Aldersgate Street, EC2Y

Road in/near City of London, existing until now

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Road · City of London · EC2Y ·

Aldersgate Street is located on the west side of the Barbican Estate.

The original gate here was made by the Romans some time after the City wall was built in the second century. It was a double gateway strengthened by towers projecting on the outside; part of the western tower was discovered beneath Aldersgate Street in 1939.

The name is Saxon - the gate of Aldred, somebody who perhaps lived above the gate to guard the approach road. Further fortifications and guard rooms were added through the middle ages. Aldersgate was finally demolished in 1761, and now only a plaque marks its site.

Originally Aldersgate Street was only the section starting from the church of St Botolph without Aldersgate running towards Long Lane and the portion from Long Lane to Goswell Road was formerly named Pickax Street.

Barbican station is located on Aldersgate Street and when it was opened in 1865 was named Aldersgate Street station. It was renamed Barbican in 1968.

134 Aldersgate Street for many years had a sign claiming: "This was Shakespeare’s House". There is no evidence surviving to indicate that Shakespeare resided here. Barbican station now occupies the site. The nearby Shakespeare Tower is named for this tenuous connection.

Citation information: London Street Names (book)
Further citations and sources



City of London

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.
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