A street within the WC1R postcode
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. Attneave Street, EC1R Attneave Street is thought to be named after a local builder in the 1890s called Attneave. Bedford Row, WC1R Bedford Row is one of the streets of London in the WC1R postal area. Bell Yard, WC2A Bell Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Chancery Lane, WC2A 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. Dane Street, WC1R Dane Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1R postal area. Elm Street, WC1X Elm Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area. Essex Court, EC4Y Essex Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area. 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. Grays Inn, WC1X Grays Inn is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area. Hand Court, WC1V Hand Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1V postal area. Heathcote Street, WC1N Heathcote Street is in the north-east corner of the Foundling Hospital estate, leading from St George’s Gardens to Gray’s Inn Road. High Holborn, WC1V High Holborn was part of the old road from Newgate and the Tower to the gallows at Tyburn. John Street, WC1N John Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Johns Mews, WC1N Johns Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Kean Street, WC2B Kean Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Kings Mews, WC1N Kings Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Kingsway, WC2B Kingsway is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Kirk Street, WC1N Kirk Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N 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. Long Yard, WC1N Long Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC1N 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. North Mews, WC1N North Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Old Square, WC2A Old Square is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. 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. Star Yard, WC2A Star Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Strand, WC2A Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2A postal area. Strand, WC2B Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Strand, WC2N Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area. Strand, WC2R Strand (or the Strand) runs just over 3⁄4 mile from Trafalgar Square eastwards to Temple Bar, where the road becomes Fleet Street inside the City of London. Surrey Street, WC2R Surrey Street was built on land once occupied by Arundel House and its gardens. The Strand, WC2N The Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area. The Strand, WC2R The Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2R 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.
Wren Street, WC1X Wren Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1Xpostal area.
Hol^born is both an area and also the name of the area’s principal street, known as High Holborn between St. Giles’s High Street and Gray’s Inn Road and then Hol^born Viaduct between Hol^born Circus and Newgate Street.
The area’s first mention is in a charter of Westminster Abbey, by King Edgar, dated to 959. This mentions ’the old wooden church of St Andrew’ (St Andrew, Hol^born). The name Holborn may be derived from the Middle English hol
for hollow, and bourne
, a brook, referring to the River Fleet as it ran through a steep valley to the east.
It was at first outside the City’s jurisdiction and a part of Ossulstone Hundred in Middlesex. The original Bars were the boundary of the City of London from 1223, when the City’s jurisdiction was extended beyond the Walls, at Newgate, into the suburb here, as far as the point where the Bars where erected, until 1994 when the border moved to the junction of Chancery Lane
. In 1394 the Ward of Farringdon Without was created, but only the south side of Holborn was under its jurisdiction with some minor properties, such as parts of Furnival’s Inn, on the northern side.
The Holborn District was created in 1855, consisting of the civil parishes and extra-parochial places of Glasshouse Yard, Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place, St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr and St Sepulchre. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was created in 1900, consisting of the former area of the Holborn District and the St Giles District, excluding Glasshouse Yard and St Sepulchre, which went to the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was abolished in 1965 and its area now forms part of the London Borough of Camden.
In the 18th century, Holborn was the location of the infamous Mother Clap’s molly house but in the modern era High Holborn
has become a centre for entertainment venues to suit more general tastes: 22 inns or taverns were recorded in the 1860s and the Holborn Empire, originally Weston’s Music Hall, stood between 1857 and 1960, when it was pulled down after structural damage sustained in the Blitz. The theatre premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, The World, the Flesh and the Devil
, a 50-minute melodrama filmed in Kinemacolour.
Charles Dickens took up residence in Furnival’s Inn, on the site of the former Prudential building designed by Alfred Waterhouse now named Holborn Bars
. Dickens put his character Pip, in Great Expectations, in residence at Barnard’s Inn opposite, now occupied by Gresham College. Staple Inn, notable as the promotional image for Old Holborn tobacco, is nearby. The three of these were Inns of Chancery. The most northerly of the Inns of Court, Gray’s Inn, is in Holborn, as is Lincoln’s Inn: the area has been associated with the legal professions since mediaeval times, and the name of the local militia (now Territorial Army unit, the Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) still reflects that. Subsequently the area diversified and become recognisable as the modern street.
A plaque stands at number 120 commemorating Thomas Earnshaw’s invention of the Marine chronometer, which facilitated long-distance travel. At the corner of Hatton Garden was the old family department store of Gamages. Until 1992, the London Weather Centre was located in the street. The Prudential insurance company relocated in 2002. The Daily Mirror offices used to be directly opposite it, but the site is now occupied by Sainsbury’s head office.
Hatton Garden, the centre of the diamond trade, was leased to a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Christopher Hatton at the insistence of the Queen to provide him with an income. Behind the Prudential Building lies the Anglo-Catholic church of St Alban the Martyr.
In the early 21st century, Holborn has become the site of new offices and hotels: for example, the old neoclassical Pearl Assurance building near the junction with Kingsway
was converted into an hotel in 1999.
Holborn station is located at the junction of High Holborn
. Situated on the Piccadilly and Central Lines, it is the only station common to the two lines, although the two lines also cross each other three times in West London.
The station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line) on 15 December 1906 with the name Holborn (Kingsway)
was a new road, cutting south from High Holborn
through an area of cleared slums to Strand
. The suffix was dropped from tube maps in the 1960s.