City of London

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The City of London is a small area within Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is the historic core of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 around which the modern conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 grew and has held city status
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 since time immemorial
Time immemorial
Time immemorial is a phrase meaning time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient, "ancient beyond memory or record"...

. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, and it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

 of London, though it remains a notable part of central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

. It is often referred to as the City (often written on map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s as "City") or the Square Mile, as it is just over one square mile (1.12 sq mi (2.9 km²)) in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

's financial services
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

 industry, which continues a notable history of being based in the City.

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 borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s including the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 as well as the City of London. 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, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

.

The City is today a major business and financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

, ranking above
Global Financial Centres Index
The Global Financial Centres Index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on 26,629 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 60 indices...

 New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 as the leading centre of global finance; throughout the 19th century, the City served as the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses to this day. London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index
Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index
Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index is an index of world's cities by Mastercard. Using seven evaluative dimensions, it provides rankings for 75 leading commercial cities.-2008 rankings:...

, published in 2008. The other major financial district in London is Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

, 2.5 miles (4 km) to the east.

The City has a resident population of a little over 11,000, but around 330,000 people work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the western side of the City, especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane is the street which has been the western boundary of the City of London since 1994 having previously been divided between Westminster and Camden...

 areas; these are where the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

 are located, of which two — Inner Temple
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court 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...

 and Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known 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...

 — fall within the City of London boundary.

Toponymy


The name "London"
Etymology of London
The etymology of the name of the city of London has been the subject of speculation for centuries, though no generally accepted explanation has been found...

 is now used for a wider area than just the City of London, which is often known simply as 'the City'. This usage is documented as far back as the 16th century. 'The City' also denotes the trading and financial community based there. In this context it is also colloquially known as the 'Square Mile'.

Roman origins


It is believed that Roman London was established as a trading port by merchants on the tidal Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 around 47 AD. The new settlement and port was centred where the shallow valley of the Walbrook
Walbrook
Walbrook is the name of a ward, a street and a subterranean river in the City of London.-Underground river:The river played a key role in the Roman settlement of Londinium, the city now known as London. It is thought that the river was named because it ran through or under the London Wall; another...

 meets the Thames. However in AD 60 or 61, little more than ten years after Londinium was founded, it was sacked by the Iceni
Iceni
The Iceni or Eceni were a British tribe who inhabited an area of East Anglia corresponding roughly to the modern-day county of Norfolk between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD...

, led by their queen Boudica
Boudica
Boudica , also known as Boadicea and known in Welsh as "Buddug" was queen of the British Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire....

. Londinium was rebuilt as a planned settlement (a civitas
Civitas
In the history of Rome, the Latin term civitas , according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law . It is the law that binds them together, giving them responsibilities on the one hand and rights of citizenship on the other...

) soon after and the new town was prosperous and grew to become the largest settlement in Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 by the end of the 1st century. By the beginning of the 2nd century, Londinium had replaced Colchester
Camulodunum
Camulodunum is the Roman name for the ancient settlement which is today's Colchester, a town in Essex, England. Camulodunum is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain as recorded by the Romans, existing as a Celtic settlement before the Roman conquest, when it became the first Roman town, and...

 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
London Wall
London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the River Thames in what is now the United Kingdom, and subsequently maintained until the 18th century. It is now the name of a road in the City of London running along part of...

 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
Ludgate
Ludgate was the westernmost gate in London Wall. The name survives in Ludgate Hill, an eastward continuation of Fleet Street, and Ludgate Circus.-Etymology:...

/the River Fleet
River Fleet
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its two headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath; each is now dammed into a series of ponds made in the 18th century, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds. At the south edge of Hampstead Heath these two streams flow...

 and the Thames was considerably wider than it is today, thus the shoreline of the city was north of its present position. The Romans built a bridge across the river, as early as 50 AD, near to where London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

 stands.

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
London Stone
The London Stone is a historic stone that is now set within a Portland stone surround and iron grille on Cannon Street, in the City of London.-Features:...

 and remains of the amphitheatre beneath the Guildhall. The Museum of London
Museum of London
The Museum of London documents the history of London from the Prehistoric to the present day. The museum is located close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 70s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb damaged...

, 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.

Decline


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
Decline of the Roman Empire
The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual societal collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Many theories of causality prevail, but most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with foreign invasions and usurpers from within the...

, including for example the Carausian Revolt
Carausian Revolt
The Carausian Revolt was an episode in Roman history, during which a Roman naval commander, Carausius, declared himself emperor over Britain and northern Gaul. His Gallic territories were retaken by the western Caesar, Constantius Chlorus, in 293, after which Carausius was assassinated by his...

 in Britain. In the 3rd and 4th centuries, the city was under attack from Picts
Picts
The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

, Scots and Saxon
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 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
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

/Aldwych
Aldwych
Aldwych is a place and road in the City of Westminster in London, England.-Description:Aldwych, the road, is a crescent, connected to the Strand at both ends. At its centre, it meets the Kingsway...

/Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

 area.

Anglo-Saxon restoration


During the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy
Heptarchy
The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, conventionally identified as seven: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex...

, the London area came under the Kingdoms of Mercia
Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

 and then later Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

, though was frequently under the control or threat of the Vikings and Danes
Danes
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

.

Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

, King of Wessex and arguably the first king of the 'English', occupied and began the resettlement of the old Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 walled area, in 886
886
Year 886 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :...

, and appointed his son-in-law Earl Æthelred of Mercia
Earl Aethelred of Mercia
Ealdorman Æthelred was ruler of Mercia from about 883, when he submitted to King Alfred of Wessex. He married Alfred's daughter Æthelfleda between 882 and 887, and his title was "Lord of the Mercians". Although he had many attributes of a king, he was subject to the power of his close ally Wessex...

 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
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

). The historian Asser stated 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 marking point in history, not only as the permanent establishment of the City of London, but also as part of a unifying moment in early English history, with Wessex becoming the dominant English kingdom and the repealing (to some degree) of the Viking occupation and raids. Whilst London, and indeed England, afterwards would continue to come under further periods of Viking and Dane raids and occupation, the establishment of the City of London and the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 prevailed.

In the 10th century, Athelstan permitted eight mints
Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the body permitted to manufacture, or mint, coins in the United Kingdom. The Mint originated over 1,100 years ago, but since 2009 it operates as Royal Mint Ltd, a company which has an exclusive contract with HM Treasury to supply all coinage for the UK...

 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
Aldwych
Aldwych is a place and road in the City of Westminster in London, England.-Description:Aldwych, the road, is a crescent, connected to the Strand at both ends. At its centre, it meets the Kingsway...

 (the "old market-place"), now a name given to a street and an area which lies in the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 between Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

 and the City of London.

Medieval and early modern periods





Following the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

, William the Conqueror
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

 marched on London, to Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

 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
Edwin, Earl of Mercia
Edwin was the elder brother of Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, son of Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia and grandson of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. He succeeded to his father's title and responsibilities on Ælfgār's death in 1062...

 and Morcar of Northumbria surrendered at Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted
-Climate:Berkhamsted experiences an oceanic climate similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.-Castle:...

. 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. The City was not covered by the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

.

William ensured against attack by building three castles nearby, to keep the Londoners subdued:
  • Tower of London
    Tower of London
    Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

  • Baynard's Castle
    Baynard's Castle
    Baynard's Castle refers to buildings on two neighbouring sites in London, between where Blackfriars station and St Paul's Cathedral now stand. The first was a Norman fortification constructed by Ralph Baynard and demolished by King John in 1213. The second was a medieval palace built a short...

  • Montfichet's Castle
    Montfichet's Castle
    Montfichet's Tower was a Norman fortress on Ludgate Hill in London, between where St Paul's Cathedral and City Thameslink railway station now stand. First documented in the 1130s, it was probably built in the late 11th century...



In 1132, Henry I
Henry I of England
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England. He succeeded his elder brother William II as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy in 1106...

 recognised full County
County corporate
A county corporate or corporate county was a type of subnational division used for local government in England, Ireland and Wales.Counties corporate were created during the Middle Ages, and were effectively small self-governing counties...

 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 continues to be composed of 25 ancient wards
Wards of the City of London
The City of London , in the United Kingdom, is constituted of 25 wards. The City is the historic core of the much wider metropolis of London, with an ancient and sui generis form of local government, which avoided the many reforms enacted to local government elsewhere in the country in the 19th and...

, each headed by an Alderman
Alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

, who chair the Wardmotes. There was a Folkmoot for the whole of the city held at the outdoor cross of St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

. Many of the medieval positions and traditions continue to the present day, demonstrating the unique institution which the City, and its Corporation
Corporation of London
The City of London Corporation is the municipal governing body of the City of London. It exercises control only over the City , and not over Greater London...

, 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
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

 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
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

-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 and international trade and commerce. The Royal Exchange was founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham
Thomas Gresham
Sir Thomas Gresham was an English merchant and financier who worked for King Edward VI of England and for Edward's half-sisters, Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I.-Family and childhood:...

 to act as a centre of commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 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
Threadneedle Street
Threadneedle Street is a street in the City of London, leading from a junction with Poultry, Cornhill, King William Street and Lombard Street, to Bishopsgate....

 continues to be the geographical centre for the City's core of banking and financial services, with the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 moving to its present site in 1734, opposite the Royal Exchange on Threadneedle Street.

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
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, and London's role at the centre of the evolving British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. The urban area expanded beyond the borders of the City of London, most notably during this period towards the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

 and Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

.

In 1708 Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

'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
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

.

Expansion continued and became more rapid by the beginning of the 19th century, with London growing in all directions. To the East
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

 the Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

 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
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 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


An attempt was made in 1894 to amalgamate the City and the surrounding County of London
Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London
The Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London was a royal commission which considered the means for amalgamating the ancient City of London with the County of London, which had been created in 1889. The commission reported in 1894...

, 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
History of local government in London
The history of local government in London, England can be broken down into a number of periods.-See also:*Local government in London*History of local government in the United Kingdom*History of London...

. Regarding representation to Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, the City elected four members to the unreformed House of Commons
Unreformed House of Commons
The unreformed House of Commons is the name generally given to the British House of Commons as it existed before the Reform Act 1832.Until the Act of Union of 1707 joining the Kingdoms of Scotland and England , Scotland had its own Parliament, and the term refers to the House of Commons of England...

, which it retained after the Reform Act 1832
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 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
Metro-land
Metro-land is a name given to the suburban areas that were built to the north west of London in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex in the early part of the 20th century, and were served by the Metropolitan Railway, an independent company until absorbed by the London...

 and many houses were demolished to make way for modern office blocks. The largest residential section of the City today is the Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

, constructed between 1965 and 1976. Here a major proportion of the City's population now live. The Museum of London
Museum of London
The Museum of London documents the history of London from the Prehistoric to the present day. The museum is located close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 70s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb damaged...

 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
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, in what is known as The Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

. Whilst St Paul's Cathedral survived the onslaught, large swathes of the City did not and the particularly heavy raids of late December 1940 led to a firestorm
Firestorm
A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires, forest fires, and wildfires...

 called the Second Great Fire of London. 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
Paternoster Square
Paternoster Square is an urban development, owned by the Mitsubishi Estate Co., next to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London, England. In 1942 the area, which takes its name from Paternoster Row, centre of the London publishing trade, was devastated by aerial bombardment in The Blitz during...

.

The 1970s saw the construction of tall office buildings including the 600-foot, 47-storey Natwest Tower, which became the first skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 in the UK. Office space development has intensified especially in the central, northern and eastern parts of the City, with further skyscrapers being built including 30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, the Swiss Re Building , is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London, completed in December 2003 and opened at the end of May 2004...

, Broadgate Tower
Broadgate Tower
The Broadgate Tower is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London. It was constructed from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the fourth tallest building in the City of London....

 and the Heron Tower
Heron Tower
Heron Tower, also referred to as 110 Bishopsgate, is a skyscraper owned by Heron International in the City of London. It was completed in 2011...

, the tallest in the City. A fifth, the Bishopsgate Tower
Bishopsgate Tower
The Pinnacle, also known as The Bishopsgate Tower and The Helter-Skelter, is a , 63-storey skyscraper under construction in the centre of London's main financial district, the City of London. It is one of four major towers under construction in London, others being Shard London Bridge, 122...

 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
London Bridge station
London Bridge railway station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex in the London Borough of Southwark, occupying a large area on two levels immediately south-east of London Bridge and 1.6 miles east of Charing Cross. It is one of the oldest railway stations in the...

.

Arms, motto and flag



The Corporation of the City of London has a full achievement
Achievement (heraldry)
An achievement in heraldry is a full display of all the heraldic components to which the bearer of a coat of arms is entitled...

 of armorial bearings consisting of a shield on which the arms are displayed, a crest
Crest (heraldry)
A crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands on top of a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the bird's head....

 displayed on a helm above the shield, supporters
Supporters
In heraldry, supporters are figures usually placed on either side of the shield and depicted holding it up. These figures may be real or imaginary animals, human figures, and in rare cases plants or inanimate objects...

 on either side and a motto displayed on a scroll beneath the arms.

The blazon
Blazon
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image...

 of the arms is as follows:
Arms: Argent a cross gules, in the first quarter a sword in pale point upwards of the last.

Crest: On a wreath argent and gules a dragon's sinister wing argent charged on the underside with a cross throughout gules.

Supporters: On either side a dragon argent charged on the undersides of the wings with a cross throughout gules.


The coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 of the City is "anciently recorded
Time immemorial
Time immemorial is a phrase meaning time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient, "ancient beyond memory or record"...

" at the College of Arms
College of Arms
The College of Arms, or Heralds’ College, is an office regulating heraldry and granting new armorial bearings for England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

. They were in use in 1381, as they formed part of the design of a new mayoralty seal taken into use on the 17 April of that year. These arms consist of a white shield bearing a red cross with a red upright sword in the first quarter. The design combines 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 1381 arms replaced an earlier shield, found on a charter of 1319, that depicted St Paul holding a sword. The sword is often erroneously supposed to commemorate the killing of Peasants' Revolt
Peasants' Revolt
The Peasants' Revolt, Wat Tyler's Rebellion, or the Great Rising of 1381 was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe and is a major event in the history of England. Tyler's Rebellion was not only the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history but also the...

 leader Wat Tyler
Wat Tyler
Walter "Wat" Tyler was a leader of the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381.-Early life:Knowledge of Tyler's early life is very limited, and derives mostly through the records of his enemies. Historians believe he was born in Essex, but are not sure why he crossed the Thames Estuary to Kent...

 by the Lord Mayor of London
Lord Mayor of London
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

 William Walworth
William Walworth
Sir William Walworth , was twice Lord Mayor of London . He is best known for killing Wat Tyler.His family came from Durham...

. 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 crest and supporters came into use in the 17th century but were used without authority until 30 April 1957 when they were confirmed and granted by letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 from the College of Arms.

The crest is a dragon's wing bearing the cross of St George, borne upon a peer's
Peerage of the United Kingdom
The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Act of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain...

 helm. A primitive form of the crest first appeared in 1539 on the reverse of a new common seal. This showed a fan-like object bearing a cross. Over time this evolved into a dragon's wing, and was shown as such in 1633 when it appeared above the city's coat of arms in the frontispiece to the fourth edition of John Stow
John Stow
John Stow was an English historian and antiquarian.-Early life:The son of Thomas Stow, a tallow-chandler, he was born about 1525 in London, in the parish of St Michael, Cornhill. His father's whole rent for his house and garden was only 6s. 6d. a year, and Stow in his youth fetched milk every...

's Survey of London. It has been speculated that the use of a peer's helmet (rather than that of a gentleman, used in other civic arms) relates to the use of the honorific
Honorific
An honorific is a word or expression with connotations conveying esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term is used not quite correctly to refer to an honorary title...

 prefix "The Right Honourable
The Right Honourable
The Right Honourable is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Anglophone Caribbean and other Commonwealth Realms, and occasionally elsewhere...

" by the Lord Mayor. The helm was confirmed in 1957.

On the seal of 1381 two lions were shown supporting the arms. However, by 1609 the present supporters, two white dragons bearing red crosses upon their wings, had been adopted. The dragons were probably suggested by the legend of St George and the Dragon.

The Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 motto of the City of London 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 was first recorded in 1633.

A banner of the arms (the design on the shield) is flown as a flag
Flag of the City of London
The flag of the City of London is based on the flag of England, having a centred red St George's Cross on a white background, with the red sword in the upper hoist canton . The sword is believed to represent the sword that beheaded Saint Paul who is the patron saint of the city...

.

Governance




The City of London has a unique political status, a legacy of its uninterrupted integrity as a corporate city since the Anglo-Saxon period
Heptarchy
The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, conventionally identified as seven: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Wessex...

 and its singular relationship with the Crown
British monarchy
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

. 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
Lord Mayor of London
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

 (not the same as the more recently created position of Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

), which is responsible for a number of functions and owns a number of locations beyond the City's boundaries. Unlike other modern-day English local authorities, the Corporation has two council bodies: the now largely ceremonial Court of Aldermen
Court of Aldermen
The Court of Aldermen is an elected body forming part of the City of London Corporation. The Court of Aldermen is made up of the twenty five Aldermen of the City of London, presided over by the Lord Mayor...

 and the Court of Common Council. The Court of Aldermen represents the wards, with each ward (irrespective of their size) returning one Alderman. The Chief Executive of the administrative side of the Corporation holds the ancient office of Town Clerk of London
Town Clerk of London
The Town Clerk of London is an important position that has existed since the 13th century within the City of London, England. Originally the position was to take the minutes of London council meetings, but over the years the holder has gathered responsibility which requires staff and executive...

.

The City is a ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

, although it has a Commission of Lieutenancy, headed by the Lord Mayor, instead of a Lord-Lieutenant. The City also has (instead of a High Sheriff
High Sheriff
A high sheriff is, or was, a law enforcement officer in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.In England and Wales, the office is unpaid and partly ceremonial, appointed by the Crown through a warrant from the Privy Council. In Cornwall, the High Sheriff is appointed by the Duke of...

) two Sheriffs
Sheriffs of the City of London
There are two Sheriffs of the City of London. The sheriffs are elected annually by the Liverymen of the Livery Companies, and it is a requirement for a Lord Mayor of the City of London to previously have served as a Sheriff. Sheriffs have only nominal duties now, but previously had large judicial...

 (see list of Sheriffs of London), which are quasi-judicial offices and who are appointed by the Livery Companies
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

, another ancient political system (based on the representation and protection of trades
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

) still extant in the City. Senior members of the Livery Companies are known as Liverymen
Liveryman
For Livery Companies in the City of London, a Liveryman is a full member of their respective Company.Livery Company members fall into two basic categories: Freemen and Liverymen. One may join as a Freeman, and thereby acquire the "Freedom of the Company", upon fulfilling the Company's criteria...

 and form a special electorate called the Common Hall — this body chooses the Lord Mayor of the City, the Sheriffs and certain other officers.

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. They are survivors of the mediaeval governmental system that allowed a very local area to exist as a self governing enclave within the wider city. They can be described as being both electoral/political divisions and permanent ceremonial, geographic and administrative entities within/sub-divisions of the City. Each ward has an Alderman
Alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

, who traditionally held office for life but in the modern era put themselves up for re-election at least every 6 years. Wards continue to have Beadle
Beadle
Beadle, sometimes spelled "bedel," is a lay official of a church or synagogue who may usher, keep order, make reports, and assist in religious functions; or a minor official who carries out various civil, educational, or ceremonial duties....

s, ancient functionary offices that are largely ceremonial in the modern era, the main remaining function being the running of the Wardmote
Wardmote
A wardmote was a meeting of the inhabitants of a ward, or a court held in the ward to try defaults in matters relating to the watch, police, and the like.The term is used in York, London, Faversham, etc., and was also used by the Chartists....

, an annual meeting in each ward 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
Residents' association
Residents' associations are organisations formed by groups of people from a specific geographic community who come together to address issues within their local area and act as a voice for their local community....

 found elsewhere in the country.

The wards are ancient and their number has only changed three times since time immemorial
Time immemorial
Time immemorial is a phrase meaning time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient, "ancient beyond memory or record"...

: in 1394 Farringdon was divided into Farringdon Within and Farringdon Without; in 1550 the creation of Bridge Without, south of the river
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

, with the ward of Bridge becoming Bridge Within; and the merger of Bridge wards Within and Without, in 1978, into the present-day Bridge
Bridge (ward)
Bridge is a small ward of the City of London and is named from its propinquity to London Bridge. Bridge ward is found within the boundary formed by the River Thames, Swan Lane, Arthur Street, Fish Street Hill, Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street, Rood Lane, Lovat Lane and Lower Thames Street.The...

 ward.

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 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
Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

; the wards are not reviewed by the Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission (United Kingdom)
The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for well-run elections...

 under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986
Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986
The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is the legislation defining the constitution and work of the 4 parliamentary Boundary Commissions in the UK...

 and (unlike with other local government electoral reviews in the country) the number and the names of the wards do not change. Particular churches, livery company
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

 halls and other historic buildings and structures are associated with specific wards, such as St Paul's Cathedral with Castle Baynard
Castle Baynard
Castle Baynard is one of the 25 wards of the City of London, the historic core of the English capital. It covers an irregular shaped area, somewhat akin to a tuning fork bounded on the east by the wards of Queenhithe and Bread Street, the River Thames to the south and Farringdon Without to the...

, or London Bridge with Bridge. Boundary changes in 2003 did remove some of these connected places from their wards, but that boundary review and the current review do take into account of these historic/traditional connections.

Current arrangements are that each ward elects an Alderman
Alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

, to the Court of Aldermen
Court of Aldermen
The Court of Aldermen is an elected body forming part of the City of London Corporation. The Court of Aldermen is made up of the twenty five Aldermen of the City of London, presided over by the Lord Mayor...

 and Commoners (the City equivalent of a Councillor
Councillor
A councillor or councilor is a member of a local government council, such as a city council.Often in the United States, the title is councilman or councilwoman.-United Kingdom:...

) 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. Four of the wards are today regarded as being primarily residential, and recent boundary changes have reinforced this. They are: Portsoken
Portsoken
Portsoken is a historical district in the City of London, located outside the former London Wall, on the eastern part of the City, near Aldgate. It is one of the 25 wards of the City....

, Queenhithe
Queenhithe
Queenhithe is a small ward of the City of London, situated on the River Thames and to the south of St Paul's Cathedral. The Millennium Bridge crosses into the City at Queenhithe....

, Aldersgate
Aldersgate
Aldersgate was a gate in the London Wall in the City of London, which has given its name to a ward and Aldersgate Street, a road leading north from the site of the gate, towards Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington.-History:...

 and Cripplegate
Cripplegate
Cripplegate was a city gate in the London Wall and a name for the region of the City of London outside the gate. The area was almost entirely destroyed by bombing in World War II and today is the site of the Barbican Estate and Barbican Centre...

.

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. In elections, both the businesses based in the City and the residents of the City vote.

The principal justification for the non-resident vote is that about 330,000 non-residents constitute the city's day-time population and use most of its services, far outnumbering the City's residents, who number around 11,000. Nevertheless, the system has long been the cause of controversy. The business vote was abolished in all other UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 local authority elections in 1969.

A private act of Parliament in 2002 reformed the voting system for electing Members to the Corporation of London and received the Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 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.

The Temple


Inner Temple
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court 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...

 and Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known 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...

 (which neighbour each other) are two of the few remaining liberties
Liberty (division)
Originating in the Middle Ages, a liberty was traditionally defined as an area in which regalian rights were revoked and where land was held by a mesne lord...

, an old name for a geographic division. They are independent extra-parochial area
Extra-parochial area
In the United Kingdom, an extra-parochial area or extra-parochial place was an area considered to be outside any parish. They were therefore exempt from payment of any poor or church rate and usually tithe...

s, 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
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction in its primary sense does not signify jurisdiction over ecclesiastics , but jurisdiction exercised by church leaders over other leaders and over the laity....

 of the Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

. 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
Farringdon Without
Farringdon Without is a Ward in the City of London, England. The Ward covers the western fringes of the City, including the Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Smithfield Market and St Bartholomew's Hospital, as well as the area east of Chancery Lane...

 ward of the City.

Other functions



Within the City, the Corporation owns and runs both the Smithfield Market and Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is a covered market in the City of London, located at Gracechurch Street but with vehicular access also available via Whittington Avenue to the north and Lime Street to the south and east and additional pedestrian access via a number of narrow passageways.-History:The market dates...

. The Corporation owns and is responsible for a number of locations beyond the boundaries of the City. These include various open spaces
Corporation of London open spaces
The City of London Corporation owns and maintains open space in and around Greater London. They have mainly been acquired since 1878, when two Acts of Parliament entrusted the management of Epping Forest and several other areas within a 25 mile radius to the Corporation: these areas laid the...

 (parks, forests and commons) in and around greater London, including most of Epping Forest
Epping Forest
Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation....

, Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

 and many public spaces in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 through The Honourable The Irish Society
The Honourable The Irish Society
The Honourable The Irish Society is the organisation created by royal charter consisting of members nominated by livery companies of the City of London, set up to colonise County Londonderry during the plantation of Ulster. Notably it was involved in the construction of the city of Londonderry,...

. It also owns Old Spitalfields Market
Old Spitalfields market
Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market in Spitalfields, just outside the City of London. It is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets....

 and Billingsgate Fish Market
Billingsgate Fish Market
Situated in East London, Billingsgate Fish Market is the United Kingdom's largest inland fish market. It takes its name from Billingsgate, a ward in the south-east of the City of London, where the riverside market was originally established...

, both of which are within the neighbouring London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The Corporation also owns and helps fund the Old Bailey
Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

, the Central Criminal Court for England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, 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
City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, England, including the Middle and Inner Temple. The service responsible for law enforcement within the rest of Greater London is the Metropolitan Police Service, a separate...

 - the Common Council (the main body of the Corporation) is the police authority
Police authority
A police authority in the United Kingdom, is a body charged with securing efficient and effective policing of a police area served by a territorial police force or the area and/or activity policed by a special police force...

. The rest of Greater London is policed by the Metropolitan Police Service
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

, based at New Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London, UK. It derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Scotland Yard entrance became...

.

The City of London has one hospital, St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital, also known as Barts, is a hospital in Smithfield in the City of London, England.-Early history:It was founded in 1123 by Raherus or Rahere , a favourite courtier of King Henry I...

. Founded in 1123 and commonly known as 'Barts', the hospital is at Smithfield
Smithfield, London
Smithfield is an area of the City of London, in the ward of Farringdon Without. It is located in the north-west part of the City, and is mostly known for its centuries-old meat market, today the last surviving historical wholesale market in Central London...

, 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
Barbican Centre
The Barbican Centre is the largest performing arts centre in Europe. Located in the City of London, England, 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...

 and subsidises several important performing arts companies.

The Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

's health authority is also the responsibility of the Corporation, which includes the handling of imported cargo at London Heathrow airport. The Corporation oversees the running of the Bridge House Trust, which maintains five key bridges in central London, London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

, Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, carrying the A201 road. The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station...

, Southwark Bridge
Southwark Bridge
Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge for traffic linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames, in London, England. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott. It was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. and opened in 1921...

, Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name...

 and the Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge (London)
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge...

. The City's flag
Flag of the City of London
The flag of the City of London is based on the flag of England, having a centred red St George's Cross on a white background, with the red sword in the upper hoist canton . The sword is believed to represent the sword that beheaded Saint Paul who is the patron saint of the city...

 flies over Tower Bridge, although neither footing is in the City.

Changes to boundary



The size of the City was constrained by a defensive perimeter wall, known as London Wall
London Wall
London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the River Thames in what is now the United Kingdom, and subsequently maintained until the 18th century. It is now the name of a road in the City of London running along part of...

, which was built by the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 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
River Fleet
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its two headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath; each is now dammed into a series of ponds made in the 18th century, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds. At the south edge of Hampstead Heath these two streams flow...

 - along Fleet Street
Fleet Street
Fleet Street is a street in central London, United Kingdom, named after the River Fleet, a stream that now flows underground. It was the home of the British press until the 1980s...

 to Temple Bar
Temple Bar, London
Temple Bar is the barrier marking the westernmost extent of the City of London on the road to Westminster, where Fleet Street becomes the Strand...

. 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
Museum of London
The Museum of London documents the history of London from the Prehistoric to the present day. The museum is located close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 70s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb damaged...

 was revealed after the devastation of an air raid on 29 December 1940 at the height of the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

. Other visible sections are at St Alphage
St Alphage London Wall
St Alphage London Wall, so called because it sat right on London Wall, the City of London boundary, was a church in Bassishaw Ward in the City of London...

, and there are two sections near the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. The River Fleet was canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

ised 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
Subterranean rivers of London
The subterranean or underground rivers of London are the tributaries of the River Thames and River Lea that were built over during the growth of the metropolis of London...

", today running entirely underground as a storm drain
Storm drain
A storm drain, storm sewer , stormwater drain or drainage well system or simply a drain or drain system is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from paved streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and roofs. Storm drains vary in design from small residential dry wells to large municipal systems...

.

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
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, Camden
London Borough of Camden
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough were already developed and had a total population of 96,795. This continued to rise swiftly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 270,197 in the middle of the century...

, Islington
London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...

, Hackney
London Borough of Hackney
The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....

 and Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

. 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 (the City grew from 1.05 to 1.12 square miles). Most notably, the changes placed the (then recently developed) Broadgate estate
Broadgate
Broadgate is a large, office and retail estate in the City of London, owned by British Land and the Blackstone Group and managed by Broadgate Estates...

 entirely in the City.

Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

, to the south of the City on the other side of the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, 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
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 period as various aspects of metropolitan government were extended into the neighbouring areas. Today it forms part of the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

. The Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 has always been outside the City and today comes under the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

.

Geography



The City of London 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
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

, and the smallest by area. It can also be regarded as the second smallest British city
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

 in population, after St David's
St David's
St Davids , is a city and community in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Lying on the River Alun on St David's Peninsula, it is Britain's smallest city in terms of both size and population, the final resting place of Saint David, the country's patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of...

 in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

.

The elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 of the City ranges from sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 at the Thames to 21.6 metres (70.9 ft) at the junction of High Holborn and Chancery Lane. Two small but notable hills exist within the historic core: Ludgate Hill
Ludgate Hill
Ludgate Hill is a hill in the City of London, near the old Ludgate, a gate to the City that was taken down, with its attached gaol, in 1780. Ludgate Hill is the site of St Paul's Cathedral, traditionally said to have been the site of a Roman temple of the goddess Diana. It is one of the three...

 to the west and Cornhill to the east; between them ran the Walbrook
Walbrook
Walbrook is the name of a ward, a street and a subterranean river in the City of London.-Underground river:The river played a key role in the Roman settlement of Londinium, the city now known as London. It is thought that the river was named because it ran through or under the London Wall; another...

, one of the many "lost" rivers of London
Subterranean rivers of London
The subterranean or underground rivers of London are the tributaries of the River Thames and River Lea that were built over during the growth of the metropolis of London...

 — another such river in the City is the Fleet
River Fleet
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its two headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath; each is now dammed into a series of ponds made in the 18th century, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds. At the south edge of Hampstead Heath these two streams flow...

.

Boundary



Beginning in the west, where the City borders Westminster, the boundary crosses the Victoria Embankment
Victoria Embankment
The Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment, a road and river walk along the north bank of the River Thames in London. Victoria Embankment extends from the City of Westminster into the City of London.-Construction:...

 from the Thames, passes to the west of Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known 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...

, then turns for a short distance along Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

 and then north up Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane is the street which has been the western boundary of the City of London since 1994 having previously been divided between Westminster and Camden...

, where it borders Camden. It turns east along Holborn
Holborn
Holborn is an area of Central London. Holborn is also the name of the area's principal east-west street, running as High Holborn from St Giles's High Street to Gray's Inn Road and then on to Holborn Viaduct...

 to Holborn Circus, and then goes north east to Charterhouse Street
Charterhouse Street
Charterhouse Street is a street in Smithfield, on the northern boundary of the City of London, forming the boundary with both the London Borough of Camden and the London Borough of Islington...

. As it crosses Farringdon Road
Farringdon Road
Farringdon Road is a road in Clerkenwell, Central London. Its construction, which took almost 20 years between the 1840s and the 1860s, is considered one of the greatest urban engineering achievements of the nineteenth century...

 it becomes the boundary with Islington. It continues to Aldersgate
Aldersgate
Aldersgate was a gate in the London Wall in the City of London, which has given its name to a ward and Aldersgate Street, a road leading north from the site of the gate, towards Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington.-History:...

, goes north, and turns east into some back streets soon after Aldersgate becomes Goswell Road
Goswell Road
Goswell Road is a road in the south of the London Borough of Islington. It runs north from the border of the City of London through Clerkenwell, crossing Old Street to The Angel....

, since 1994 embracing all of the Corporation's Golden Lane Estate. Here, at Baltic Street West, is the most northerly extent of the City. The boundary includes all of the Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

 and continues east along Ropemaker Street and its continuation on the other side of Moorgate
Moorgate
Moorgate was a postern in the London Wall originally built by the Romans. It was turned into a gate in the 15th century. Though the gate was demolished in 1762, the name survives as a major street in the City of London...

, 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
Broadgate
Broadgate is a large, office and retail estate in the City of London, owned by British Land and the Blackstone Group and managed by Broadgate Estates...

 estate. The boundary then turns south at Norton Folgate
Norton Folgate
Norton Folgate is a short length of street in London, connecting Bishopsgate with Shoreditch High Street on the northern edge of its financial district, the City of London. It constitutes a very small section of the A10, the former Roman Ermine Street...

 and becomes the border with Tower Hamlets. It continues south into Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate is a road and ward in the northeast part of the City of London, extending north from Gracechurch Street to Norton Folgate. It is named after one of the original seven gates in London Wall...

, and takes some backstreets to Middlesex Street (Petticoat Lane) where it continues south-east then south. It then turns south-west, crossing the Minories
Minories
The Minories is the name of both an area and street in the City of London close to the Tower of London. The street called Minories runs north-south between Aldgate and Tower Hill underground stations...

, so as to exclude the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 from the City, and then reaches the river. The City's boundary then runs up the centre of the Thames, with the exception that the entire span of Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, carrying the A201 road. The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station...

 falls within the City; additionally the City controls the full span of London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

 (as part of Bridge
Bridge (ward)
Bridge is a small ward of the City of London and is named from its propinquity to London Bridge. Bridge ward is found within the boundary formed by the River Thames, Swan Lane, Arthur Street, Fish Street Hill, Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street, Rood Lane, Lovat Lane and Lower Thames Street.The...

 ward) but only half of the river underneath it, 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
Temple Bar, London
Temple Bar is the barrier marking the westernmost extent of the City of London on the road to Westminster, where Fleet Street becomes the Strand...

 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.

Gardens and public art




The City has no sizeable park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

s 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
Finsbury Circus
Finsbury Circus is an elliptical square with its long axis lying east-west in the City of London, England; with an area of 2.2 hectares it is the largest public open space within the City's boundaries. It has an immaculately maintained Lawn Bowls club in the centre, which has existed in the gardens...

, containing a bowling green
Bowling green
A bowling green is a finely-laid, close-mown and rolled stretch of lawn for playing the game of lawn bowls.Before 1830, when Edwin Beard Budding invented the lawnmower, lawns were often kept cropped by grazing sheep on them...

 and bandstand
Bandstand
A bandstand is a circular or semicircular structure set in a park, garden, pier, or indoor space, designed to accommodate musical bands performing concerts...

, to churchyards such as one belonging to the church of St. Olave Hart Street
St Olave Hart Street
St Olave Hart Street is a Church of England church in the City of London, located on the corner of Hart Street and Seething Lane near Fenchurch Street railway station....

, to water features and artwork found in some of the courtyards and pedestrianised lanes.

Gardens include:
  • Barber-Surgeon's Hall Garden, London Wall
  • Cleary Garden, Queen Victoria Street
    Queen Victoria Street
    Queen Victoria Street may refer to one of the following:*Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle*Queen Victoria Street, Hong Kong*Queen Victoria Street, Leeds*Queen Victoria Street, London*Queen Victoria Street, Reading...

  • Finsbury Circus
    Finsbury Circus
    Finsbury Circus is an elliptical square with its long axis lying east-west in the City of London, England; with an area of 2.2 hectares it is the largest public open space within the City's boundaries. It has an immaculately maintained Lawn Bowls club in the centre, which has existed in the gardens...

    , Blomfield Street/London Wall/Moorgate
    Moorgate
    Moorgate was a postern in the London Wall originally built by the Romans. It was turned into a gate in the 15th century. Though the gate was demolished in 1762, the name survives as a major street in the City of London...

  • Jubilee Garden
    Jubilee Garden
    The Jubilee Garden is a large, open park area in the center of Rajkot city, Gujarat, India....

    , Houndsditch
    Houndsditch
    Houndsditch is a street in the City of London that connects Bishopsgate in the north west to Aldgate in the south east. The modern street runs through a part of the Portsoken Ward and Bishopsgate Ward Without...

  • Portsoken Street Garden, Portsoken Street/Goodman's Yard
  • Postman's Park
    Postman's Park
    Postman's Park is a park in central London, a short distance north of St Paul's Cathedral. Bordered by Little Britain, Aldersgate Street, King Edward Street, and the site of the former head office of the General Post Office , it is one of the largest parks in the City of London, the walled city...

    , Little Britain
    Little Britain, London
    Little Britain is a street in the City of London running from St. Martin's Le Grand in the east to West Smithfield in the west. It is the northern boundary of St Bartholomew's Hospital and is situated in the Aldersgate and Farringdon Within wards. Postman's Park is situated by Little...

    /Aldersgate
    Aldersgate
    Aldersgate was a gate in the London Wall in the City of London, which has given its name to a ward and Aldersgate Street, a road leading north from the site of the gate, towards Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington.-History:...

  • Seething Lane Garden, Seething Lane
  • St. Dunstan-in-the-East
    St Dunstan-in-the-East
    St Dunstan-in-the-East was a Church of England parish church on St Dunstan's Hill, half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London. The church was largely destroyed in the Second World War and the ruins are now a public garden....

    , St. Dunstan's Hill/Idol Lane
  • St. Mary Aldermanbury
    St Mary Aldermanbury
    St Mary Aldermanbury church in the City of London, is first mentioned in 1181 but was destroyed by the Great fire of London in 1666. Rebuilt in Portland stone by Sir Christopher Wren, it was again gutted by the Blitz in 1940, leaving only the walls...

    , Aldermanbury
  • St. Olave Hart Street churchyard, Seething Lane
  • St. Paul's churchyard, St Paul's Cathedral
    St Paul's Cathedral
    St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

  • West Smithfield Garden, West Smithfield
    Smithfield, London
    Smithfield is an area of the City of London, in the ward of Farringdon Without. It is located in the north-west part of the City, and is mostly known for its centuries-old meat market, today the last surviving historical wholesale market in Central London...

  • Whittington Gardens, College Street/Upper Thames Street


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
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court 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...

 and Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known 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...

 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.

Climate


The nearest weather station has historically been the London Weather Centre, located at Kingsway/Holborn, although observations ceased in 2010. Now St James Park provides the nearest official readings.

The City has a oceanic climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 "Cfb") modified somewhat by the Urban Heat Island
Urban heat island
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon. The temperature difference usually is larger at night...

 which persists in the centre of London. This generally causes higher nighttime 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 both Greenwich and Heathrow and just 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) at Wisley on the edge of the urban area beside the M25. All figures refer to the observation period 1971-2000.

Not surprisingly, the weather station holds the record for the UK's warmest overnight minimum temperature, 24 °C (75.2 °F), recorded on the 4th of August 1990. The absolute maximum temperature stands at 37.6 °C (99.7 °F), set on the 10th August 2003. The absolute minimum for the weather station is a mere -8.2 C, compared to readings around -15.0 C towards the edges of London. Unusually, this temperature was set 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 also holds the record for the highest British mean monthly temperature, 22.9 °C (73.2 °F) (mean maximum 27.9 °C (82.2 °F), mean minimum 17.8 °C (64 °F) during July 2006. However, in terms of daytime maximum temperature's only, Cambridge NIAB and Botanical Gardens with a mean maximum of 28.3 °C (82.9 °F), and Heathrow with 28.2 °C (82.8 °F) all exceeded this.

Some have questioned the comparability of the LWC records due to the weather stations rooftop location (rather than a conventional ground/grass located screen).

Police and security


The City is a police area
Police area
A police area is the area for which a territorial police force in the United Kingdom is responsible for policing.Every location in the United Kingdom has a designated territorial police force with statutory responsibility for providing policing services and enforcing criminal law, which is set out...

 and has its own territorial police force
Territorial police force
The phrase Territorial Police Force varies in precise meaning according to the country to which it is related, generally distinguishing a force whose area of responsibility is defined by sub-national boundaries from others which deal with the entire country or a restricted range of...

, the City of London Police
City of London Police
The City of London Police is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the City of London, England, including the Middle and Inner Temple. The service responsible for law enforcement within the rest of Greater London is the Metropolitan Police Service, a separate...

, which is a separate organisation to the Metropolitan Police Service
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

 which covers the remainder of Greater London. The City Police have three police station
Police station
A police station or station house is a building which serves to accommodate police officers and other members of staff. These buildings often contain offices and accommodation for personnel and vehicles, along with locker rooms, temporary holding cells and interview/interrogation rooms.- Facilities...

s, located at Snow Hill, Wood Street
Wood Street, London
Wood Street is a street in the City of London, England. The street crosses Gresham Street as it runs north-south. It today lies in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap ....

 and Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate is a road and ward in the northeast part of the City of London, extending north from Gracechurch Street to Norton Folgate. It is named after one of the original seven gates in London Wall...

, and has 813 police officer
Police officer
A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

s, 85 Special Constables and 48 PCSOs
Police community support officer
A police community support officer , or community support officer is a uniformed non-warranted officer employed by a territorial police force or the British Transport Police in England and Wales. Police community support officers were introduced in September 2002 by the Police Reform Act 2002...

. Covering just the City of London, it is the smallest territorial police force in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, 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 black and gold featuring the City crest. The force also have a 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 of London), which in most other British police forces are black and white. City police sergeants and constables wear crested helmets
Custodian helmet
Custodian helmet or centurion helmet, technically known as a 'Home Office pattern helmet', is a helmet worn by many policemen in England and Wales.-History:...

 whilst on foot patrol. These helmets do not feature the Brunswick Star
Brunswick star
The Brunswick star is an emblem which in outline is an eight-pointed or sixteen-pointed star, but which is composed of many narrow rays. It is used in Britain to surround the Royal Cypher on various badges, such as that worn on the caps and helmets of almost all police forces...

, 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, has resulted in it becoming a target for political violence. The Provisional IRA exploded several bomb
Bomb
A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy...

s in the City in the early 1990s, including the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing
1993 Bishopsgate bombing
The Bishopsgate bombing occurred on 24 April 1993, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a truck bomb in London's financial district in Bishopsgate, City of London, England. One person was killed in the explosion and 44 injured, and damage initially estimated at £1 billion was caused...

.

The area is also spoken of as a possible target for al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

. For instance, when in May 2004 the BBC's Panorama
Panorama (TV series)
Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme, which was first broadcast in 1953, and is the longest-running public affairs television programme in the world. Panorama has been presented by many well known BBC presenters, including Richard Dimbleby, Robin Day, David Dimbleby...

 programme examined the preparedness of Britain's emergency services for a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, they simulated a chemical explosion on Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate is a road and ward in the northeast part of the City of London, extending north from Gracechurch Street to Norton Folgate. It is named after one of the original seven gates in London Wall...

 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.

Fire brigade



The City has fire risks in many places, including St. Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, The Old Bailey, Mansion House
Mansion House, London
Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in London, England. It is used for some of the City of London's official functions, including an annual dinner, hosted by the Lord Mayor, at which the Chancellor of the Exchequer customarily gives a speech – his...

, Smithfield Market, the Guildhall
Guildhall, London
The Guildhall is a building in the City of London, off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. It 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...

, and the numerous high-rise buildings. There is one London Fire Brigade station within the City, at Dowgate
Dowgate
Dowgate is a small ward of the City of London. The ward is bounded by Swan Lane, the River Thames, Cousin Lane and Cannon Street. Dowgate is where the Walbrook watercourse entered the Thames....

, with one pumping appliance
Fire appliances in the United Kingdom
Fire appliances used by the fire service in the United Kingdom fit into several distinct categories and perform a wide range of general and specialised roles....

. 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. 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.

Demography



The Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 has estimated that the City of London's population for mid-2010 was 11,700; which was 4,515 more people than that of the last census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 from 2001. At the time of the 2001 UK census, the ethnic composition of the City was 84.6% White
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

, 6.8% South Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

, 2.6% Black
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

, 2.3% Mixed
British Mixed-Race
Mixed is an ethnicity category that has been used by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics since the 1991 Census. Colloquially it refers to British citizens or residents whose parents are of two or more different races or ethnic backgrounds...

, 2.0% Chinese
British Chinese
British Chinese , including British-born Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in, or have migrated to, the United Kingdom. They are part of the Chinese diaspora, or overseas Chinese...

 and 1.7% were listed as "other". To the right is a graph showing the change in population of the City since 1801 based decadal censuses
Census in the United Kingdom
Coincident full censuses have taken place in the different jurisdictions of the United Kingdom every ten years since 1801, with the exceptions of 1941 and in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State in 1921; simultaneous censuses were taken in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, with...

. The first half of the 19th century shows a population staying between 120,000-140,000 people, however the population decreases dramatically from 1851 to 1991, with a small increase in population between 1991 and 2001. The only notable boundary changes to the City since the first census in 1801 occurred in 1994.

The City of London's full-time working residents have much higher gross weekly pay compared to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland): £773.30 compared to £598.60 and £491.00 respectively. It is worth noting, however, that there is a large inequality between genders (£1,085.90 in men compared to £653.50 in women). The 2001 Census showed the City of London as a unique district amongst 376 districts surveyed in England and Wales. The City had the highest proportional population increase, households without a car or van, 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, married couple households, people who travel to work by car 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.

Economy




The City vies with New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 as the financial capital
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

 of the world and many banking and insurance institutions have their headquarters there. The London Stock Exchange
London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

 (shares and bonds
Bond (finance)
In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest to use and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity...

), Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London
Lloyd's, also known as Lloyd's of London, is a British insurance and reinsurance market. It serves as a partially mutualised marketplace where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk...

 (insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

) and the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 are all based in the City. Over 500 bank
Bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

s have offices in the City, and the City is an established leader in trading in Eurobond
Eurobond
A Eurobond is an international bond that is denominated in a currency not native to the country where it is issued. It can be categorised according to the currency in which it is issued. London is one of the centers of the Eurobond market, but Eurobonds may be traded throughout the world - for...

s, foreign exchange
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

, energy
Energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 futures
Futures contract
In finance, a futures contract is a standardized contract between two parties to exchange a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date. The contracts are traded on a futures exchange...

 and global insurance. The Alternative Investment Market
Alternative Investment Market
AIM is a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, allowing smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is applicable to the main market....

, a market for trades in equities of smaller firms, is a recent development. In 2008, the City of London accounted for 4% of UK GDP.

London is the world's greatest foreign exchange market
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

, with much of the trade conducted in the City of London. Of the $3.98 trillion daily global turnover, as measured in 2007, trading in London accounted for around $1.36 trillion, or 34.1% of the total. The Pound Sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

, the currency of the United Kingdom, is globally the fourth most traded currency and the third most held reserve currency
Reserve currency
A reserve currency, or anchor currency, is a currency that is held in significant quantities by many governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves...

.

Since 1991 Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

, a few miles east of the City in Tower Hamlets, has become a second centre for London's financial services industry and houses many banks and other institutions formerly located in the Square Mile. Although growth has continued in both locations, the Corporation has come to realise that obstructive planning policies were causing financial firms to increasingly choose Canary Wharf as a location.

Headquarters



Many major global companies have their headquarters in the City, including Aviva
Aviva
Aviva plc is a global insurance company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the sixth-largest insurance company in the world measured by net premium income and has 53 million customers in 28 countries...

, BT Group
BT Group
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...

, Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group plc is a major British financial institution, formed through the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in 2009. As at February 2010, HM Treasury held a 41% shareholding through UK Financial Investments Limited . The Group headquarters is located at 25 Gresham Street in London, with...

, Old Mutual
Old Mutual
Old Mutual plc is an international long-term savings group. Established in 1845 in South Africa, it is now a FTSE100 listed company operating in 33 countries.-History:...

, Prudential
Prudential plc
Prudential plc is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.Prudential's largest division is Prudential Corporation Asia, which has over 15 million customers across 13 Asian markets and is a top-three provider of life insurance in mainland China, Hong...

, Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom with operations in more than seventy countries...

, and Unilever.

A number of the world's largest law firms are headquartered in the City, including Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom.A member of the UK's Magic Circle of leading law firms, Allen & Overy is widely considered to be one of the world's elite law firms, advising national and multinational corporations, financial institutions, and...

, Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance LLP is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and a member of the 'Magic Circle' of leading UK law firms. It is one of the ten largest law firms in the world measured by both number of lawyers and revenue...

, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and a member of the 'Magic Circle' of leading English law firms. It is the second-largest law firm in the world measured by revenues. In 2010-11 it achieved total revenues of £1.14 billion and profits...

, DLA Piper
DLA Piper
DLA Piper is a global law firm with 76 offices across 30 countries and more than 4,200 lawyers. As of May 2011, it was the largest law firm in the world by number of attorneys. The firm's global revenues were $1.92 billion in 2009-2010. The firm is composed of two partnerships, DLA Piper...

, Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells
Hogan Lovells is an international law firm co-headquartered in London, United Kingdom and Washington, D.C., United States. It was formed on May 1, 2010 following the merger of Washington-based Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells. The two firms' agreement to merge was announced on 15 December...

, Linklaters
Linklaters
Linklaters LLP is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and a member of the 'Magic Circle' of leading UK law firms. Linklaters is the world's fourth largest global law firm by revenue. In 2009/10 it received total revenues of £1.18 billion and profits per equity partner of £1.2...

, Eversheds
Eversheds
Eversheds LLP is an international law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the 50 largest law firms in the world measured by revenues. In 2009/10 it achieved total revenues of £355.2 million, making it the ninth-largest UK-based law firm by this measurement, and profits per...

 and Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May is an international law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and a member of the 'Magic Circle' of leading UK law firms. It also has offices in Beijing, Brussels and Hong Kong....

.

Non-financial diversification


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
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 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
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

 opened in the 2000s. A shopping centre was opened at One New Change
One New Change
One New Change is a major office and retail development in the City of London , London, United Kingdom. It comprises a total of 560,000 sq feet of floor space, including of retail space and of office space and is currently the only large, modern shopping centre in the City...

, Cheapside
Cheapside
Cheapside is a street in the City of London that links Newgate Street with the junction of Queen Victoria Street and Mansion House Street. To the east is Mansion House, the Bank of England, and the major road junction above Bank tube station. To the west is St. Paul's Cathedral, St...

 (near St Paul's Cathedral) in October 2010. 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 shops, pub
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

s and cafes closed on these days. The new centre at One New Change however is open 7 days a week.

Other sectors


Whilst the financial sector, and related businesses and institutions, continue to dominate the City, the City's economy is not limited to that sector. The legal profession has a strong presence in the City, especially in the western half (i.e. towards the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

). Retail businesses were once important in the City, but have gradually moved to the West End of London
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

, though it is now Corporation policy to encourage retailing in some locations, for example at Cheapside
Cheapside
Cheapside is a street in the City of London that links Newgate Street with the junction of Queen Victoria Street and Mansion House Street. To the east is Mansion House, the Bank of England, and the major road junction above Bank tube station. To the west is St. Paul's Cathedral, St...

 near St Paul's. The City has a number of visitor attractions, mainly based on its historic heritage as well as the Barbican Centre
Barbican Centre
The Barbican Centre is the largest performing arts centre in Europe. Located in the City of London, England, 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...

 and adjacent Museum of London
Museum of London
The Museum of London documents the history of London from the Prehistoric to the present day. The museum is located close to the Barbican Centre, as part of the striking Barbican complex of buildings created in the 1960s and 70s as an innovative approach to re-development within a bomb damaged...

, 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
Shoreditch
Shoreditch is an area of London within the London Borough of Hackney in England. It is a built-up part of the inner city immediately to the north of the City of London, located east-northeast of Charing Cross.-Etymology:...

. The meat market at Smithfield, wholly within the City's boundaries, continues to be one of London's main markets (the only one remaining in central London) and the country's largest meat market
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

. In the east of the City is Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is a covered market in the City of London, located at Gracechurch Street but with vehicular access also available via Whittington Avenue to the north and Lime Street to the south and east and additional pedestrian access via a number of narrow passageways.-History:The market dates...

, a fresh food market that is also a visitor attraction.

Historic buildings


Fire, bombing and post-War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 redevelopment has meant that the City, despite its history, has relatively few intact notable historic structures remaining. Those that are present today include the Monument to the Great Fire of London
Monument to the Great Fire of London
The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The monument, is a 202 ft tall stone Roman Doric column in the City of London, England, near the northern end of London Bridge. It stands at the junction of Monument Street and Panda Bear Hill, 202 ft from where the Great...

 ("the Monument"), St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, the Guildhall
Guildhall, London
The Guildhall is a building in the City of London, off Gresham and Basinghall streets, in the wards of Bassishaw and Cheap. It 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...

, the Royal Exchange, Dr. Johnson's House, Mansion House
Mansion House, London
Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in London, England. It is used for some of the City of London's official functions, including an annual dinner, hosted by the Lord Mayor, at which the Chancellor of the Exchequer customarily gives a speech – his...

 and a great many churches, many designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who also designed St Paul's. 2 King's Bench Walk
2 King's Bench Walk
2 King's Bench Walk is a Grade I listed building that houses barristers' chambers in the Inner Temple, Central London. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in about 1680, after the Great Fire of 1666....

 and Prince Henry's Room
Prince Henry's Room
Prince Henry's Room is a museum on 17 Fleet Street, London in the United Kingdom. The house is one of the few buildings in the City of London which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666....

 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
Staple Inn
Staple Inn is a building on the south side of High Holborn in London, England. Located near Chancery Lane tube station, it is used as the London office of the Institute of Actuaries and is the last surviving Inn of Chancery and is a listed building....

 on Holborn. A few small sections of the Roman London Wall
London Wall
London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the River Thames in what is now the United Kingdom, and subsequently maintained until the 18th century. It is now the name of a road in the City of London running along part of...

 exist, for example near the Tower of London and also in the Barbican area. Among the twentieth century listed buildings are Bracken House
Bracken House
The Bracken House is the residence of the President of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The home is located just a few blocks west of the Ball State University campus in the historic neighborhood of Westwood. Many receptions, dinners, and other official university events are hosted at the...

, the first post WWII buildings in the country to be given statutory protection, and the whole of the Barbican
Barbican
A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from medieval Latin barbecana, signifying the "outer fortification of a city or castle," with cognates in the Romance languages A barbican, from...

 and Golden Lane Estate
Golden Lane Estate
The Golden Lane Estate is a 1950s council housing complex in the City of London. It was built on the northern edge of the City, in an area devastated by bombing during World War II.-Origins:...

.

The Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 is not within the City, but is a notable visitor attraction which brings tourists to the southeast of the City. Other landmark buildings include a number of the modern high-rise buildings (see section below) as well as the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

, the Old Bailey
Old Bailey
The Central Criminal Court in England and Wales, commonly known as the Old Bailey from the street in which it stands, is a court building in central London, one of a number of buildings housing the Crown Court...

, Smithfield Market
Smithfield, London
Smithfield is an area of the City of London, in the ward of Farringdon Without. It is located in the north-west part of the City, and is mostly known for its centuries-old meat market, today the last surviving historical wholesale market in Central London...

 and the Lloyd's building
Lloyd's building
The Lloyd's building is the home of the insurance institution Lloyd's of London, and is located at 1, Lime Street, in the City of London, England.-Design:...

.

Skyscrapers


Completed


A growing number of tall buildings and skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

s exist in the City, principally for use by the financial sector. Almost all are situated in the eastern side of the Square Mile, in what is the City's financial core. In the north of the City there is a smaller cluster comprising the Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

's three tall residential towers and the commercial CityPoint tower — another residential tower at Milton Court is under construction adjacent to CityPoint. In 2007, the 100 m (328 ft) tall Drapers' Gardens building was demolished and replaced by a shorter tower. The thirteen tallest buildings (those taller than 100m) at present in the City are:
Rank Name "color:navy;">Built Use Height Floors Location
metres feet
1 Heron Tower
Heron Tower
Heron Tower, also referred to as 110 Bishopsgate, is a skyscraper owned by Heron International in the City of London. It was completed in 2011...

 
2010 Office 202 753 46 110 Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate
Bishopsgate is a road and ward in the northeast part of the City of London, extending north from Gracechurch Street to Norton Folgate. It is named after one of the original seven gates in London Wall...

2 Tower 42
Tower 42
Tower 42 is the second tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the fifth tallest in London overall. The original name was the National Westminster Tower, having been built to house the National Westminster Bank's International Division. Seen from above, the tower closely resembles the NatWest...

 
1980 Office 183 600 47 25 Old Broad Street
3 30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe, the Swiss Re Building , is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London, completed in December 2003 and opened at the end of May 2004...

 ("The Gherkin")
2003 Office 180 590 40 30 St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe was a medieval parish in London whose name survives on the street it formerly occupied, St Mary Axe. The church itself was demolished in 1561 and its parish united with that of St Andrew Undershaft, which is on the corner of St Mary Axe and Leadenhall Street...

4 Broadgate Tower
Broadgate Tower
The Broadgate Tower is a skyscraper in London's main financial district, the City of London. It was constructed from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the fourth tallest building in the City of London....

 
2008 Office 164 538 35 201 Bishopsgate
5 CityPoint
CityPoint
CityPoint is a skyscraper on Ropemaker Street on the northern fringe of the City of London.-Design and construction:...

 
1967 Office 127 417 36 Ropemaker Street
6 Willis Building
Willis Building (London)
The Willis Building at 51 Lime Street, is a large office tower in London's main financial district, the City of London.Designed by architect Norman Foster and developed by British Land, it stands opposite the Lloyd's building and is tall, with 26 storeys...

 
2007 Office 125 410 26 51 Lime Street
Lime Street, London
Lime Street is a street in the City of London between Fenchurch Street to the south and Leadenhall Street to the north.The northern portion of the street is pedestrianised...

=7 Cromwell Tower 1973 Residential 123 404 42 Barbican Estate
Barbican Estate
The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built during the 1960s and the 1970s in the City of London, in an area once devastated by World War II bombings and today densely populated by financial institutions...

=7 Lauderdale Tower 1974 Residential 123 404 42 Barbican Estate
=7 Shakespeare Tower 1976 Residential 123 404 42 Barbican Estate
10 St Helen's ("Aviva Tower") 1969 Office 118 387 28 Undershaft, St Mary Axe
11 St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 
1710 Cathedral 111 365 n/a Ludgate Hill
Ludgate Hill
Ludgate Hill is a hill in the City of London, near the old Ludgate, a gate to the City that was taken down, with its attached gaol, in 1780. Ludgate Hill is the site of St Paul's Cathedral, traditionally said to have been the site of a Roman temple of the goddess Diana. It is one of the three...

12 99 Bishopsgate
99 Bishopsgate
99 Bishopsgate is a skyscraper in the City of London. It is tall and has 25 office floors, with a total net letable floor space of circa . There are a further three plant floors at levels LG, 14 and 27....

 
1976 Office 104 340 26 99 Bishopsgate
13 Stock Exchange Tower
Stock Exchange Tower
The Stock Exchange Tower is a high-rise building located in the City of London at 125 Old Broad Street.-History:Standing at tall, with 26 floors, the tower was completed by Trollope & Colls in 1970 and opened by the Queen in 1972. It served as the headquarters and offices for the London Stock...

 
1970, reconstructed 2009 Office 100 328 27 125 Old Broad Street

Under construction


Buildings over 100 metres either under construction or approved to be built:
Name Height Floors Location Use Status
metres feet
The Pinnacle
Bishopsgate Tower
The Pinnacle, also known as The Bishopsgate Tower and The Helter-Skelter, is a , 63-storey skyscraper under construction in the centre of London's main financial district, the City of London. It is one of four major towers under construction in London, others being Shard London Bridge, 122...

 ("Helter Skelter")
288 945 63 22-24 Bishopsgate Office Under construction
The Leadenhall Building
122 Leadenhall Street
122 Leadenhall Street is an address on Leadenhall Street in the City of London where a 225 metre tall skyscraper designed by Richard Rogers and frequently referred to as "the Cheese Grater" is currently under construction. The site is adjacent to the Lloyd's building, also designed by Rogers...

 ("Cheesegrater")
225 737 48 122 Leadenhall Street
Leadenhall Street
Leadenhall Street is a street in the City of London, formerly part of the A11. It runs east from Cornhill to Aldgate, and west vice-versa. Aldgate Pump is at the junction with Aldgate...

 
Office Under construction
100 Bishopsgate
100 Bishopsgate
100 Bishopsgate is a skyscraper under construction in the north eastern part of London's main financial district, the City of London. It will stand in a prominent location on Bishopsgate, just a short walk from Liverpool Street station...

172 564 40 100 Bishopsgate Office Site preparation
20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street
20 Fenchurch Street is a 160 metre , 36-storey skyscraper currently under construction in the City of London. It has been nicknamed the Walkie Talkie. Costing over £200m, it is designed by the Uruguayan born architect Rafael Viñoly and will feature a highly distinctive, top-heavy form which...

 ("Walkie Talkie")
160 525 39 20 Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street is a street in the City of London home to a number of shops, pubs and offices. It links Aldgate at its eastern end with Lombard Street and Gracechurch Street to the west. To the south of Fenchurch Street and towards its eastern end is Fenchurch Street railway station...

 
Office Under construction
Heron Plaza 135 443 44 128-140 Bishopsgate Hotel/Residential Site preparation
"The Heron" 112 367 35 Milton Court, Barbican Residential Under construction

Timeline


This is the timeline of the tallest building in the City of London. The White Tower and Southwark Cathedral lie immediately outside the City's official boundary; the Pinnacle is under construction.
Name
Years as Tallest
Metres
Feet
Floors
The Pinnacle
Bishopsgate Tower
The Pinnacle, also known as The Bishopsgate Tower and The Helter-Skelter, is a , 63-storey skyscraper under construction in the centre of London's main financial district, the City of London. It is one of four major towers under construction in London, others being Shard London Bridge, 122...

 
U/C 288 945 63
Heron Tower
Heron Tower
Heron Tower, also referred to as 110 Bishopsgate, is a skyscraper owned by Heron International in the City of London. It was completed in 2011...

 
2010 202 663 46
Tower 42
Tower 42
Tower 42 is the second tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the fifth tallest in London overall. The original name was the National Westminster Tower, having been built to house the National Westminster Bank's International Division. Seen from above, the tower closely resembles the NatWest...

 
1980–2010 183 600 47
CityPoint
CityPoint
CityPoint is a skyscraper on Ropemaker Street on the northern fringe of the City of London.-Design and construction:...

 
1967–1980 122 400 35
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 
1710–1962 111 365 n/a
St Mary-le-Bow
St Mary-le-Bow
St Mary-le-Bow is an historic church in the City of London, off Cheapside. According to tradition, a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of the church's bells.-Bells:...

 
1683–1710 72 236 n/a
Monument to the Great Fire of London
Monument to the Great Fire of London
The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The monument, is a 202 ft tall stone Roman Doric column in the City of London, England, near the northern end of London Bridge. It stands at the junction of Monument Street and Panda Bear Hill, 202 ft from where the Great...

 
1677–1683 62 202 n/a
Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark, London, lies on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge....

 
1666-1677 50 163 n/a
Old St Paul's Cathedral
Old St Paul's Cathedral
Old St Paul's Cathedral is a name used to refer to the medieval cathedral of the City of London which until 1666 stood on the site of the present St Paul's Cathedral. Built between 1087 and 1314 and dedicated to St Paul, the cathedral was the fourth church on the site at Ludgate Hill...

 
1310-1666 150 493 n/a
White Tower
White Tower (Tower of London)
The White Tower is a central tower, the old keep, at the Tower of London.-History:The castle which later became known as the Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1066. It began as a timber fortification enclosed by a palisade. In the next decade work began on the White Tower, the...

 
1098-1310 27 90 n/a

Transport





Rail


The City is well served by the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 network, as well as the Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 (DLR), with 12 tube stations (counting Bank and Monument stations separately) and 2 DLR stations within its boundary. Three National Rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 termini stations are located in the City, at Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

, Fenchurch Street
Fenchurch Street railway station
Fenchurch Street railway station, also known as London Fenchurch Street, is a central London railway terminus in the south eastern corner of the City of London, England. The station is one of the smallest terminals in London in terms of platforms and one of the most intensively operated...

 and Cannon Street
Cannon Street station
Cannon Street station, also known as London Cannon Street, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex in the City of London, England. It is built on the site of the medieval Steelyard, the trading base in England of the Hanseatic League...

, and London Bridge station
London Bridge station
London Bridge railway station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex in the London Borough of Southwark, occupying a large area on two levels immediately south-east of London Bridge and 1.6 miles east of Charing Cross. It is one of the oldest railway stations in the...

 is on the other end of London Bridge in Southwark. The Thameslink
Thameslink
Thameslink is a fifty-station main-line route in the British railway system running north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton, serving both London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport. It opened as a through service in 1988 and by 1998 was severely overcrowded, carrying more than...

 mainline runs north-south through the western half of the City, with two stations within the City boundary: City Thameslink and Blackfriars
Blackfriars station
Blackfriars station, also known as London Blackfriars, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex in the City of London, England. Its platforms will eventually span the River Thames a short distance downstream from Blackfriars Bridge. The current entrance is located on the...

. As well as being an Underground station, Moorgate
Moorgate station
Moorgate station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station on Moorgate in the City of London; it provides National Rail services by First Capital Connect for Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth and also serves the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines and...

 is the terminus of the Northern City Line
Northern City Line
The Northern City Line is a railway line from Moorgate to Finsbury Park in London, once part of the Great Northern Electrics line. It should not be confused with the City branch of the Northern line, nor with the North London Line...

. The whole of the City of London lies in Travelcard Zone 1
Travelcard Zone 1
Fare zone 1 is the central zone of Transport for London's zonal fare system used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services. For most tickets, travel through the zone is charged...

.

The high capacity west-east Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 railway line, which is scheduled to be completed by 2017, will run underground across the north of the City, with two stations at Farringdon
Farringdon station
Farringdon station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Clerkenwell, just north of the City of London in the London Borough of Islington...

 (linked also to Barbican
Barbican station
Barbican is a London Underground station serving the Barbican Estate and Centre in the City of London. It is on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines between and , in Travelcard Zone 1. Thameslink trains to and from Moorgate via Barbican ceased in March 2009.-History:The station...

) and Liverpool Street (linked also to Moorgate).

Road


The national A1, A10 A3
A3 road
The A3, known as the Portsmouth Road for much of its length, is a dual carriageway, or expressway, which follows the historic route between London and Portsmouth passing close to Kingston upon Thames, Guildford, Haslemere and Petersfield. For much of its length, it is classified as a trunk road...

, A4, and A40
A40 road
The A40 is a major trunk road connecting London to Fishguard, Wales and officially called The London to Fishguard Trunk Road in all legal documents and Acts...

 road routes begin in the City of London. The entirety of the City lies within the London congestion charge
London congestion charge
The London congestion charge is a fee charged for some categories of motor vehicle to travel at certain times within the Congestion Charge Zone , a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system...

 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
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 from the City of London to the southern bank: Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames in London, between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge, carrying the A201 road. The north end is near the Inns of Court and Temple Church, along with Blackfriars station...

, Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a railway bridge crossing the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.There have been two structures with the name. The first bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by Joseph Cubitt for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway...

, Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge (London)
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, England, linking Bankside with the City. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge...

 (footbridge), Southwark Bridge
Southwark Bridge
Southwark Bridge is an arch bridge for traffic linking Southwark and the City across the River Thames, in London, England. It was designed by Ernest George and Basil Mott. It was built by Sir William Arrol & Co. and opened in 1921...

, Cannon Street Railway Bridge
Cannon Street Railway Bridge
Cannon Street Railway Bridge is a bridge in central London, crossing the River Thames. Downstream, the next bridge is London Bridge, and upstream Southwark Bridge. It carries trains over the river to Cannon Street station on the north bank...

 and London Bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

. The famous landmark, the Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name...

, is not in the City of London. The City, like most of central London, is well served by buses
Buses in London
The London Bus is one of London's principal icons, the archetypal red rear-entrance double-deck Routemaster being recognised worldwide. Although the Routemaster has now been largely phased out of service, with only two heritage routes still using the vehicles, the majority of buses in London are...

, including night buses. Two bus stations are located in the City, at Aldgate
Aldgate bus station
Aldgate Bus Station serves the Aldgate area of the City of London, England. The station is owned and maintained by Transport for London.The station can be accessed just off the Aldgate High Street and Minories across the road from Aldgate Metropolitan and Circle Line tube station.There is one stand...

 on the eastern border with Tower Hamlets, and at Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street bus station
Liverpool Street bus station serves the Bishopsgate area of the City of London and is practically within the Liverpool Street station.There are four stands at the station, named A, B, C and D. The waiting area is within the rail station on the top floor, just outside the exits to the bus stands...

 by the railway station there. There are approximately 28 Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays Cycle Hire is a public scheme bicycle sharing scheme that was launched on 30 July 2010 in London, United Kingdom. The scheme's bicycles are informally referred to as Boris bikes, after Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time of the official launch.BCH commenced operations...

 docking stations in the City. A number of existing and proposed cycle routes criss-cross the City, as part of the London Cycle Network.

River


One London River Services
London River Services
London River Services is a division of Transport for London , which manages passenger transport on the River Thames in London, UK. They do not own or operate any boats but license the services of other operators...

 pier exists on the Thames along the City of London shore, the Blackfriars Millennium Pier
Blackfriars Millennium Pier
Blackfriars Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in the Blackfriars area of London, United Kingdom. It is served by boats operating under licence from London River Services and is situated on the north bank of the Thames, adjacent to Blackfriars Bridge.The pier is located almost directly...

, though the Tower Millennium Pier
Tower Millennium Pier
Tower Millennium Pier is a pier on the River Thames, in London, UK. It is operated by London River Services and served by various river transport and cruise operators...

 lies adjacent to the City's boundary, near the Tower of London. One of the Port of London
Port of London
The Port of London lies along the banks of the River Thames from London, England to the North Sea. Once the largest port in the world, it is currently the United Kingdom's second largest port, after Grimsby & Immingham...

's 25 safeguarded wharves
Safeguarded wharf
Safeguarded wharves are those wharves in London which have been given special status by the Mayor of London and the Port of London Authority which ensures they are retained as working wharves and are protected from redevelopment into non-port use....

 in central London, Walbrook Wharf
Walbrook Wharf
Walbrook Wharf is an operating freight wharf located in the City of London adjacent to Cannon Street station. It has safeguarded wharf status.It is used as a waste transfer station owned by the City of London Corporation and operated by Cory Environmental...

, 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 2012-2015. Before then, Tower Pier is to be extended.

There is a public riverside walk along the entire shoreline of the City; it was opened in stages in recent years. The only remaining section not running along the river is a short stretch at Queenhithe
Queenhithe
Queenhithe is a small ward of the City of London, situated on the River Thames and to the south of St Paul's Cathedral. The Millennium Bridge crosses into the City 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, Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School at Aldgate
Aldgate
Aldgate was the eastern most gateway through London Wall leading from the City of London to Whitechapel and the east end of London. Aldgate gives its name to a ward of the City...

 (ages 4 to 11). It is a Voluntary-Aided (VA) Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 school, maintained by the Education Service of the City of London.

City residents may send their children to schools in neighbouring Local Education Authorities
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

, such as Islington
London Borough of Islington
The London Borough of Islington is a London borough in Inner London. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and Islington South & Finsbury...

, Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

, Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 and Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

.

The City controls three independent schools, City of London School
City of London School
The City of London School is a boys' independent day school on the banks of the River Thames in the City of London, England. It is the brother school of the City of London School for Girls and the co-educational City of London Freemen's School...

 (a boys school) and City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls is a girls' independent school located in the City of London, United Kingdom. It is sister school of the City of London School and the City of London Freemen's School .-History:The school was founded by William Ward in 1894...

 (girls) which are in the City itself, and the City of London Freemen's School
City of London Freemen's School
City of London Freemen's School is a coeducational independent school for day and boarding pupils, located at Ashtead Park in Surrey, England. It is the sister school of the City of London School and the City of London School for Girls, which are both independent single-sex schools located within...

 (co-educational day and boarding) which is in Ashtead
Ashtead
Ashtead is a village situated within the Metropolitan Green Belt of Surrey, England, and is just outside of the suburbia of London. It is separated from Leatherhead by the M25, and from Epsom by Ashtead Common.- History :...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

. 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
City of London Academy
The City of London Academy is the name given to four city academies established in inner London with the support of the Corporation of London. The academies are in the London boroughs of Camden, Southwark, Islington and Hackney...

 which is based in Southwark.

The City is also home to the renowned Cass Business School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts.-History:...

 and parts of three of the universities in London: The Maughan Library
The Maughan Library
The Maughan Library and Information Services Centre is a 19th-century neo-Gothic building located on Chancery Lane in the City of London. Since 2001 it has been in use as the main library of King's College London...

 of King's College London's Strand Campus, and the business school of London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University , located in London, England, was formed on 1 August 2002 by the amalgamation of the University of North London and the London Guildhall University . The University has campuses in the City of London and in the London Borough of Islington.The University operates its...

. 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
The College of Law
The College of Law of England and Wales is a private educational institution in England and a registered charity which provides legal education for students and professionals.-20th century:...

 has its London campus in Moorgate
Moorgate
Moorgate was a postern in the London Wall originally built by the Romans. It was turned into a gate in the 15th century. Though the gate was demolished in 1762, the name survives as a major street in the City of London...

; part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is in the City, on the Barts hospital site at West Smithfield.

Public libraries


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

Criticism


The City of London has been granted various special privileges since the Norman Conquest such as the right to run its own affairs partly due to the power of its financial capital. These are also mentioned by the Statute of William and Mary in 1690. Today, voting rights for the City of London’s municipal authority are granted to its 32,000 businesses in addition to residents which now number fewer than 12,000. This unique patronage system ensures that business interests usually take priority. Despite this, multiple attempts to reform the City have been thwarted, and maintaining these privileges is the role of an unelected official lobbyist in Parliament called the Remembrancer.

The power and influence of the City over government policy has enraged democratically elected leaders down the ages. For example the former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee wrote “Over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against the Government of the country. Those who control money can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which has been decided by the people."

More recently, following the financial crises of the late 2000s, the City came in for criticism due to an apparent lack of control and regulation. It is also claimed that many of the recent financial catastrophes which were partly caused by a lack of such controls, can be traced to companies who work in the City, or London based offices.

English secretive trust laws and strong libel laws are two factors that make the City an attractive offshore haven for the assets of foreign business. Eva Joly states “The City of London that state within a state’ has never transmitted even the smallest piece of usable evidence to a foreign magistrate." This provides a lucrative environment for money laundering and assets to be sheltered from tax, free from examination by law enforcement agencies by maintaining plausible deniability. Rich private clients also benefit through the domicile rules. Although the City of London’s headline tax rate is the same as the rest of the UK, by influencing and using the legal system and laws of disclosure it has the means to allow clients to avoid or reputedly evade tax.

Although there is no agreed definition of a tax haven, many authors have accused the City of London of being one. The Tax Justice Network, goes further and accuses the City of London as being “the biggest tax haven in the world” as well as ‘a state within a state’.
Ian Doyle and Jem Bendell, summarise these claims with the following statement: the City “is the most powerful lobby in Britain and possibly the world, and as a result . . . exerts enormous political influence to resist regulation and extract tax exemption. It has fostered criminality by ensuring that the City ranks amongst the least accountable of financial centres on the face of the Earth”. The novel Golden Handcuffs by Polly Courtney
Polly Courtney
Polly Courtney is an English author and media commentator. She is best known as the author of the novels Golden Handcuffs and Poles Apart.-Background:...

 draws on the author's experiences of working in investment banking
Investment banking
An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations and governments in raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client's agent in the issuance of securities...

.

It should be noted that many criticisms of the 'City of London' also apply to the UK financial services industry. However, these activities still tend to be centered on London and the City of London in particular.

External links


Official websites

Geographical information

Local information