Holborn Viaduct, EC1A

Road in/near City of London, existing between 1863 and now

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Road · City of London · EC1A ·

Holborn Viaduct is a road bridge in London and the name of the street which crosses it.

It links Holborn, via Holborn Circus, with Newgate Street, in the City of London financial district, passing over Farringdon Street and the subterranean River Fleet. The viaduct spans the steep-sided Holborn Hill and the River Fleet valley at a length of 1,400 feet (430 m) and 80 feet (24 m) wide. City surveyor William Haywood was the architect and the engineer was Rowland Mason Ordish.

It was built between 1863 and 1869, as a part of the Holborn Valley Improvements, which included a public works scheme which improved access into the City from the West End, with better traffic flow and distribution around the new Holborn Circus, the creation of Queen Victoria Street, the rebuilding of Blackfriars Bridge, the opening of the Embankment section into the City, the continuation of Farringdon Street as Farringdon Road and associated railway routes with Farringdon station and Ludgate Hill station. It was opened by Queen Victoria at the same time as the inauguration of the other thoroughfares with a formal coach drive procession.

The viaduct effected a more level approach on the crossing of this section of the Holborn/Fleet valley from east to west, across Farringdon Street. Previously this involved horse-drawn traffic having to descend from High Holborn along Charterhouse Street to the smaller Holborn Bridge, crossing the River Fleet which had been culverted between Ludgate Circus to this crossing in 1734 to ascend to the other side using Snow Hill; it was one of the first modern flyovers in central London.

Pedestrian access between the two street levels was effected via four pavilions, at each side and either end, containing staircases for access from the viaduct to Farringdon Street below; with their parapets adorned with figurative statues to represent commerce and agriculture on the south side, both by sculptor Henry Bursill, with science and fine art on the north side, by the sculpture firm Farmer & Brindley; there are also statues of Lord Mayors William Walworth and Henry Fitz-Ailwin. In 1941 the Blitz raids destroyed and damaged most of the area including the north side pavilions; these were copied and reinstated with associated property developments in 2000 (western) and 2014 (eastern), including lifts.

Holborn Viaduct railway station, opened in 1874, was at the eastern end with a low-level through route towards Farringdon, and was replaced in 1990 by St. Paul’s Thameslink railway station (later renamed City Thameslink).

In 1882 the viaduct became home to the world’s first coal-fired power station, the Edison Electric Light Station.

Read the Holborn Viaduct entry on the Wikipedia...

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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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