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Locale City Of London

The City of London. (c) FreeFoto.com
The City of London. Photo by Ian Britton. (c) FreeFoto.com

The Square Mile

The financial heart of London at its very core, and the oldest part of the city, and what London people mean then they say "the City". Unusually, the City is actually controlled by a corporation rather than a council - the Corporation of London. Among other things, this means that it has its own police force, the City of London Police, rather than being patrolled by the Metropolitan Police who cover the rest of London. (Even before the various bomb attacks a few years ago, the City of London Police were noted - even by the Met - for the complete absence of a sense of humour.)

The City of London crest. (c) FreeFoto.com
The City of London crest. Photo by Ian Britton. (c) FreeFoto.com

The City is 678 acres in size, and occupies a site approximating that of Norman London. Tacitus, the Roman historian, described it in the first century A.D. as "a busy emporium for trade and traders". Around AD 200 the occupying Romans built a massive defensive wall around the city, in addition to giving the city its name (Londinium). It enclosed a settlement of 330 acres, which covered two low hills: Cornhill, where the city centre was, now the site of [Leadenhall Market]?, and Ludgate Hill, where St Paul's Cathedral now stands. Between the hills the Walbrook, a small river, flowed down into the Thames; it is now one of London's lost rivers. Some 320,000 people work in the City each day, but the residential population is only 7,100. The threat of action by terrorists has resulted in "The Steel Cordon" - a series of police checkpoints on all roads entering and leaving the City.

See London Wall for information about the City wall.

For more history, information about the City's government and medieval system of Guilds, we recommend you look at mamg's Square Mile site.

Neighbouring locales: Holborn / Clerkenwell / Barbican / Broadgate / [Farringdon]? / Southwark

Last edited 2006-05-26 00:37:28 (version 8; diff). List all versions.