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.
Red Lion Court
forms part of labyrinth of little passages behind the shops on the north side of Fleet Street
Although many of the old buildings have been replaced by modern structures these age-old byways hold a great deal of history and provide for a very satisfying stroll away from the hustle and bustle of Fleet Street
The narrow passage of Red Lion Court
branches from Fleet Street
. A little way along, the passage widens out and here, until quite recently, stood the Red Lion tavern – after which the Court was named. There has been a tavern in Red Lion Court
since 1575 but unfortunately the long establishment came to an end when redevelopment encompassed the area. Just past the site of the tavern a right left kink leads to Pemberton Row
where an arrow on the wall points right, under an archway, to Dr Johnson’s House in Gough Square
As the Great Fire approached Red Lion Court
, on its westward progression, it came up against a brick built house which gave the City fire fighters that much needed time to demolish buildings further along the way. By creating an open space over which the fire could not jump, it spread no further in this direction. But the blaze had already been roaring for three days and the total number of burnt out buildings, comprising of 13,000 houses, 84 churches, 44 company halls, and St Paul’s Cathedral was not far off.
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.