Above: Outline of the City of London (PINK). Each area of study is highlighted. The Bishopsgate (ORANGE) consists of the Ward of Bishopsgate, the Ward of Lime Street and the eastern part of Langbourn. Cornhill (PALE ORANGE) consists of the Ward of Cornhill, the western part of Langbourn and the Ward of Candlewick (Click on image to enlarge to 1280×800).
For ‘Year 3’ we look at five City wards, some small, some large and some with the most unlikely boundary shapes. Because these shapes are so irregular, they are grouped together for the purposes of making coherent lectures. There are two groups. One group is Bishopsgate Ward and Lime Street Ward with the eastern part of Langbourn Ward. The other group is Cornhill Ward, Candlewick Ward and the western part of Langbourn Ward.
A Brief Explanation of City Wards
The Wards of the City began in very early times – some of them having boundaries established before the Norman Conquest (1066). Wards are a survival from the medieval system of government that allowed very small areas to exist as self-governing units within the City. Each ward is presided over by an elected Alderman. Today there are 25 wards which, until 2003 had boundaries that had developed over many centuries. In 2003 a reform took place when the boundaries were altered.
Historically, the old boundaries made more sense because they were composed of whole parishes whose ancient boundaries were sometimes older than the wards themselves. The new ward boundaries are probably of use to modern administrators in the City but, for those who study the City’s history, they do not relate to history books which often mention those original ward boundaries. For this reason, the author continues to present the history of the City as related to the pre-2003 ward boundaries. It should also be pointed out that the City’s boundary with adjacent London Boroughs has also been altered since 2003.
Comment – The City of London
Having spent the past weeks catching up on various topics around Inner London, we return to the structured subjects for Know Your London. We start with the City of London – which we do every autumn term. Over the next two months, two areas of study which lie in the centre of the City will have blogs selected from the full course. The history of the City is presented over six years of lectures and this year we look at the wards for ‘Year 3’ which are all clustered around the N–S line of Gracechurch Street and the street called Bishopsgate.
To see all the topics listed for a given area of study, please go to the Webpage for Know Your London blogs. If you are reading this text in an email, then click on the BLUE heading and you will be taken automatically to the Webpage version. Look down the ‘Categories’ list (on the right of the Webpage). The two areas of study for this academic year are ‘/City-Bishopsgate’ and ‘/City-Cornhill’. Click on one of the names under ‘Categories’ on the Webpage and you will then see a list of all the related topics that have been produced so far. As the weeks go by, the two lists will become longer.