London’s Square Mile is at the very heart of the city’s financial district. The same space is sometimes referred to as ‘the City’, or the City of London, and represents the core area where much of the financial trading and business transactions are carried out in London. Yet there is much to know about the Square Mile beyond its presence in the world of commerce and trade...
There’s a reason it’s known as ‘the Square Mile’
While the area goes by many names, the title ‘the Square Mile’ was adopted colloquially for a reason. Despite the fact that so much happens here, the district itself is relatively small, representing just 1.12 square miles of the city itself. This will likely come as a surprise to some, but the term ‘Square Mile’ has been used for many years as a way of quickly describing the major trading and finance hub this district represents. If you’re staying at the Montcalm Finsbury Square, you will be ideally situated to explore the area yourself, and find out how much can be packed into a comparatively small space.
The Square Mile is part of the oldest settlement in London
The district known as the Square Mile represents the oldest part of London, once known as ‘Londinium’ by the Romans. When they arrived around the year AD 43, the Roman legions promptly developed the area and transformed it into a grand commercial centre, before abandoning it in the 5th century. The commercial role of the area has remained through the centuries, shifting only with changing styles of leadership and trade.
The London Wall was built by Roman settlers
While most of it is now destroyed, a fragment of the London Wall, built to distinguish the area, still remains in the Square Mile. It was built around 200 AD as development of the rest of the city was underway. Today you can easily reach this piece of British history from the Montcalm Finsbury Square.
The area was later redeveloped by Alfred the Great
After the Romans left England, the country was later largely governed under Anglo-Saxon rule, and in time London and the area of the Square Mile became part of the Kingdom of Wessex. Alfred the Great oversaw rebuilding of this area of London to restore it to its former glory, following a period of intense, ongoing conflict and transfer of power.
London’s banking district developed here
It was during the 16th century that London became a noted banking district. St Paul’s Cathedral was built in 1708, and other mainstays such as the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange had begun to take shape. While staying at the Montcalm Royal London Spa, you have ample opportunity to visit some of these buildings yourself and revel in their historic detail.
The 20th century saw yet more redevelopment
Many buildings were developed here during the 20th century, with increasingly tall buildings dominating the skyline throughout the 1970s and beyond. Yet the area is still home to lots of historic venues including areas like Leadenhall Market, and it’s also home to lots of great public gardens which have weathered the passing of time.
An ever-changing skyline
The square mile is always evolving as new businesses join the City and buildings are redeveloped in line with shifting tastes and needs. This particular part of London is renowned for its seamless blend of old and new architecture.