The City of London

The City of London, also now known as the "Square Mile" is the original and historic settlement of London, England. This is the centre from which the extensive area of Greater London grew, it is a city within a city located on the north bank of the River Thames, slightly east of the centre. The boundary extends from Middle Temple (the home of barristers) to the Tower of London and from Smithfield Market to the area around Liverpool Street station. The boundary of the city is marked in 10 places by the heraldic dragons which hold the city's coat of arms created as distinctive statutes.

It is administered by the Corporation of London, a unique non-political local authority which is independent of the other borough authorities of Greater London which encircle it. It also oversees four bridges including London and Tower Bridges.

The original settlement of "Londinium" was founded by the Romans in approx. AD50 as a port and they built a bridge over the River Thames close to the London Bridge of the present day.

It soon became the largest of any city in Britain and was the capital of the province of Roman Britain. A massive defensive wall was constructed by AD200. In approx. AD450 the Romans left Britain and the walled city was abandoned. The area of the current day city is broadly city to the area of the medieval city.

In 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed approx. 60% of the city including St. Paul's Cathedral and the Royal Exchange. The comprehensive rebuilding required was managed by Sir Christopher Wren using brick and stone in preference to the previous structures in wood.

The first banking firm of C Hoare & Co was founded in 1673 and together with the establishment of the Bank of England in 1694 heralded the beginning of the City's role as the focus for finance in the UK. Today it is one of the world's leading finance centres and the square mile has the greater share of transactions and volume in many global markets including foreign equities, shipping, non-ferrous metals, foreign exchange and insurance. There are in excess of 550 foreign banks operating in the square mile and there is a daily work force of approx. 280,000. In contrast to this the residential population of the square mile is just over 5,000 people

Still have questions?

Contact us