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Chancery Lane has formed the western boundary of the City of London since 1994, having previously been divided between the London boroughs of Westminster and Camden.
Chancery Lane originates from before 1161 as a ’new lane’. It was created by the Knights Templar
from the ’Old Temple
’ on the site of the Southampton Buildings
, in order to access their newly acquired property (the present Temple
The street takes its name from the historic High Court of Chancery established in 1161 when Robert de Chesney, Bishop of Lincoln, acquired the ’old Temple
On the eastern side was the original site of the Domus Conversorum
(House of the Converts), a residence and chapel for Jews who had converted to Christianity, founded by King Henry III in the 13th century.
The site later became the Public Record Office designed by Sir James Pennethorne in 1851. In the latter half of the 20th century, records relocated to Kew. In 2001 it underwent renovation and became the Maughan Library.
Lincoln’s Inn occupies most of the western side of Chancery Lane north of Carey Street
Some of the side streets are named after their associations with now defunct legal practices, such as Rolls Buildings
and Cursitor Alley.
Alsatia Alsatia was the name given to an area lying north of the River Thames covered by the Whitefriars monastery. City Temple The City Temple is a Nonconformist church on Holborn Viaduct. Fleet Market The Fleet Market was a market erected in 1736 on the newly culverted River Fleet. Lisle’s Tennis Court Lisle’s Tennis Court was a building off Portugal Street in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. St Andrew The Church of St Andrew, Holborn stands within the Ward of Farringdon Without. Staple Inn Staple Inn is London’s only surviving sixteenth-century domestic building, situated on the south side of High Holborn. Temple Bar Temple Bar is the point in London where Fleet Street, City of London, becomes the Strand, Westminster, and where the City of London traditionally erected a barrier to regulate trade into the city. Thavie’s Inn Thavie’s Inn was a former Inn of Chancery, associated with Lincoln’s Inn, established at Holborn, near the site of the present side street and office block still known as Thavies Inn Buildings. Weston’s Music Hall Weston’s Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened in 1857. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire. Aldwych, WC2B The name Aldwych derives from the Old English eald and wic meaning 'old trading town' or 'old marketplace'; the name was later applied to the street and district. Ashentree Court, EC4Y Ashentree Court was named after the ashen trees formerly located here at the Whitefriars’ monastery. Bear Alley, EC4A Bear Alley is one of the streets of London in the EC4A postal area. Bell Yard, EC4A Bell Yard is a small lane off the Strand where the Bell hostel once stood. Bolt Court, EC4A Bolt Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4A postal area. Bouverie Street, EC4Y Bouverie Street is named for the Pleydell-Bouveries, Earls of Radnor, who were landowners in this area. Bride Court, EC4Y Bride Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Bride Lane, EC4Y Bride Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Dane Street, WC1R Dane Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1R postal area. Dorset Rise, EC4Y Dorset Rise is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Ely Court, EC1N Ely Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area. Ely Place, EC1N Ely Place is a gated road at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden. Essex Court, EC4Y Essex Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Falcon Court, EC4Y Falcon Court is a courtyard off the south side of Fleet Street between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane. Farringdon Street, EC1A The building of Farringdon Street is considered one of the greatest urban engineering achievements of the 19th century. Fetter Lane, EC4A Fetter Lane is corrupted from ’Fautre’ which was the name for a spear rest - spears were made close by. Field Court, WC1R Field Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1R postal area. Gate Street, WC2A Gate Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Hand Court, WC1R Hand Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1V postal area. Hare Court, EC4Y Hare Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Hare Place, EC4Y Hare Place is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. High Holborn, WC1V High Holborn was part of the old road from Newgate and the Tower to the gallows at Tyburn. Hind Court, EC4Y Hind Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4A postal area. Holborn Circus, EC1N Holborn Circus is a junction of five highways in the City of London, on the boundary between Holborn, Hatton Garden and Smithfield. Holborn Viaduct, EC1A Holborn Viaduct is a road bridge in London and the name of the street which crosses it. Holborn, EC1N Holborn commemorates the River Fleet, also known as the Holbourne stream. Hood Court, EC4Y Hood Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Kean Street, WC2B Kean Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Kingsway, WC2A Kingsway is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the largest public square in London, laid out in the 1630s under the initiative of the speculative builder William Newton. Lion Court, WC1R Lion Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1V postal area. Magpie Alley, EC4Y Magpie Alley marks the position occupied by the dorter (dormitory) of the Friary of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, commonly called the Whitefriars Monastery New Court, EC4V New Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. New Square, WC2A New Square is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Norfolk Street, WC2R Norfolk Street ran from the Strand in the north to the River Thames and, after the Victoria Embankment was built (1865–1870), to what is now Temple Place. Old Square, WC2A Old Square is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Pemberton Row, EC4A Sir James Pemberton was Lord Mayor of London in 1611, and a member of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. Pump Court, EC4Y Pump Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. Red Lion Court, EC4A Red Lion Court forms part of labyrinth of little passages behind the shops on the north side of Fleet Street. Sardinia Street, WC2B Sardinia Street, formerly Duke Street, was a street that ran from Prince’s Street in the south to the western side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields in the north. Shoe Lane, EC4A Shoe Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC4A postal area. Snowhill, EC4A Snowhill is one of the streets of London in the EC1A postal area. Southampton Buildings, WC2A Southampton Buildings marks the site of the house of the 4th Earl of Southampton, son of Shakespeare’s patron. St Brides Avenue, EC4Y St Brides Avenue is a narrow alley which leaves Fleet Street almost opposite Shoe Lane. Star Yard, WC2A Star Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Strand, WC2R Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Tallis Street, EC4Y This street honours Thomas Tallis, composer whose name is engraved on the façade of the nearby former building of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The Arcade, WC2B The Arcade is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Tweezer’s Alley, WC2R Tweezer’s Alley probably got its name after the tweezers used by smiths to heat items in the forge that stood there.
The City of London constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond its borders.
As the City's boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of Greater London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It holds city status in its own right and is also a separate ceremonial county.
It is widely referred to as 'The City' (often written on maps as City
and differentiated from the phrase 'the city of London') or 'the Square Mile' as it is 1.12 square miles in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's financial services industry, which continues a notable history of being largely based in the City.
The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It 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.
The City is a major business and financial centre, ranking as the world's leading centre of global finance. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses.
The City had a resident population of about 7000 in 2011 but over 300,000 people commute to it and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City - especially in the Temple
and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple
and Middle Temple
- fall within the City of London boundary.