The City of London is a small area just over one mile square at the very heart of London; the original settlement around which the city grew. London was founded by the Romans around 47AD and by the end of the first century was the largest settlement in Britain. In the Middle Ages the City was the entire extent of London, but since then it has been expanding ever-outwards, particularly in the eighteenth century when the Industrial Revolution occurred and Britain began to build the Empire of which London was the centre.
The original boundaries of the City have not changed since Medieval Times, and it is often referred to as ‘The Square Mile’ or ‘The City’ because of this. The population is 11,000, but around 330,000 people work there as it is the centre of London’s financial, business and legal centre. ‘The City’ also refers then to Great Britain’s financial industry, which was the world’s leader in the nineteenth century and today is ranked number one alongside New York. The London Stock Exchange and the Bank of England are both in the City of London, along with 500 banks’ offices and the headquarters of a number of major international organisations. The architecture of the City varies from historical buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Mansion House to the financial sector’s skyscrapers such as Tower 42 and Heron Tower.