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St Edmund the King, Lombard Street

Lombard Street is a street in the City of London.

It runs north-west from the corner of the Bank of England, where it meets a major junction including Poultry, King William Street, and Threadneedle Street, and runs south-east to Gracechurch Street.

It was a piece of land granted by King Edward I to goldsmiths from a part of Northern Italy known as Lombardy (larger than the modern Lombardy region).

It is the site of the church of St Mary Woolnoth, and number 54 was the long-standing headquarters of Barclays Bank before they moved to One Churchill Place in Canary Wharf. Until the 1980s most UK based banks had their head offices in Lombard Street and historically it has been the London home for money lenders.

The church of St Edmund the King and Martyr stands on the north side close to Gracechurch Street. Destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666, the church was rebuilt during the 1670’s by Sir Christopher Wren. It is no longer open for regular worship and now performs service as the London Centre for Spirituality. A garden at the rear of the church in nearby George Yard, although small, appears unfortunately not to be open to the public.

Lloyd's Coffee House, which eventually became Lloyd's of London, moved to Lombard Street near the General Post Office from Tower Street in 1691. Lloyd's is now located in Lime Street, where its new headquarters building was completed in 1986.

The closest tube stations are Bank and Monument.

Gregory De Rokesley, eight times Lord Mayor of the City of London between 1274–1281 and 1285, lived in a building on the site of what is now number 72 Lombard Street and Pope's Head Alley. Alexander Pope, poet, was born at number 32 Lombard Street in 1688.


In literature it is generally written as "Lombard-street". The spacing and the capitalisation of Street were not common until well into the second half of the 20th century. For example, Harold Pinter has a scene about people attempting to get to (or from) Bolsover-street[1], and Betjeman's poem Early Electric calls it Oxford-street (which earlier was Oxford Road, and is the source of the A4, Great Western Road).

'Lombard Street to a China orange' is an old-fashioned idiom meaning very heavily weighted odds; Lombard-street signifying wealth and a China orange poverty.[2][3]

Lombard Street, A Description of the Money Market is a book by the economics philosopher Walter Bagehot, published in 1873. Bagehot was one of the first writers to describe and explain the world of international and corporate finance, banking, and money in understandable language. The book was in part a reaction to the 1866 collapse of Overend, Gurney and Company, located at 65 Lombard Street, from which the title draws its name.


  1. ^ "Traffic", London, 62, Granta Books  
  2. ^ "Opening a Pandora's Box: Proper Names in English Phraseology", Patrizia Pierini (36), April 2008,, retrieved 2009-054-04  
  3. ^ poputonian (nickname) (11 September 2006), Hullabaloo,, retrieved 2009-05-04   This is not of itself notable; but added as proof that it is still used in general idiom.

See also

Coordinates: 51°30′43″N 0°05′13″W / 51.512°N 0.087°W / 51.512; -0.087



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