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.
In the mediaeval period, it was known as Cokkes Lane and was the site of legal brothels. It is famous as the site of the house (No. 25) where the supposed Cock Lane ghost manifested itself in 1762, and as being the place where the writer John Bunyan, who wrote England’s first best-seller, died from a fever in 1688.
The junction of Giltspur Street
and Cock Lane was known as Pye Corner, famous as marking the furthest extent of the Great Fire of London: commemorated by the Golden Boy of Pye Corner
. This effigy was originally built into the front of a public house called The Fortune of War which used to occupy the site but was pulled down in 1910.Read the Cock Lane entry on the Wikipedia...
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.