, arsenal, menagerie and jewel house. In the winter you can skate on the dry moat. The Tower contains enough buildings and exhibits to keep a family busy for a full day, with plenty of both warlike and domestic contents. Beefeaters, who are all retired sergeant majors from the British Army, provide guided tours for free as well as ceremonial security. See history come alive - go to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. This ceremony, the locking up of the Tower, has been performed every night at 10PM for 800 years. Tickets are free but MUST be prearranged. £14.50, aged 5-16 £9.50, concession £11, family (2A+3C) £42.  edit

Churches and graveyards

The City of London, considering its small size, has a huge number of churches in its area. Some, but by no means all, are listed below.

  • All Hallows by the Tower, Byward St EC3R 5BJ (tube: Tower Hill), +44 20 7481 2928, [11]. The oldest church in The City founded by Saxon Abbotts in 675 AD.  edit
  • Bunhill Fields, Bunhill Rd (nearest tube: Old Street; bus: 55, 205, 243 (among others)), [12]. Dawn-dusk. This small graveyard is a rarity in central London, and seems oddly tranquil in comparison to the nearby bustling streets of the City. Some 120,000 bodies are believed to be buried here - mostly dissenters - notable among them are the graves of William Blake, Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan. The watchful eye will notice that the paved way across the field is actually made up of tombstones. Free.  edit
  • Christ Church, Fournier St (tube: Liverpool St), +44 20 7859 3035, [13]. The restoration of the nave was completed in September 2004, and this church is still a striking building designed by Sir Nicholas Hawksmoor with a particularly tall, pointed spire. Hawksmoor's design was significantly altered in the 19th century, and present continuing restoration is intended to restore it to Hawksmoor's original vision. Christ Church was built as part of the 50 Churches for London project  edit
  • St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames St EC3R 6DN (tube: Monument), +44 20 7626 4481, [14].  edit
  • St Margaret Pattens, Rood Ln and Eastcheap EC3 (tube: Monument), +44 20 7623 6630, [15].  edit
  • St Mary-at-Hill, St Mary at Hill EC3R 8EE (tube: Monument), +44 20 7626 4184, [16].  edit
  • St Mary le Bow, 1 Bow Lane EC4M 9EE (tube: Mansion House), +44 20 7248 5139, [17].  edit
  • St Stephen Walbrook, 39 Walbrook EC4N 8BN (tube: Bank), +44 20 7283 4444, [18].  edit
  • Temple, Inner Temple Ln, [19]. A small realm of serenity in the midst of the typical turmoil. It used to be the court of the Knights Templar. You can still visit the beautiful Romanesque church, which is one of the oldest ones in London.  edit
  • Clockmaker's Museum, Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury EC2P 2EJ (tube St Paul's), +44 20 7332 1868 (), [22]. M-Sa 9.30AM-5PM. Charts the history of clockmaking and houses a priceless collection of old timepieces. Free.  edit
  • Museum of London, London Wall (NB this is a street!) (tube: Barbican (walk S) or St Pauls (walk N)), +44 870 444 3852, [24]. M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su noon-5:30PM. Established in 1975, the Museum of London explores the various threads of London's archaeology, history and culture throughout its more than 2,000 year old existence. Free and, like the city, endlessly fascinating! (The Museum now also has an offshoot in East End. Cafe, gift shop and disabled access. Permanent and temporary exhibitions: free. Special exhibitions: £5, concession £3, child 0-15 free.  edit
Lloyd's of London and The Gherkin
Lloyd's of London and The Gherkin
Detail of Lloyd's
Detail of Lloyd's

The City's business is not cathedrals or museums, but banking. The upside? The City offers some of the most fascinating modern architecture in London, and this alone makes a tour of London's financial institutions and markets worthwhile, even if you're not an investment banker. The bad news is that very few of the buildings are open to the public, although some do have "open weekends" at certain times of the year. The annual Open House Weekend - usually held on the third weekend in September, is when many London's most famous buildings (including many of those in the City) are open for public tours.

  • Baltic Exchange, St. Mary Axe (next to the Swiss Re Tower), [25]. The world's main marketplace for ship broking.  edit
  • International Petroleum Exchange, St. Katherines Dock (tube: Tower Hill), [26]. One of the world's largest energy futures and options exchanges. The Brent Crude marker which represents an important benchmark for global oil prices is traded here. It also houses the European Climate Exchange, where emissions trading takes place.  edit
  • Lloyds of London, 1 Lime St, [27]. The headquarters of world's most famous insurance market, housed in a revolutionary (at the time) bizarre, Matrix-like glass-and-steel building designed by Richard Rogers, with all support services (lifts, ventilation, etc) suspended outside. Recognised as a masterpiece of exoskeleton architecture.  edit
  • London Stock Exchange, Paternoster Sq, [28]. After leaving its brutalist skyscraper on Old Broad St, the London Stock Exchange now resides on Paternoster Sq. Dating back to 1698, it is one of the world's oldest and largest stock markets.  edit
  • London Bullion Market Association, 13-14 Basinghall St, [29]. This is where the world gold price is 'fixed' twice a day.  edit
  • London Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall St, [30]. The LME is the leading centre for non-ferrous metals trading. It is also the last financial market in London which still retains open outcry trading.  edit
  • London Stone, Cannon St (tube: Cannon St). A little known and arguably little cared for yet intriguing item.  edit
  • St Bride Printing Library, Bride Ln, EC4Y 8EE, +44 20 7353 4660, [31]. Tu noon-5:30PM, W noon-9PM, Th noon-5:30PM. This specialist small library houses an impressive range of books on graphic design, typography, bookbinding and papermaking. The books cannot be borrowed but can be photocopied or photographed (with permission). An essential visit for any graphic design student.  edit
  • Swiss Re (the Gherkin), 30 St. Mary Axe, [32]. Designed by one of Britain's leading architects, Sir Norman Foster, and recipient in 2004 of the Stirling Architectural Prize for Best Building.  edit
  • Willis Building, 51 Lime St. The most recent addition to the City's skyline, and right opposite Lloyds of London.  edit
  • Climb to the top of St Paul's Cathedral or The Monument to get excellent views over the financial heart of London.
  • Gresham College, Barnard's Inn Hall, Holborn (tube: Chancery Lane. Between Fetter Ln and Furnival St), +44 0220 7831 0575, [33]. Founded in 1597 as London's alternative higher education institution to Oxford and Cambridge, Gresham College continues to provide free public lectures every week during term time. Most lectures require no booking, with wonderful speakers delivering lectures on wide range of interesting topics.  edit
John Stuttard, Lord Mayor 2006-07, at the Lord Mayor's show
John Stuttard, Lord Mayor 2006-07, at the Lord Mayor's show
  • Lord Mayor's Show, [34]. Annual, normally November. The ceremony celebrates the appointment of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. It is one of the great annual processions held in all London.  edit
  • London Walks, [35]. Consider going along on one of the many excellent guided tours of the City, often with an evocative theme for example ghosts or Jack the Ripper.  edit
  • Tower of London Ice Rink, (tube: Tower Hill), [36].  edit

Buy

Although not noted for the best shopping opportunities in London (these are securely held by the West End), the City nonetheless retains an above average shopping offer, having a large, relatively affluent and captive crowd of City workers right on their doorstep. Avoid shopping during lunchtime hours, if you can, as this is the time when workers are looking to do the same, in their thousands. Again, at weekends many outlets will be closed. A number of retail venues stand out:

  • Leadenhall Market, (off Gracechurch St, tube: Monument), [37]. Worth visiting for its architecture and old-fashioned cobbled streets. It was used as a location in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.  edit
  • Royal Exchange, (tube: Bank). Situated opposite the Bank of England, the Exchange houses a number of upmarket outlets. Part of the exterior was recently featured in the film Bridget Jones' Diary (at the end, when Bridget runs after Mark along a snowy street).  edit
  • Spitalfields Market (technically not in the City), (off Bishopsgate, tube: Liverpool Street), [38]. Once a large thriving market, it has slowly been shrunk to a third of its size by development in the area. But, it still features a good variety of clothing, crafts and food stalls/shops. Rather promisingly sellers have set up another market in a new space off Hanbury St nearby.  edit

Eat

There are a great many number of bars, coffee houses, cafes, restaurants and pub, mainly catering for the City workers during the week (and therefore most likely to be closed at the weekend). Sit down restaurants in this district tend to be expensive and aimed towards business lunches. The vast number of take away places though are reasonably priced. During the week (and during good weather) you can find some outdoor eating areas in places, such as on Walbrook.

  • Boisdale of Bishopsgate, Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate EC2M 4NR (tube: Liverpool Street), +44 20 7283 1763 (). closed Sa and Su. A rather grand Scottish restaurant which has jazz evenings and offers a cigar bar.  edit
  • Club Gascon, 57 West Smithfield, EC1A 9DS (tube Barbican), +44 20 7796 0600, [39]. Fine French dining at this Michelin-starred restaurant.  edit
  • Gow's, 81 Old Broad Street EC2M 1PR, +44 20 7920 9645 (), [40]. closed Sa and Su. An upmarket seafood restaurant and oyster bar.  edit
  • Polo Bar, 176 Bishopsgate EC2M 4NQ (tube: Liverpool Street), +44 20 7283 4889. 24H. An unpretentious cafe serving fried breakfasts and similar basic food 24h a day. Ideal for a late snack after you leave the Eat & Drink! Liverpool St is a safe area anyway but you cannot get safer than this for a late night meal, as at night you'll often see police from the nearby City of London police station. There are no toilets however, you need to use those at nearby Liverpool St Station.  edit
  • Simpson's Tavern, 38 Cornhill EC3V 9DR (tube: Bank), +62 020 7626 9985 (), [41]. closed Sa and Su. A traditional old style English eatery which has been in business here since 1757. Most of the food is cooked on an open grill in the corner. A very City of London experience!  edit
  • The Wall, 45 Old Broad St EC2N 1HU (tube: Liverpool Street), +44 20 7588 4845 (). Restaurat and bar popular at lunchtiems and in the early evenings. Closed Sa and Su.  edit

Drink

If you just want to see the sights, come to the City whenever it suits you (although check the opening hours for anything you particularly want to see). If you are spending more than a few days in London, visiting the area at night, especially around 10PM-11PM, can provide a decidedly un-touristy atmosphere. You will be seeing part of London life that few people who do not live or work in the City experience, and if you have the confidence to introduce yourself you may even get into conversation with local workers out for a late drink, the area is enough off the tourist route that you will be something of a novelty. Thursday and Friday are naturally busier but at the same time a bit less friendly, earlier in the week it may be dead but you have more chance of meeting locals just out for a drink.

  • Dirty Dick's, 202 Bishopsgate (tube: Liverpool St), +44 20 7283 5888, [42]. M-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 11AM-10:30PM. One of the better known pubs (although definitely no tourist trap) near Liverpool St, supposedly named after a Georgian dandy who let himself go on the death of his fiancée. £3.20 pint.  edit
  • Eat & Drink, 11 Artillery Passage (tube: Liverpool St), +44 20 7377 8964. M-F 'til 2AM. A small and fairly ordinary Chinese restaurant by day, this turns into a heaving karaoke bar in the evenings. One of the most reliable places near Liverpool St to get a drink after midnight! £3.40 small can lager.  edit
  • The Foundry, 86 Great Eastern St EC2A 3JL (tube: Old Street), +44 20 7739 6900, [43]. Closed M. One of the most interesting pubs in London. It's got a unique atmosphere, and serves excellent organic ales and stouts from Pitfield's, a local brewery. Make sure to go downstairs to the bathrooms, as there is usually an art exhibit in the halls.  edit
  • Lamb Tavern, 10-12 Leadenhall Market (tube: Bank/Liverpool St), +44 20 7626 2454, [44]. M-F 10AM-11PM. One of several pubs in Leadenhall Market where you can listen to insurance brokers from nearby Lloyds talk business. £3.60 pint.  edit
  • White Hart, 121 Bishopsgate (tube: Liverpool St). An unpretentious City pub, slightly cheaper than most. Unusually for the area, has a few tables outside where you can watch the world go by in summer or cower under a heat lamp while smoking in winter. £2.80 pint.  edit
  • City YMCA, (nearest tube stations: Moorgate, Barbican and Old St), [45]. Fantastic value or money at the two YMCA properties located close to each other in The City - Barbican and Errol St. Nightly and weekly rates are available. You will be encouraged to learn about the work that the YMCA undertakes to give young Londoners a start in life. From £128 per week.  edit
  • The Hoxton Urban Lodge, 81 Great Eastern St (nearest tube station: tube: Old St), +44 20 7550 1000 (), [46]. From £30 web purchase.  edit
  • St Paul's Youth Hostel, 36 Carter Ln (tube: St Paul's), +44 08707 705764 (), [47]. Small hostel converted from one of the City's oldest buildings. Cheap for Central London accommodation, range of room sizes, basic facilities. Dorm from £18.95 including breakfast. 6 rooms for 2 people and 3 singles..  edit
  • Andaz Liverpool Street London Hotel, 40 Liverpool St, (, fax: +44 20 7961 1235), [48]. A concept casual luxury hotel. No two bedrooms the same. Features iPod rentals and 5 restaurants From £120.  edit
  • Travelodge London Liverpool St, 1 Harrow Pl (tube: Liverpool Street), 08719 846190, [49]. £80.  edit
  • Malmaison London, Charterhouse Sq (tube: Barbican, Farringdon), +44 20 7012 3700 (), [50]. Great location with attentive staff.  edit

Get out

Go south, crossing the River Thames via the Millennium Bridge, to access the central part of South Bank, home to the Tate Modern gallery and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Or head west down Fleet Street then Strand towards Leicester Square|Trafalgar Square and Westminster, home of the British government and royal family.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Noun

City of London

  1. area in London, England containing the financial district, usually abbreviated to the City.
  2. the site of the original Roman Londinium

See also

Synonyms


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

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For London as a whole, see the main article London.
City of London
Motto: "Domine dirige nos </br>Latin: Lord, guide us"
Shown within Greater London
Shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Greater London
Government  
 - Leadership see text
 - Mayor David Lewis
 - MP Mark Field
 - London Assembly John Biggs
Population  
 - City (2005 est) 9200
  Population Ranked 353rd
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postal code EC
Website: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London is a geographically-small city within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London from which, along with Westminster, the modern conurbation grew. The City's boundaries have remained constant since the Middle Ages, and hence it is now only a tiny part of the larger London metropolis.

The City of London is today a major business and financial centre, ranking on a par with New York City as the leading centre of global finance.[1] It is often referred to as just the City or as the Square Mile, as it is approximately one square mile (2.6 km²) in area; note that these terms are also often used as metonyms for the UK financial services industry, which is principally based there. In the medieval period the City was the full extent of London, and distinct from the nearby but then-separate village of Westminster, which became the City of Westminster. The term London now refers to a much larger conurbation containing both 'cities'. The City of London is still part of London's city centre, but apart from financial services, most of London's metropolitan functions are centred on the West End. The City of London has a resident population of under 10,000, whilst the City employs 340,000 professional workers, mainly in the financial Sector, who commute on a daily basis - making the area's transport system extremely busy during certain peak times.

The City itself contains two independent enclavesInner Temple and Middle Temple. These form part of the City and Ceremonial county, but are not governed by the City of London Corporation. The Corporation governs the rest of the City and also owns various open spaces (parks, forests and commons) in and around London, including most of Epping Forest. It also owns Spitalfields Market and Billingsgate Market, although these are within the neighbouring London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Its Latin motto is "Domine dirige nos" which means "Lord, guide us".

Contents

Extent

Aerial view with 30 St Mary Axe and Tower 42 in the background. Also seen here are the Willis Building, Aviva Tower, 99 Bishopsgate and the Stock Exchange Tower. At the bottom is the Broadgate Tower, the latest skyscraper to be built in the City.

The size of the City was originally constrained by a defensive perimeter wall, known as 'London Wall’, which was built by the Romans to protect their strategic port city. However, the boundaries of the City of London are no longer the old City Wall as the city expanded its jurisdiction to the so-called City Bars — such as Temple Bar. The City has also expanded slightly to the north. The boundary froze in the medieval period, thus the City did not and does not control the whole of London.

The walls have long since disappeared although several sections remain visible above ground. A section near the Museum of London was revealed after the devastation of an air-raid on 29 December 1940 at the height of the Blitz. Other visible sections are at St Alphage, London Wall, and there are two sections near the Tower of London.

The City of London borders the City of Westminster to the west — the border cutting through Victoria Embankment, passing to the west of Middle Temple, going east along Strand and Fleet Street, north up Chancery Lane, where it becomes instead the border with the London Borough of Camden. It continues north to Holborn, turns east, continues, and then goes northeast to Charterhouse Street. As it crosses Farringdon Road it becomes the border with the London Borough of Islington. It continues to Aldersgate, goes north, and turns into some back streets soon after Aldersgate becomes Goswell Road. It ends up on Ropemaker Street which, as it continues east past Moorgate, becomes South Place. It goes north, becomes the border with the London Borough of Hackney, then east, north, east on backstreets, meeting Norton Folgate at the border with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It continues south into Bishopsgate, and takes some backstreets to Middlesex Street where it continues south-east then south. It makes a divergence to the west at the end of Middlesex Street to allow the Tower of London to be in Tower Hamlets, and then reaches the river. The boundaries of the City are marked by black bollards bearing the City's emblem. In some places the financial district extends slightly beyond the political boundaries of the City to the north and east, into the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington, and informally these locations are seen as part of the "Square Mile". Since the 1990s the eastern fringe of the City, extending into Hackney and Tower Hamlets, has increasingly been a focus for large office developments due to the relatively easy availability of large sites there compared to within the City itself.

Official boundary map with wards.

The City of London is England's smallest ceremonial county by both population and area covered and is the second smallest British city in both population and size, after St David's in Wales.

Southwark, to the south of the City on the other side of the Thames, came within the City's extent between 1550 and 1899 (as the Ward of Bridge Without). Today it forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. The City today controls the full spans of London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, but only half of the river underneath them.

History

Main article: History of London
Coat of arms of the City of London as shown on Blackfriars station. The Latin motto reads Domine Dirige Nos, "Lord, guide us". The red sword is commonly supposed to commemorate the killing of Peasants' Revolt leader Wat Tyler by the Lord Mayor of London William Walworth in 1381, but in fact it is the symbol of the martyrdom of Saint Paul, London's patron saint.
The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed nearly four-fifths of the City.
File:St Paul's Cathedral in 1896.JPG
Herbert Mason's famous photograph, taken during The Second Great Fire of London.

The area of the City of London has been administered separately since 886, when Alfred the Great appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia as Governor of London. Alfred made sure that there was suitable accommodation for merchants from northwest Europe, which was then extended to traders from the Baltic and Italy.

The City developed its own code of law for the mercantile classes, developing such autonomy that Sir Laurence Gomme regarded the City as a separate Kingdom making its own laws. The City was composed of wards governed by Aldermen, who chaired the Wardmotes. There was a folkmoot for the whole of the city held in the shadows of St Paul's Cathedral. In the tenth century, Athelstan permitted eight mints to be established, compared to six in his capital, Winchester, indicating the wealth of the city.

Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched on London, to Southwark and failed to get across London Bridge or to defeat the Londoners. He eventually crossed the River Thames at Wallingford, pillaging the land as he went. Rather than continuing the war Edgar Ætheling, Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamsted. William rewarded London in granting the citizens a charter in 1075; the City of London was one of the few institutions where the English retained some authority.

However, William insured against attack by building 3 Castles nearby so as to keep the Londoners subdued:

In 1132, Henry I recognised full County status for the City, and by 1141 the whole body of the citizenry was considered to constitute a single community. This was the origin of the City of London Corporation.

The City burned nearly to the ground twice, first in 1212 and then again (and more famously) in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Both of these fires were referred to as the Great Fire.

The City elected four members to the unreformed House of Commons, which it retained after the Reform Act 1832 and into the 20th century. Today it is included wholly in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, and statute requires that it not be divided between two neighbouring areas.

The City's population fell rapidly in the 19th century and through most of the 20th century as many houses were demolished to make way for modern office blocks. The 1970s saw the construction of many tall buildings including the 600ft, 42-storey Natwest Tower which became the first skyscraper in the UK.

This trend for purely office development is beginning to reverse as the Corporation is encouraging residential use, although the resident population is not expected to go much above 10,000 people. Some of the extra accommodation is in small pre-World War II commercial buildings, which are not suitable for occupation by the large companies which now provide much of the City's employment. The largest residential section of the City is the Barbican Estate.

Since the 1990s, the City has diversified away from near exclusive office use in some other ways as well. For example, several hotels have opened and also the City's first department store. However, large sections of it remain very quiet at weekends, especially those areas in the eastern section of the City, and it is quite common to find pubs and cafes closed on these days. In the central areas, a number of additional skyscrapers are also being planned as the financial services industry continues to expand. These will include the 63-storey Bishopsgate Tower, the 48-storey Leadenhall Building, the 46-storey Heron Tower and several other major landmarks that will dramatically alter the skyline.

Year Population
1700 208,000 (of which 139,000 within the walls) (estimates)
1750 144,000 (of which 87,000 within the walls) (estimates)
1801 128,129 (census figure)
1841 123,563 (census figure)
1881 50,569 (census figure)
1901 26,846 (census figure)
1911 19,657 (census figure)
1921 13,709 (census figure)
1931 10,999 (census figure)
1951 5,324 (census figure)
1961 4,767 (census figure)
1971 4,234 (census figure)
1981 6,700 (mid-year estimate)1
1991 5,400 (mid-year estimate)
2001 7,400 (mid-year estimate)
2004 8,600 (mid-year estimate)
2005 9,200 (mid-year estimate)
1. figure not strictly comparable with the 1971 figure

Financial industry

The Bank of England, the central bank of the United Kingdom.

The City of London houses the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), Lloyds of London (insurance), and the Bank of England. The Docklands began development in the 1980s as an alternative financial centre for London and is now home to the Financial Services Authority, as well as several important financial institutions such as Barclays Bank, Bank of America, Citigroup and HSBC. There are now over 500 banks with offices in the City and Docklands, with the majority of business in London being conducted on an international basis, with established leads in areas such as Eurobonds, Foreign exchange markets, energy futures and global insurance. The Alternative Investments Market has acted a growth market over the past decade, allowing London to also expand as an international equity centre for smaller firms.

Since 1991 Canary Wharf a few miles east of the City, in Tower Hamlets, has become a second centre for London's financial services industry and now houses a number of banks and other institutions formerly located in the Square Mile. However, fears that the City would be damaged by this development appear to have been unfounded with growth occurring in both locations. Indeed Canary Wharf may have been of great service to the Square Mile by providing large floorplate office buildings at a time when this was difficult within the City boundary, and therefore preventing strategically important companies such as HSBC from relocating abroad.

, report by Corporation of London & Oxford Economic Forecasting, November 2006

, report by Corporation of London & Z/Yen, November 2005

Local government

See also: City of London Corporation

The City of London has a unique political status (sui generis), a legacy of its uninterrupted integrity as a corporate city since the Anglo Saxon period and its singular relationship with the Crown. Historically its system of government was not unusual, but it was not reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835.

It is administered by the City of London Corporation, headed by the Lord Mayor of London (not the same post as the more recent London Mayor, who presides over Greater London). The City is a ceremonial county too, although instead of having its own Lord-Lieutenant, the City of London has a Commission, headed by the Lord Mayor, exercising this function.

Elections

The City has a unique electoral system, which follows very few of the usual forms and standards of democracy. Most of its voters are representatives of businesses and other bodies which occupy premises in the City. Its ancient wards also have very unequal numbers of voters.

The principal justification put forward for the non-resident vote is that approximately 450,000 non-residents constitute the city's day-time population and use most of its services, far outnumbering the City's residents, who are fewer than 10,000. Nevertheless, the system has long been the cause of controversy. The business vote was abolished in all other UK local authority elections in 1969 and was retained only in the City of London.

A private act of Parliament in 2002[2] reformed the voting system for electing Members to the Corporation of London and received the Royal Assent on 7 November 2002. Under the new system, the number of non-resident voters has doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. Previously disfranchised firms (and other organizations) are entitled to nominate voters, in addition to those already represented, and all such bodies are now required to choose their voters in a representative fashion.

Bodies employing fewer than ten people may appoint one voter, those employing ten to fifty people may appoint one voter for every five employees; those employing more than fifty people may appoint ten voters and one additional voter for each fifty employees beyond the first fifty.

The Act also removed other anomalies which had developed over time within the City's system, which had been unchanged since the 1850s.

Proposals for further change

The present system is widely seen as undemocratic, but adopting a more conventional system would place the 9,200 actual residents of the City of London in control of the local planning and other functions of a major financial capital which provides most of its services to hundreds of thousands of non-residents.

Proposals to annex the City of London to one of the neighbouring London boroughs, possibly the City of Westminster, have not widely been taken seriously. However, one proposal floated as a possible further reform is to allow those who work in the City to each have a direct individual vote, rather than businesses being represented by appointed voters.

In May 2006, the Lord Chancellor stated to Parliament that the government was minded to examine the issue of City of London elections at a later date, probably after 2009, in order to assess how the new system has bedded down.[3]

Other functions

The City has its own independent police force, the City of London Police. The rest of Greater London is policed by the Metropolitan Police Service, based at New Scotland Yard.

The City of London houses one hospital - St Bartholomew's Hospital. Founded in 1123 and fondly known as 'Barts', the hospital is situated at Smithfield, and is about to undergo a much publicised, controversial but long awaited regeneration.

The City is a major patron of the arts. It oversees the Barbican Centre and subsidises several important performing arts companies. It also takes an interest in open spaces outside its boundaries: see Corporation of London open spaces.

Education

The City of London has only one directly-maintained primary school [4]. The school is called the Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School [5] (ages 4 to 11). The school is the only state primary school in the City of London and is sited at Aldgate. It is a voluntary-aided Church of England school, maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.
School entrance

City of London residents may send their children to schools in neighbouring Local Education Authorities (LEAs).

For secondary schools children enrol in schools in neighbouring LEAs, such as Islington, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Southwark. Children who have permanent residence in the City are eligible for transfer to the City of London Academy, an independent secondary school sponsored by the City of London that is located in Southwark.

The City of London controls three other independent schools. Two are located in the City, City of London School (all male) and City of London School for Girls (all female); the third, City of London Freemen's School (co-educational), is located in Ashtead, Surrey. The City of London School for Girls has its own preparatory department for entrance at age seven.

The City is also home to The Maughan Library, which serves King's College London's Strand Campus and to the Cass Business School.

Recreation

A number of gardens are maintained by the City of London. These range through formal gardens such as the one found in Finsbury Circus (it contains a bowling lawn and bandstand) to churchyards such as one belonging to the church of St Olave Hart Street which may be entered from Seething Lane. [6].

Gardens etc. include

Security

The City's position as the United Kingdom's financial centre and a critical part of the country's economy, contributing about 2.5% of the UK's gross national product,[7] has resulted in it becoming a target for political violence. The Provisional IRA exploded several bombs in the City in the early 1990s.

The area is also spoken of as a possible target for al-Qaeda. For instance, when in May 2004 the BBC's Panorama programme examined the preparedness of Britain's emergency services for a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, they simulated a chemical explosion on Bishopsgate in the east of the City.

See also City of London's "Ring of Steel" for measures that have been taken against these threats.

References

External links

Dragon statue at Temple Bar monument, which marks the western most point of the City.
Official websites
General city information
Maps, photos, and other images
Discussion forum
  • SkyscraperCity.com Detailed discussions on the architecture, history, business and future development of the City. Includes many photographs.
Historical sources (full-text)
World class communications infrastructure
  • [3] The Cloud brings WiFi Mesh to London
  • [4] London switches on Europe’s most advanced City-wide WiFi network
  • [5] Square Mile gets Mesh Wifi
This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at City of London. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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This article uses material from the "City of London" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

City of London
Motto: Domine dirige nos
Latin: Lord, guide us
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region Greater London
Status sui generis, City and Ceremonial County
Admin HQ Guildhall
Government
 - Leadership see text
 - Mayor John Stuttard
 - MP Mark Field
 - London Assembly John Biggs
Area
 - Total 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
Population (2005 est)
 - Total 9,200
 Density 8,215.4/sq mi (3,172/km2)
 - Ethnicity 84.4% White
68.3% British
12.8% non-British
3.3% Irish
6.8% South Asian
2.6% African-Caribbean
2.0% Chinese
 - ONS code 00AA
  Population Ranked 353rd
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postal code EC
Website http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City of London is a district of London, capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It is in central London and is the oldest part of the city, dating back to Roman times.

The City of London has its own special mayor, the Lord Mayor, and other ancient features of government, dating back to medieval times.

It is here in the City of London where most of the United Kingdom's financial trade is done. It is a very small area, covering only a square mile, and has a very small population too (8,000). However, many people come to work here and during work times it can be very busy, with some 300,000 people.

Greater LondonLondonCity of London








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