Fleet Street looking east (c.1920)

Image dated 1911

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Photo taken in an easterly direction · City of London · EC4Y ·

Fleet Street, tradition home of British national newspapers, is named after the River Fleet, London's largest underground river.

Fleet Street looking east (c.1920)
This view looks east towards Ludgate Circus and beyond.

The railway bridge depicted lay beyond Ludgate Circus, and was part of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway which ran from Herne Hill south of the river to Farringdon.

This was expensive to build and the final section from Ludgate Hill to Farringdon, which included the bridge, was opened in January 1866. A short spur opened from just left of the bridge in 1874 and ran to Holborn Viaduct station. Even then the bridge was controversial and a petition of 1000 signatures was raised against it even before construction began.

There was a station just to the right of the bridge - Ludgate Hill station - and another to the left, just after the junction of the spur to Holborn Viaduct - Snow Hill - which was in a deep cutting as the line had to drop quite sharply to head under Smithfield market and then to Farringdon. In addition there was a goods yard to serve Smithfield and originally a connection allowing trains to travel eastwards on the Metropolitan to Liverpool St.

Snow Hill became Holborn Viaduct Low Level in 1912 and closed during WW1 - Ludgate Hill station closed in 1929. Freight traffic dropped off and in 1962 finished completely with the track removed in 1969 thus severing a cross-London link - all trains terminated at Holborn Viaduct which itself closed in 1990.

The original tunnels connecting to Farringdon remained, and in the late 1980s the value of a cross-London link was recognised.

With Holborn Viaduct station closed the bridge was removed and the line dropped below the surface - today City Thameslink station lies almost directly beneath where the bridge used to be.

Alas the police activity suggested in the foreground of the photograph remains unexplained.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


Fleet Street looking east (c.1920)
User unknown/public domain


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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