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.
Finsbury Square is a 0.7-hectare square in central London which includes a six-rink grass bowling green.
Finsbury Square was developed in 1777 on the site of a previous area of green space to the north of the City of London known as Finsbury Fields, in the parish of St
Luke's and near Moorfields
. It is sited on the east side of City Road
, opposite the east side of Bunhill Fields
. Named after it, but several kilometers away, are Finsbury Park and its eponymous neighbourhood.
In 1784, Vincenzo Lunardi achieved the first successful attempt at hot air balloon flight from Finsbury Square.
Past residents of the square include Pascoe Grenfell Hill
, Thomas Southwood Smith and Philip Henry Pye-Smith. It has also been the site of the bookshop of James Lackington and the first home of the rabbinical seminary that became the London School of Jewish St
udies (1855–81), of the Greek Orthodox church of Saint Sophia and of the Roman Catholic Church of St
From 1907 to 1914, 39 Finsbury Square was the home of the City of London Yeomanry. The site is now occupied by City Gate House which was designed by Frederick Gould and Giles Gilbert Scott and completed in 1930.
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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.