The City of London is a city and county that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the agglomeration has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. Administratively, it forms one of the 33 local authority districts of Greater London; however, the City of London is not a London borough, a status reserved for the other 32 districts (including London's only other city, the City of Westminster). It is also a separate county of England, being an enclave surrounded by Greater London. It is the smallest county in the United Kingdom.
The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City (differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising City) and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (716.80 acres; 2.90 km2) in area. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City. The name London is now ordinarily used for a far wider area than just the City. London most often denotes the sprawling London metropolis, or the 32 London boroughs, in addition to the City of London itself. This wider usage of London is documented as far back as 1888, when the County of London was created.
The local authority for the City, namely the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It is also unusual in having responsibilities and ownerships beyond its boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor, as of November 2018, is Peter Estlin.
The City is a major business and financial centre. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and it continues to be a major meeting point for businesses. London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, published in 2008. The insurance industry is focused around the eastern side of the City, around Lloyd's building. A secondary financial district exists outside the City, at Canary Wharf, 2.5 miles (4 km) to the east.
The City has a resident population of 9,401 (ONS estimate, mid-2016) but over 300,000 people commute to and work there. About three quarters of the jobs in the City of London are in the financial, professional, and associated business services sectors. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City, especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple—fall within the City of London boundary.
City of London
Seen from the south bank of the Thames in September 2015
the Square Mile, the City
Location within the London region
|Status||Sui generis; city and county|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Roman settlement||c. 47 AD (Londinium)|
|Wessex resettlement||886 AD (Lundenburh)|
|• Body||City of London Corporation|
|• Lord Mayor||Peter Estlin|
|• Town Clerk||John Barradell|
|• Admin HQ||Guildhall|
|• London Assembly||Unmesh Desai (Lab; City and East)|
|• UK Parliament||Mark Field (Con; Cities of London and Westminster)|
|• City||2.90 km2 (1.12 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||21 m (69 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
(Mid 2016 est.)
|• City||9,401 (67th)|
|• Metro||14,040,163 (1st)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01:00 (BST)|
|Transport for London zones||Fare zone 1; congestion charge zone|
|Police||City of London Police|
|Patron saint||St. Paul|
Known as "Londinium", the Roman legions established a settlement on the current site of the City of London around 43 AD. Its bridge over the River Thames turned the city into a road nexus and major port, serving as a major commercial centre in Roman Britain until its abandonment during the 5th century. Archaeologist Leslie Wallace notes that, because extensive archaeological excavation has not revealed any signs of a significant pre-Roman presence, "arguments for a purely Roman foundation of London are now common and uncontroversial."
At its height, the Roman city had a population of approximately 45,000–60,000 inhabitants. Londinium was an ethnically diverse city, with inhabitants from across the Roman Empire, including natives of Britannia, continental Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Romans built the London Wall some time between 190 and 225 AD. The boundaries of the Roman city were similar to those of the City of London today, though the City extends further west than Londonium's Ludgate, and the Thames was undredged and thus wider than it is today, with Londonium's shoreline slightly north of the City's present shoreline. The Romans built a bridge across the river, as early as 50 AD, near to today's London Bridge.
By the time the London Wall was constructed, the City's fortunes were in decline, and it faced problems of plague and fire. The Roman Empire entered a long period of instability and decline, including the Carausian Revolt in Britain. In the 3rd and 4th 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. The centre of trade and population moved away from the walled Londinium to Lundenwic ("London market"), a settlement to the west, roughly in the modern day Strand/Aldwych/Covent Garden area.
During the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, the London area came in turn under the Kingdoms of Essex, Mercia, and later Wessex, though from the mid 8th century it was frequently under the control or threat of the Vikings.
Bede records that in 604 AD St Augustine consecrated Mellitus as the first bishop to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Saxons and their king, Sæberht. Sæberht's uncle and overlord, Æthelberht, king of Kent, built a church dedicated to St Paul in London, as the seat of the new bishop. It is assumed, although unproven, that this first Anglo-Saxon cathedral stood on the same site as the later medieval and the present cathedrals.
Alfred the Great, King of Wessex and arguably the first king of the "English", 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 Anglo-Saxon settlement was known as Lundenburh ("London Fort", a borough). The historian Asser said that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly ... and made it habitable once more." 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.
Alfred's taking of London and the rebuilding of the old Roman city was a turning point in history, not only as the permanent establishment of the City of London, but also as part of a unifying moment in early England, with Wessex becoming the dominant English kingdom and the repelling (to some degree) of the Viking occupation and raids. While London, and indeed England, were afterwards subjected to further periods of Viking and Danish raids and occupation, the establishment of the City of London and the Kingdom of England prevailed.
In the 10th century, Athelstan permitted eight mints to be established, compared with six in his capital, Winchester, indicating the wealth of the city. London Bridge, which had fallen into ruin following the Roman evacuation and abandonment of Londinium, was rebuilt by the Saxons, but was periodically destroyed by Viking raids and storms.
As the focus of trade and population was moved back to within the old Roman walls, the older Saxon settlement of Lundenwic was largely abandoned and gained the name of Ealdwic (the "old settlement"). The name survives today as Aldwych (the "old market-place"), a name of a street and an area of the City of Westminster between Westminster and the City of London.
Following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror marched on London (reaching as far as Southwark), but 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 the Ætheling, Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamsted. William granted the citizens of London a charter in 1075; the City was one of a few examples of the English retaining some authority. The City was not covered by the Domesday Book.
William built three castles nearby, to keep Londoners subdued:
About 1130, Henry I granted a sheriff to the people of London, along with control of the county of Middlesex: this meant that the two entities were regarded as one administratively (not that the county was a dependency of the City) until the Local Government Act 1888. 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.
From medieval times, the City has been composed of 25 ancient wards, each headed by an Alderman, who chairs Wardmotes, which still take place at least annually. A Folkmoot, for the whole of the City held at the outdoor cross of St Paul's Cathedral, was formerly also held. Many of the medieval offices and traditions continue to the present day, demonstrating the unique nature of the City and its Corporation.
In 1381, the Peasants' Revolt affected London. The rebels took the City and the Tower of London, but the rebellion ended after its leader, Wat Tyler, was killed during a confrontation that included Lord Mayor William Walworth.
The City was burnt severely on a number of occasions, the worst being in 1123 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.
By the late 16th century, London increasingly became a major centre for banking, international trade and commerce. The Royal Exchange was founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham as a centre of commerce for London's merchants, and gained Royal patronage in 1571. Although no longer used for its original purpose, its location at the corner of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street continues to be the geographical centre of the City's core of banking and financial services, with the Bank of England moving to its present site in 1734, opposite the Royal Exchange on Threadneedle Street. Immediately to the south of Cornhill, Lombard Street was the location from 1691 of Lloyd's Coffee House, which became the world-leading insurance market. London's insurance sector continues to be based in the area, particularly in Lime Street.
In 1708, Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, was completed on his birthday. The first service had been held on 2 December 1697, more than 10 years earlier. It 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 cathedrals in Britain and a fine example of Baroque architecture.
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.
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.
An attempt was made in 1894 with the Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London to end the distinction between the City and the surrounding County of London, but a change of government at Westminster meant the option was not taken up. The City as a distinct polity survived despite its position within the London conurbation and numerous local government reforms. Supporting this status, the City was a special parliamentary borough that elected four members to the unreformed House of Commons, who were retained after the Reform Act 1832; reduced to two under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885; and ceased to be a separate constituency under the Representation of the People Act 1948. Since then the City is a minority (in terms of population and area) of the Cities of London and Westminster.
The City's population fell rapidly in the 19th century and through most of the 20th century, as people moved outwards in all directions to London's vast suburbs, and many residential buildings were demolished to make way for office blocks. Like many areas of London and other British cities, the City fell victim to large scale and highly destructive aerial bombing during World War II, especially in the Blitz. Whilst St Paul's Cathedral survived the onslaught, large swathes of the area did not and the particularly heavy raids of late December 1940 led to a firestorm called the Second Great Fire of London.
There was a major rebuilding programme in the decades following the war, in some parts (such as at the Barbican) dramatically altering the urban landscape. But the destruction of the older historic fabric allowed the construction of modern and larger-scale developments, 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 places, although there is a more recent trend of reversing some of the post-war modernist changes made, such as at Paternoster Square.
The City suffered terrorist attacks including the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing (IRA) and the 7 July 2005 London bombings (Islamist). In response to the 1993 bombing, a system of road barriers, checkpoints and surveillance cameras referred to as the "ring of steel" has been maintained to control entry points to the City.
The 1970s saw the construction of tall office buildings including the 600-foot (183 m), 47-storey Natwest Tower, the first skyscraper in the UK. Office space development has intensified especially in the central, northern and eastern parts, with skyscrapers including 30 St. Mary Axe ("the Gherkin"'), Leadenhall Building ("the Cheesegrater"), 20 Fenchurch Street ("the Walkie-Talkie"), the Broadgate Tower and the Heron Tower, the tallest in the City. Another skyscraper, 22 Bishopsgate, is under construction.
The main residential section of the City today is the Barbican Estate, constructed between 1965 and 1976. The Museum of London is based there, as are a number of other services provided by the Corporation.
For a history of the etymology behind the City's streets see: Street names of the City of London
The City 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 recent Mayor of London), which is responsible for a number of functions and has interests in land beyond the City's boundaries. Unlike other English local authorities, the Corporation has two council bodies: the (now largely ceremonial) Court of Aldermen and the Court of Common Council. The Court of Aldermen represents the wards, with each ward (irrespective of size) returning one Alderman. The chief executive of the Corporation holds the ancient office of Town Clerk of London.
The City is a ceremonial county which has a Commission of Lieutenancy headed by the Lord Mayor instead of a Lord-Lieutenant and has two Sheriffs instead of a High Sheriff (see list of Sheriffs of London), quasi-judicial offices appointed by the Livery Companies, an ancient political system based on the representation and protection of trades (Guilds). Senior members of the Livery Companies are known as Liverymen and form the Common Hall, which chooses the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs and certain other officers.
The City is made up of 25 wards. They are survivors of the medieval government system that allowed a very local area to exist as a self-governing unit within the wider city. They can be described as electoral/political divisions; ceremonial, geographic and administrative entities; sub-divisions of the City. Each ward has an Alderman, who until the mid-1960s held office for life but since put themselves up for re-election at least every 6 years. Wards continue to have a Beadle, an ancient position which is now largely ceremonial whose main remaining function is the running of an annual Wardmote of electors, representatives and officials. At the Wardmote the ward's Alderman appoints at least one Deputy for the year ahead. Each ward also has a Ward Club, which is similar to a residents' association.
The wards are ancient and their number has changed three times since time immemorial
Following boundary changes in 1994, and later reform of the business vote in the City, there was a major boundary and electoral representation revision of the wards in 2003, and they were reviewed again in 2010 for change in 2013, though not to such a dramatic extent. The review was conducted by senior officers of the Corporation and senior judges of the Old Bailey; the wards are reviewed by this process to avoid malapportionment. The procedure of review is unique in the United Kingdom as it is not conducted by the Electoral Commission or a local government boundary commission every 8 to 12 years, which is the case for all other wards in Great Britain. Particular churches, livery company halls and other historic buildings and structures are associated with a ward, such as St Paul's Cathedral with Castle Baynard, and London Bridge with Bridge; boundary changes in 2003 removed some of these historic connections.
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 Freemen of the City of London are eligible to stand. The number of Commoners a ward sends to the Common Council varies from two to ten, depending on the number of electors in each ward. Since the 2003 review it has been agreed that the four more residential wards: Portsoken, Queenhithe, Aldersgate and Cripplegate together elect 20 of the 100 Commoners, whereas the business-dominated remainder elect the remaining 80 Commoners. 2003 and 2013 boundary changes have increased the residential emphasis of the mentioned four wards.
Census data provides eight nominal rather than 25 real wards, all of varying size and population. Being subject to renaming and definition at any time, these census 'wards' are notable in that four of the eight wards accounted for 67% of the 'square mile' and held 86% of the population, and these were in fact similar to and named after four City of London wards:
|Census ward||% of the City of London||Residents||% of built-upon land: commercial||% residential|
|Cripplegate [east half of Barbican neighbourhood]||10.0%||2,782||79%||21%|
|Aldersgate [west half of Barbican neighbourhood]||4.5%||1,465||81%||19%|
|Farringdon Without [and much of Castle Baynard]||22.1%||1,099||90%||10%|
|Portsoken [contains Aldgate Underground station]||6.6%||985||86%||14%|
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. In elections, both the businesses based in the City and the residents of the City vote.
The City of London Corporation was not reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, because it had a more extensive electoral franchise than any other borough or city; in fact, it widened this further with its own equivalent legislation allowing one to become a freeman without being a liveryman. In 1801, the City had a population of about 130,000, but increasing development of the City as a central business district led to this falling to below 5,000 after the Second World War. It has risen slightly to around 9,000 since, largely due to the development of the Barbican Estate. In 2009, the business vote was about 24,000, greatly exceeding residential voters. As the City of London Corporation has not been affected by other municipal legislation over the period of time since then, its electoral practice has become increasingly anomalous. Uniquely for city or borough elections, its elections remain independent-dominated.
The business or "non-residential vote" was abolished in other UK local council elections by the Representation of the People Act 1969, but was preserved in the City of London. The principal reason given by successive UK governments for retaining this mechanism for giving businesses representation, is that the City is "primarily a place for doing business". About 330,000 non-residents constitute the day-time population and use most of its services, far outnumbering residents, who number around 7,000 (2011). By contrast, opponents of the retention of the business vote argue that it is a cause of institutional inertia.
The City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002, a private Act of Parliament, reformed the voting system and greatly increased the business franchise, allowing many more businesses to be represented. Under the new system, the number of non-resident voters has doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. Previously disenfranchised firms (and other organisations) 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 one voter for every five employees; those employing more than 50 people ten voters and one additional voter for each 50 employees beyond the first 50. The Act also removed other anomalies which had been unchanged since the 1850s.
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, historically not governed by the City of London Corporation (and are today regarded as local authorities for most purposes) and equally outside the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. They are within the boundaries and liberties of the City, but can be thought of as independent enclaves. They are both part of Farringdon Without.
Within the City, the Corporation owns and runs both Smithfield Market and Leadenhall Market. It owns land beyond its boundaries, including open spaces (parks, forests and commons) in and around Greater London, including most of Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath. The Honourable The Irish Society, a body closely linked with the Corporation, also owns many public spaces in Northern Ireland. The Corporation owns Old Spitalfields Market and Billingsgate Fish Market, in the neighbouring London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It owns and helps fund the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court for England and Wales, as a gift to the nation, having begun as the City and Middlesex Sessions.
The City has its own independent police force, the City of London Police—the Common Council (the main body of 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 has one hospital, St Bartholomew's Hospital, also known as 'Barts'. Founded in 1123, it is located at Smithfield, and is undergoing a long-awaited regeneration after doubts as to its continuing use during the 1990s.
The City is the third largest UK patron of the arts. It oversees the Barbican Centre and subsidises several important performing arts companies.
The London Port Health Authority, which is the responsibility of the Corporation, is responsible for all port health functions on the tidal part of the Thames, including various seaports and London City Airport. The Corporation oversees the running of the Bridge House Trust, which maintains 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.
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.
Most of the wall has disappeared, but 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 or streams", today underground as a storm drain.
The boundary of the City was unchanged until minor boundary changes on 1 April 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 where it had been rendered obsolete by changes in the urban landscape. In this process the City also lost small parcels of land, though there was an overall net gain (the City grew from 1.05 to 1.12 square miles). Most notably, the changes placed the (then recently developed) Broadgate estate entirely in the City.
Southwark, to the south of the City on the other side of the Thames, was 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 had in practice disappeared by the mid-Victorian period as various aspects of metropolitan government were extended into the neighbouring areas. Today it is part of the London Borough of Southwark. The Tower of London has always been outside the City and comes under the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The Corporation of the City of London has a full achievement of armorial bearings consisting of a shield on which the arms are displayed, a crest displayed on a helm above the shield, supporters on either side and a motto displayed on a scroll beneath the arms.
The coat of arms is "anciently recorded" at the College of Arms. The arms consist of a silver shield bearing a red cross with a red upright sword in the first quarter. They combine the emblems of the patron saints of England and London: the Cross of St George with the symbol of the martyrdom of Saint Paul. The sword is often erroneously supposed to commemorate the killing of Peasants' Revolt leader Wat Tyler by Lord Mayor of London William Walworth. However the arms were in use some months before Tyler's death, and the tradition that Walworth's dagger is depicted may date from the late 17th century.
The Latin motto of the City is "Domine dirige nos", which translates as "Lord, direct (guide) us". It appears to have been adopted in the 17th century, as the earliest record of it is in 1633.
The City is England's smallest ceremonial county by area and population, and the fourth most densely populated. Of the 326 English districts, it is the second smallest by population, after the Isles of Scilly, and the smallest by area. It is also the smallest English city by population (and in Britain, only two cities in Wales are smaller), and the smallest in the UK by area.
The elevation of the City ranges from sea level at the Thames to 21.6 metres (71 ft) at the junction of High Holborn and Chancery Lane. Two small but notable hills are within the historic core, Ludgate Hill to the west and Cornhill to the east. Between them ran the Walbrook, one of the many "lost" rivers or streams of London (another is the Fleet).
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, since 1994 embracing all of the Corporation's Golden Lane Estate. Here, at Baltic Street West, is the most northerly extent. The boundary includes all of the Barbican Estate and continues east along Ropemaker Street and its continuation 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, and then reaches the river. It then runs up the centre of the Thames, with the exception that Blackfriars Bridge falls within the City; the City controls London Bridge (as part of Bridge ward) but only half of the river underneath it, a feature which is unique in British local administration.
The boundaries are marked by black bollards bearing the City's emblem, and by dragon boundary marks at major entrances, such as Holborn. A more substantial monument marks the boundary at Temple Bar on Fleet Street.
In some places the financial district extends slightly beyond the boundaries, 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, extending into Hackney and Tower Hamlets, has increasingly been a focus for large office developments due to the availability of large sites compared to within 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 them 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 St Olave Hart Street, to water features and artwork in courtyards and pedestrianised lanes.
There are a number of private gardens and open spaces, often within courtyards of the larger commercial developments. Two of the largest are those of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, in the far southwest.
The Thames and its riverside walks are increasingly being valued as open space and in recent years efforts have been made to increase the ability for pedestrians to access and walk along the river.
The City has an oceanic climate (Köppen "Cfb") modified by the Urban Heat Island in the centre of London. This generally causes higher night-time minima than outlying areas. For example, the August mean minimum of 14.7 °C (58.5 °F) compares to a figure of 13.3 °C (55.9 °F) for Greenwich and Heathrow whereas is 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) at Wisley in the middle of several square miles of Metropolitan Green Belt. All figures refer to the observation period 1971–2000.
Accordingly, the weather station holds the record for the UK's warmest overnight minimum temperature, 24.0 °C (75.2 °F), recorded on 4 August 1990. The maximum is 37.6 °C (99.7 °F), set on 10 August 2003. The absolute minimum for the weather station is a mere −8.2 °C (17.2 °F), compared to readings around −15.0 °C (5.0 °F) towards the edges of London. Unusually, this temperature was during a windy and snowy cold spell (mid-January 1987), rather than a cold clear night—cold air drainage is arrested due to the vast urban area surrounding the city.
The station holds the record for the highest British mean monthly temperature, 24.5 °C (76.1 °F) (mean maximum 29.2 °C (84.6 °F), mean minimum 19.7 °C (67.5 °F) during July 2006). However, in terms of daytime maximum temperatures, Cambridge NIAB and Botanical Gardens with a mean maximum of 29.1 °C (84.4 °F), and Heathrow with 29.0 °C (84.2 °F) all exceeded this.
The City is a police area and has its own police force, the City of London Police, separate from the Metropolitan Police Service covering the remainder of Greater London. The City Police have three police stations, at Snow Hill, Wood Street and Bishopsgate, and an administrative headquarters at Guildhall Yard East. The force comprises 735 police officers including 273 detectives. It is the smallest territorial police force in England and Wales, in both geographic area and the number of police officers.
Where the majority of British police forces have silver-coloured badges, those of the City of London Police are black and gold featuring the City crest. The force has unique red and white chequered cap bands and red and white striped duty arm bands on the sleeve of the tunics of constables and sergeants (red and white being the colours of the City), which in most other British police forces are black and white. City police sergeants and constables wear crested helmets whilst on foot patrol. These helmets do not feature either St Edward's Crown or the Brunswick Star, which are 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, has resulted in it becoming a target for political violence. The Provisional IRA exploded several bombs 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.
The City has fire risks in many historic buildings, including St Paul's Cathedral, Old Bailey, Mansion House, Smithfield Market, the Guildhall, and also in numerous high-rise buildings. There is one London Fire Brigade station in the City, at Dowgate, with one pumping appliance. The City relies upon stations in the surrounding London boroughs to support it at some incidents. 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. There were 1,814 incidents attended in the City in 2006/2007—the lowest in Greater London. No-one died in an event arising from a fire in the four years prior to 2007.
|Sources: Office for National Statistics|
The Office for National Statistics recorded the population in 2011 as 7,375; slightly higher than in the last census, 2001, and estimates the population as at mid-2016 to be 9,401. At the 2001 census the ethnic composition was 84.6% White, 6.8% South Asian, 2.6% Black, 2.3% Mixed, 2.0% Chinese and 1.7% were listed as "other". To the right is a table showing the change in population since 1801, based on decadal censuses. The first half of the 19th century shows a population of between 120,000–140,000, decreasing dramatically from 1851 to 1991, with a small increase between 1991 and 2001. The only notable boundary change since the first census in 1801 occurred in 1994.
The City's full-time working residents have much higher gross weekly pay than in London and Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland): £773.30 compared to £598.60 and £491.00 respectively. There is a large inequality of income between genders (£1,085.90 in men compared to £653.50 in women), though this can be explained by job type and length of employment respectively. The 2001 Census showed the City as a unique district amongst 376 districts surveyed in England and Wales. The City had the highest proportional population increase, one-person households, people with qualifications at degree level or higher and the highest indications of overcrowding. It recorded the lowest proportion of households with cars or vans, people who travel to work by car, married couple households and the lowest average household size: just 1.58 people. It also ranked highest within the Greater London area for the percentage of people with no religion and people who are employed.
The City vies with New York City's Downtown Manhattan as the financial capital of the world; many banking and insurance institutions have their headquarters there. The London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), Lloyd's of London (insurance) and the Bank of England are all based in the City. Over 500 banks have offices in the City, and the City is an established leader in trading in Eurobonds, foreign exchange, energy futures and global insurance. The Alternative Investment Market, a market for trades in equities of smaller firms, is a recent development. In 2009, the City of London accounted for 2.4% of UK GDP.
London is the world's greatest foreign exchange market, with much of the trade conducted in the City of London. Of the $3.98 trillion daily global turnover, as measured in 2009, trading in London accounted for around $1.85 trillion, or 46.7% of the total. The pound sterling, the currency of the United Kingdom, is globally the fourth most traded currency and the third most held reserve currency.
Since 1991 Canary Wharf, a few miles east of the City in Tower Hamlets, has become another centre for London's financial services industry which houses many banks and other institutions formerly located in the Square Mile. Although growth has continued in both locations, and there have been relocations in both directions, the Corporation has come to realise that its planning policies may have been causing financial firms to choose Canary Wharf as a location.
Many major global companies have their headquarters in the City, including Aviva, BT Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Old Mutual, Prudential, Schroders, Standard Chartered, and Unilever.
A number of the world's largest law firms are headquartered in the City, including four of the "Magic Circle" law firms (Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter & May), as well as other firms such as DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells.
Whilst the financial sector, and related businesses and institutions, continue to dominate, the economy is not limited to that sector. The legal profession has a strong presence, especially in the west and north (i.e., towards the Inns of Court). Retail businesses were once important, but have gradually moved to the West End of London, though it is now Corporation policy to encourage retailing in some locations, for example at Cheapside near St Paul's. The City has a number of visitor attractions, mainly based on its historic heritage as well as the Barbican Centre and adjacent Museum of London, though tourism is not at present a major contributor to the City's economy or character. The City has many pubs, bars and restaurants, and the "night-time" economy does feature in the Bishopsgate area, towards Shoreditch. The meat market at Smithfield, wholly within the City, continues to be one of London's main markets (the only one remaining in central London) and the country's largest meat market. In the east is Leadenhall Market, a fresh food market that is also a visitor attraction.
The trend for purely office development is beginning to reverse as the Corporation encourages residential use, albeit with development occurring when it arises on windfall sites. The City has a target of 90 additional dwellings per year. 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. Recent residential developments include "the Heron", a high-rise residential building on the Milton Court site adjacent to the Barbican, and the Heron Plaza development on Bishopsgate is also expected to include residential parts.
Since the 1990s, the City has diversified away from near exclusive office use in other ways. For example, several hotels and the first department store opened in the 2000s. A shopping centre was more recently opened at One New Change, Cheapside (near St Paul's Cathedral) in October 2010, which is open seven days a week. However, large sections remain quiet at weekends, especially in the eastern section, and it is quite common to find shops, pubs and cafes closed on these days.
Fire bombing and post-World War II redevelopment have meant that the City, despite its history, has relatively few intact notable historic structures. They include the Monument to the Great Fire of London ("the Monument"), St Paul's Cathedral, the Guildhall, the Royal Exchange, Dr. Johnson's House, Mansion House and a great many churches, many designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who also designed St Paul's. 2 King's Bench Walk and Prince Henry's Room are notable historic survivors of heavy bombing of the Temple area, which has largely been rebuilt to its historic form. Another example of a bomb-damaged place having been restored is Staple Inn on Holborn. A few small sections of the Roman London Wall exist, for example near the Tower of London and in the Barbican area. Among the twentieth-century listed buildings are Bracken House, the first post World War II buildings in the country to be given statutory protection, and the whole of the Barbican and Golden Lane Estate.
The Tower of London is not in the City, but is a notable visitor attraction which brings tourists to the southeast of the City. Other landmark buildings with historical significance include the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, the Custom House, Smithfield Market, Leadenhall Market and St Bartholomew's Hospital. Noteworthy contemporary buildings include a number of modern high-rise buildings (see section below) as well as the Lloyd's building.
A growing number of tall buildings and skyscrapers are principally used by the financial sector. Almost all are situated in the eastern side around Bishopsgate, Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street, in the financial core of the City. In the north there is a smaller cluster comprising the Barbican Estate's three tall residential towers and the commercial CityPoint tower. In 2007, the 100 m (328 ft) tall Drapers' Gardens building was demolished and replaced by a shorter tower.
The City's buildings of more than 100 m (328 ft) in height are:
|Rank||Name||Completed||Architect||Use||Height to roof||Floors||Location|
|1||Leadenhall Building||2014||Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners||Office||225||737||48||122 Leadenhall Street|
|2||Heron Tower||2010||Kohn Pedersen Fox||Office||202||663||46||110 Bishopsgate|
|3||Tower 42||1980||R Siefert & Partners||Office||183||600||47||25 Old Broad Street|
|4||30 St Mary Axe||2003||Foster and Partners||Office||180||590||40||30 St Mary Axe|
|5||Broadgate Tower||2008||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill||Office||164||538||35||201 Bishopsgate|
|6||20 Fenchurch Street||2014||Rafael Viñoly||Office||160||525||37||20 Fenchurch Street|
|7||CityPoint||1967||F. Milton Cashmore and H. N. W. Grosvenor||Office||127||417||36||1 Ropemaker Street|
|8||Willis Building||2007||Foster and Partners||Office||125||410||26||51 Lime Street|
|=9||Cromwell Tower||1973||Chamberlin, Powell and Bon||Residential||123||404||42||Barbican Estate|
|=9||Lauderdale Tower||1974||Chamberlin, Powell and Bon||Residential||123||404||42||Barbican Estate|
|=9||Shakespeare Tower||1976||Chamberlin, Powell and Bon||Residential||123||404||42||Barbican Estate|
|12||St. Helen's||1969||GMW Architects||Office||118||387||28||1 Undershaft|
|13||The Heron||2013||David Walker Architects||Residential||112||367||35||Milton Court|
|14||St Paul's Cathedral||1710||Sir Christopher Wren||Cathedral||111||365||n/a||Ludgate Hill|
|15||99 Bishopsgate||1976||GMW Architects||Office||104||340||26||99 Bishopsgate|
|16||Stock Exchange Tower||1970||Richard Llewelyn-Davies, Baron Llewelyn-Davies, Weeks, Forestier-Walker and Bar||Office||100||328||27||125 Old Broad Street|
The timeline of the tallest building in the City is as follows:
||Years as tallest
||Height to roof (m)
||Height to roof (ft)
|St Paul's Cathedral||1710–1967||111||365||n/a|
|Monument to the Great Fire of London||1677–1683||62||202||n/a|
|Old St Paul's Cathedral||1310–1677||150||493||n/a|
Three longer-distance rail termini are in the City: Liverpool Street (services primarily to Essex and East Anglia including Southend Airport), Fenchurch Street (services to East London and South Essex) and Cannon Street (services to the South).
The City is in Travelcard Zone 1.
The national A1, A10 A3, A4, and A40 road routes begin in the City. The City is in the London congestion charge zone, with the small exception on the eastern boundary of the sections of the A1210/A1211 that are part of the inner ring road. The following bridges, listed west to east (downstream), cross the River Thames: Blackfriars Bridge, Blackfriars Railway Bridge, Millennium Bridge (footbridge), Southwark Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge and London Bridge; Tower Bridge is not in the City. The City, like most of central London, is well served by buses, including night buses. Two bus stations are in the City, at Aldgate on the eastern boundary with Tower Hamlets, and at Liverpool Street by the railway station. There are approximately 28 Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations in the City. A number of existing and proposed cycle routes criss-cross the City, as part of the London Cycle Network.
One London River Services pier is on the Thames in the City, Blackfriars Millennium Pier, though the Tower Millennium Pier lies adjacent to the boundary near the Tower of London. One of the Port of London's 25 safeguarded wharves, Walbrook Wharf, is adjacent to Cannon Street station, and is used by the Corporation to transfer waste via the river. Swan Lane Pier, just upstream of London Bridge, is proposed to be replaced and upgraded for regular passenger services, planned to take place in 2012–2015. Before then, Tower Pier is to be extended.
There is a public riverside walk along the river bank, opened in stages over recent years. The only section not running along the river is a short stretch at Queenhithe. The walk along Walbrook Wharf is closed to pedestrians when waste is being transferred onto barges.
According to a survey conducted in March 2011, the methods by which employed residents 16–74 get to work varied widely: 48.4% go on foot; 19.5% via light rail, (i.e. the Underground, DLR, etc.); 9.2% work mainly from home; 5.8% take the train; 5.6% travel by bus, minibus, or coach; and 5.3% go by bicycle; with just 3.4% commuting by car or van, as driver or passenger.
The City has only one directly maintained primary school, Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School at Aldgate (ages 4 to 11). It is a Voluntary-Aided (VA) Church of England school, maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.
The City controls three independent schools, City of London School (a boys' school) and City of London School for Girls in the City, and the City of London Freemen's School (co-educational day and boarding) in Ashtead, Surrey. The City of London School for Girls has its own preparatory department for entrance at age seven. It is the principal sponsor of The City Academy, Hackney, City of London Academy Islington, and City of London Academy, Southwark.
The City is home to the Cass Business School, The London Institute of Banking & Finance, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and parts of three of the universities in London: the Maughan Library of King's College London on Chancery Lane, the business school of London Metropolitan University, and a campus of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. The College of Law has its London campus in Moorgate. Part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is on the Barts hospital site at West Smithfield.
Libraries operated by the Corporation include three lending libraries; Barbican Library, Shoe Lane Library and Artizan Street Library and Community Centre. Membership is open to all – with one official proof of address required to join.
Guildhall Library, and City Business Library are also public reference libraries, specialising in the history of London and business reference resources.
Author and journalist Nicholas Shaxson argued that, in return for the financial institutions based in the City raising loans and finance for the British government, the City "has extracted privileges and freedoms from rules and laws to which the rest of Britain must submit". He further claims that the assistance provided to the institutions based within it, many of which help their rich clients with offshore tax arrangements, mean that the City is "a tax haven in its own right".
The documentary The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire asserts the tax haven status that the City provides.
Of course until relatively recent times the name London referred only to the City of London with even Westminster remaining a separate entity. But when the County of London was created in 1888, the name often came to be rather loosely used for this much larger area, which was also sometimes referred to as Greater London from about this date. However, in 1965 Greater London was newly defined as a much enlarged area.
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the Barbican Estate of the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe. The Centre hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory. The Barbican Centre is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.
The London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are based in the Centre's Concert Hall. In 2013, it once again became the London-based venue of the Royal Shakespeare Company following the company's departure in 2001.The Barbican Centre is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, the third-largest arts funder in the United Kingdom. It was built as The City's gift to the nation at a cost of £161 million (equivalent to £480 million in 2014) and was officially opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II on 3 March 1982. The Barbican Centre is also known for its brutalist architecture.Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England, are areas of England to which a Lord Lieutenant is appointed. Legally the areas in England, as well as in Wales and Scotland, are defined by the Lieutenancies Act 1997 as counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies in Great Britain, in contrast to the areas used for local government. They are also informally known as geographic counties, as often representing more permanent features of English geography, and to distinguish them from counties of England which have a present-day administrative function.City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body of the City of London, the historic centre of London and the location of much of the United Kingdom's financial sector.
In 2006 the name was changed from Corporation of London to avoid confusion with the wider London local government, the Greater London Authority.Both businesses and residents of the City, or "Square Mile", are entitled to vote in elections, and in addition to its functions as the local authority – analogous to those undertaken by the 32 boroughs that administer the rest of the Greater London region – it takes responsibility for supporting the financial services industry and representing its interests. The corporation's structure includes the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, the Court of Common Council, and the Freemen and Livery of the City.
The rights and privileges of the City of London are enshrined in the Magna Carta’s clause 9 - as enumerated in 1297 - and, along with clauses 1 and 29, it remains in statute.City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, including the Middle and Inner temples. The force responsible for law enforcement within the remainder of the London region, outside the City, is the much larger Metropolitan Police Service, a separate organisation. The City of London, which is now primarily a financial business district with a small resident population but a large commuting workforce, is the historic core of London, and has an administrative history distinct from that of the rest of the metropolis, of which its separate police force is one manifestation.
The City of London area has a resident population of around 9,000. However, there is also a daily influx of approximately 400,000 commuters into the City, along with thousands of tourists.The police authority is the Common Council of the City, and unlike other territorial forces in England and Wales there is not a police and crime commissioner replacing that police authority by way of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, but like a police and crime commissioner, the Common Council is elected.
As of September 2017 the force had a workforce of 1,178, including 676 full-time police officers, 75 special constables, 9 police community support officers, 10 designated officers and 408 support staff. The headquarters is located at Wood Street and there are two additional stations at Snow Hill, and Bishopsgate. The City of London Police is the smallest territorial police force in England and Wales, both in terms of geographic area and head-count. The Commissioner since January 2016 is Ian Dyson, QPM, who was formerly the force's Assistant Commissioner.Freedom of the City
The Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of the community, or upon a visiting celebrity or dignitary. Arising from the medieval practice of granting respected citizens freedom from serfdom, the tradition still lives on in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand – although today the title of "freeman" confers no special privileges. The Freedom of the City can also be granted by municipal authorities to military units which have earned the city's trust; in this context, it is sometimes called the Freedom of Entry. This allows them the freedom to parade through the city, and is an affirmation of the bond between the regiment and the citizenry.
The honour was sometimes accompanied by a "freedom box", a small gold box inscribed to record the occasion; these are not usual today. In some countries, such as the United States, esteemed residents and visitors may instead be presented with the Key to the City, a similarly symbolic honour. Other US cities award Honorary Citizenship, with just a certificate.Greater London
Greater London is a ceremonial county of England that is located within the London region. This region forms the administrative boundaries of London and is organised into 33 local government districts—the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, which is located within the region but is separate from the county. The Greater London Authority, based in Southwark, is responsible for strategic local government across the region and consists of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The City of London Corporation is the principal local authority for the City of London, with a similar role to that of the 32 London borough councils.
Administratively, Greater London was first established as a sui generis council area under the Greater London Council between 1963 and 1986. The county of Greater London was created on 1 April 1965 through the London Government Act 1963. The area was re-established as a region in 1994. The Greater London Authority was formed in 2000.The region covers 1,572 km2 (607 sq mi) and had a population of 8,174,000 at the 2011 census. The Greater London Built-up Area is used in some national statistics and is a measure of the continuous urban area and includes areas outside the administrative region.Guildhall, London
Guildhall is a Grade I-listed building in the City of London, England. It is situated off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. The building has been used as a town hall for several hundred years, and is still the ceremonial and administrative centre of the City of London and its Corporation. It should not be confused with London's City Hall, the administrative centre for Greater London. The term "Guildhall" refers both to the whole building and to its main room, which is a medieval great hall. The building is traditionally referred to as Guildhall, never "the" Guildhall. The nearest London Underground stations are Bank, St Paul's and Moorgate.Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers and judges) in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.
The Inn is a professional body that provides legal training, selection, and regulation for members. It is ruled by a governing council called "Parliament", made up of the Masters of the Bench (or "Benchers"), and led by the Treasurer, who is elected to serve a one-year term. The Temple takes its name from the Knights Templar, who originally leased the land to the Temple's inhabitants (Templars) until their abolition in 1312. The Inner Temple was a distinct society from at least 1388, although as with all the Inns of Court its precise date of founding is not known. After a disruptive early period (during which the Temple was almost entirely destroyed in the Peasants' Revolt) it flourished, becoming the second-largest Inn during the Elizabethan period (after Gray's Inn).
The Inner Temple expanded during the reigns of James I and Charles I, with 1,700 students admitted between 1600 and 1640. The First English Civil War's outbreak led to a complete suspension of legal education, with the Inns close to being shut down for almost four years. Following the English Restoration the Inner Templars welcomed Charles II back to London personally with a lavish banquet.
After a period of slow decline in the 18th century, the following 100 years saw a restoration of the Temple's fortunes, with buildings constructed or restored, such as the Hall and the Library. Much of this work was destroyed during The Blitz, when the Hall, Temple, Temple Church, and many sets of chambers were devastated. Rebuilding was completed in 1959, and today the Temple is a flourishing and active Inn of Court, with over 8,000 members.Livery company
The livery companies of the City of London, currently 110 in number, comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the 'Worshipful Company of...' their respective craft, trade or profession. London's livery companies play a significant part in City life, not least by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for the senior civic offices, such as the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and City of London Corporation, its ancient municipal authority with extensive local government powers.The term livery originated in the specific form of dress worn by retainers of a nobleman and then by extension to special dress to denote status of belonging to a trade. Livery companies evolved from London's medieval guilds, becoming corporations under Royal Charter responsible for training in their respective trades, as well as for the regulation of aspects such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards. Early guilds often grew out of parish fraternal organizations, where large groups of members of the same trade lived in close proximity and gathered at the same church. Like most organisations during the Middle Ages, these livery companies had close ties with the Catholic Church (before the Protestant Reformation), endowing religious establishments such as chantry chapels and churches, observing religious festivals with hosting ceremonies and well-known mystery plays. Most livery companies retain their historical religious associations, although nowadays members are free to follow any faith or none. Companies often established a guild or meeting hall, and though they faced destruction in the Great London Fire of 1666 and during World War II, thirty-nine companies maintain their sometimes elaborate and historic halls.Most livery companies still maintain contacts with their original trade, craft or professional roles. Some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications. The Scriveners' Company admits senior members of legal and associated professions, the Apothecaries' Company awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company comprises licensed taxi drivers who have passed the "Knowledge of London" test. Several companies restrict membership only to those holding relevant professional qualifications, eg. the City of London Solicitors' Company and the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Other companies, whose trade died out long ago, such as the Longbow Makers' Company, have evolved into being primarily charitable foundations.After the Carmen received City livery status in 1746 no new companies were established in London for 180 years until the Master Mariners in 1926 (granted livery in 1932). Post-1926 creations are known as modern livery companies. The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars, the newest, was granted livery status on 11 February 2014, making it the 110th City livery company in order of precedence. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots is exceptional among London's livery companies in having active overseas committees in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and North America.London
London ( (listen) LUN-dən) is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, innovative, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, and the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP. It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated mid-2016 municipal population (corresponding to Greater London) was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925.
London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement in Greenwich where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and Greenwich Mean Time. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries, libraries and sporting events. These include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.London, Ontario
London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. The city had a population of 383,822 according to the 2016 Canadian census. London is at the confluence of the Thames River, approximately 200 km (120 mi) from both Toronto and Detroit; and about 230 km (140 mi) from Buffalo, New York. The city of London is a separated municipality, politically separate from Middlesex County, though it remains the county seat.
London and the Thames were named in 1793 by John Graves Simcoe, who proposed the site for the capital city of Upper Canada. The first European settlement was between 1801 and 1804 by Peter Hagerman. The village was founded in 1826 and incorporated in 1855. Since then, London has grown to be the largest Southwestern Ontario municipality and Canada's 11th largest metropolitan area, having annexed many of the smaller communities that surrounded it.
London is a regional centre of healthcare and education, being home to the University of Western Ontario (which brands itself "Western University"), Fanshawe College, and several hospitals (including a University Hospital). The city hosts a number of musical and artistic exhibits and festivals, which contribute to its tourism industry, but its economic activity is centred on education, medical research, insurance, and information technology. London's university and hospitals are among its top ten employers. London lies at the junction of Highway 401 and 402, connecting it to Toronto, Windsor and Sarnia. It also has an international airport, train, and bus station.London Bridge
Several bridges named London Bridge have spanned the River Thames between the City of London and Southwark, in central London. The current crossing, which opened to traffic in 1973, is a box girder bridge built from concrete and steel. It replaced a 19th-century stone-arched bridge, which in turn superseded a 600-year-old stone-built medieval structure. This was preceded by a succession of timber bridges, the first of which was built by the Roman founders of London.
The current bridge stands at the western end of the Pool of London and is positioned 30 metres (98 ft) upstream from previous alignments. The approaches to the medieval bridge were marked by the church of St Magnus-the-Martyr on the northern bank and by Southwark Cathedral on the southern shore. Until Putney Bridge opened in 1729, London Bridge was the only road-crossing of the Thames downstream of Kingston upon Thames. London Bridge has been depicted in its several forms, in art, literature, and songs, including the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down".
The modern bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, an independent charity of medieval origin overseen by the City of London Corporation. It carries the A3 road, which is maintained by the Greater London Authority. The crossing also delineates an area along the southern bank of the River Thames, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, that has been designated as a business improvement district.London City Airport
London City Airport (IATA: LCY, ICAO: EGLC) is an international airport in London, United Kingdom. It is located in the Royal Docks in the London Borough of Newham, approximately 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) east of the City of London and a shorter distance east of Canary Wharf. These are the twin centres of London's financial industry, which is a major user of the airport. The airport was developed by the engineering company Mowlem in 1986–87. In 2016 it was bought by a Canadian-led consortium of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), OMERS, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Wren House Infrastructure Management of the Kuwait Investment Authority.London City Airport has a single 1,500-metre (4,900 ft) long runway, and a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P728) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flight training (but only for training necessary for the operation of aircraft at the airport). Only multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft with special aircraft and aircrew certification to fly 5.5° approaches are allowed to conduct operations at London City Airport. The largest aircraft which can be used at the airport is the Airbus A318, which has been modified with a "steep approach function".London City served over 4.5 million passengers in 2017. It is the fifth-busiest airport in passengers and aircraft movements serving the London area—after Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton—and was the 14th-busiest in the UK in 2017.London boroughs
The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up Greater London; each is governed by a London borough council. The London boroughs were all created at the same time as Greater London on 1 April 1965 by the London Government Act 1963 and are a type of local government district. Twelve were designated as Inner London boroughs and twenty as Outer London boroughs.
The London boroughs have populations of around 150,000 to 300,000. Inner London boroughs tend to be smaller, in both population and area, and more densely populated than Outer London boroughs. The London boroughs were created by combining groups of former local government units. A review undertaken between 1987 and 1992 led to a number of relatively small alterations in borough boundaries.
London borough councils provide the majority of local government services (schools, waste management, social services, libraries, etc.), in contrast to the strategic Greater London Authority, which has limited authority over all of Greater London.
The councils were first elected in 1964 and acted as shadow authorities until 1 April 1965. Each borough is divided into electoral wards, subject to periodic review, for the purpose of electing councillors. Council elections take place every four years, with the most recent elections in 2018 and the next elections due in 2022.
The political make-up of London borough councils is dominated by the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties. Twenty-eight councils follow the leader and cabinet model of executive governance, with directly elected mayors in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets. The City of London is instead governed by the City of London Corporation and the Inner and Middle Temples.Lord Mayor of London
The Lord Mayor of London is the City of London's mayor and leader of the City of London Corporation. Within the City, the Lord Mayor is accorded precedence over all individuals except the sovereign and retains various traditional powers, rights and privileges, including the title and style The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of London.
This office differs from the much more powerful Mayor of London, which is a popularly elected position and covers the much larger Greater London area.
In 2006 the Corporation of London changed its name to the City of London Corporation, when the title Lord Mayor of the City of London was reintroduced, partly to avoid confusion with the Mayor of London. However, the legal and commonly used title remains Lord Mayor of London.
The Lord Mayor is elected at Common Hall each year on Michaelmas, and takes office on the Friday before the second Saturday in November, at The Silent Ceremony.
The Lord Mayor's Show is held on the day after taking office; the Lord Mayor, preceded by a procession, travels to the Royal Courts of Justice at the Strand to swear allegiance to the sovereign before the Justices of the High Court.
One of the world's oldest continuously elected civic offices, the Lord Mayor's main role nowadays is to represent, support and promote the businesses and residents in the City of London. Today, these businesses are mostly in the financial sector and the Lord Mayor is regarded as the champion of the entire UK-based financial sector regardless of ownership or location throughout the country. As leader of the Corporation of the City of London, the Lord Mayor serves as the key spokesman for the local authority and also has important ceremonial and social responsibilities. All Lord Mayors of London are apolitical.
The Lord Mayor of London typically delivers many hundreds of speeches and addresses per year, and attends many receptions and other events in London and beyond. Many incumbents of the office make overseas visits while Lord Mayor of London. The Lord Mayor, also ex-officio Rector of London's City, University of London and also Admiral of the Port of London, is assisted in day-to-day administration by the Mansion House 'Esquires' and whose titles include the City Marshal, Sword Bearer and Common Crier.
Peter Estlin is serving as the 691st Lord Mayor, for the 2018–19 period.The Lord Mayor has an ADC (Aide-de-camp) to act as the aide to the Lord Mayor. From 2017-19 this is Major D. Konstantinious of the Army Cadet Force.Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known simply as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers, the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. It is located in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.Middlesex
Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is an ancient county in southeast England. It is now entirely within the wider urbanised area of London. Its area is now also mostly within the ceremonial county of Greater London, with small sections in other neighbouring ceremonial counties. It was established in the Anglo-Saxon system from the territory of the Middle Saxons, and existed as an official unit until 1965. The historic county includes land stretching north of the River Thames from 17 miles (27 km) west to 3 miles (5 km) east of the City of London with the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills as the other boundaries. The largely low-lying county, dominated by clay in its north and alluvium on gravel in its south, was the second smallest county by area in 1831.The City of London was a county in its own right from the 12th century and was able to exert political control over Middlesex. Westminster Abbey dominated most of the early financial, judicial and ecclesiastical aspects of the county. As London grew into Middlesex, the Corporation of London resisted attempts to expand the city boundaries into the county, which posed problems for the administration of local government and justice. In the 18th and 19th centuries the population density was especially high in the southeast of the county, including the East End and West End of London. From 1855 the southeast was administered, with sections of Kent and Surrey, as part of the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works. When county councils were introduced in England in 1889 about 20% of the area of Middlesex, along with a third of its population, was transferred to the new County of London and the remainder became an administrative county governed by the Middlesex County Council that met regularly at the Middlesex Guildhall in Westminster, in the County of London. The City of London, and Middlesex, became separate counties for other purposes and Middlesex regained the right to appoint its own sheriff, lost in 1199.
In the interwar years suburban London expanded further, with improvement and expansion of public transport, and the setting up of new industries. After the Second World War, the population of the County of London and inner Middlesex was in steady decline, with high population growth continuing in the outer parts. After a Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London, almost all of the original area was incorporated into an enlarged Greater London in 1965, with the rest transferred to neighbouring counties. Since 1965 various areas called Middlesex have been used for cricket and other sports. Middlesex was the former postal county of 25 post towns.Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales (commonly called the Old Bailey, after the street on which it stands) is a court in London and one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court. Part of the present building stands on the site of the medieval Newgate gaol, on a road named Old Bailey that follows the line of the City of London's fortified wall (or bailey), which runs from Ludgate Hill to the junction of Newgate Street and Holborn Viaduct. The Old Bailey has been housed in several structures near this location since the sixteenth century, and its present building dates from 1902.
The Crown Court sitting at the Central Criminal Court deals with major criminal cases from within Greater London and in exceptional cases, from other parts of England and Wales. Trials at the Old Bailey, as at other courts, are open to the public; however, they are subject to stringent security procedures.St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and is a Grade I listed building. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present cathedral, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Its construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City after the Great Fire of London. The cathedral building largely destroyed in the Great Fire, now often referred to as Old St Paul's Cathedral, was a central focus for medieval and early modern London, including Paul's walk and St. Paul's Churchyard being the site of St. Paul's Cross.
The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London. Its dome, framed by the spires of Wren's City churches, has dominated the skyline for over 300 years. At 365 feet (111 m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967. The dome is among the highest in the world. St Paul's is the second-largest church building in area in the United Kingdom after Liverpool Cathedral.
Services held at St Paul's have included the funerals of Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher; jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer; the launch of the Festival of Britain; and the thanksgiving services for the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees and the 80th and 90th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth II. St Paul's Cathedral is the central subject of much promotional material, as well as of images of the dome surrounded by the smoke and fire of the Blitz.The cathedral is a working church with hourly prayer and daily services. The tourist entry fee at the door is £20 for adults (January 2019, cheaper online), but no charge is made to worshippers.
|Climate data for London Weather Centre 1971–2000, 43 m asl|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.3
|Average low °C (°F)||3.7
City of London