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Encyclopedia > Central London

Central London is a much-used but unofficial and vaguely defined term for the most inner part of London, the capital of England. There are many definitions and each has its own notional boundary. Some are defined by clear boundaries, others less so. All definitions have in common the notion that central London is smaller than, and a subset of, Inner London. London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... A is a subset of B, and B is a superset of A. In mathematics, especially in set theory, the terms, subset, superset and proper (or strict) subset or superset are used to describe the relation, called inclusion, of one set being contained inside another set. ... Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the central part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. ...

Charing Cross is taken as London's most central place when measuring distances.
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Charing Cross is taken as London's most central place when measuring distances.

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1373x1868, 1039 KB) Description: The Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross station, London. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1373x1868, 1039 KB) Description: The Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross station, London. ...

Pattern of settlement

Street in Pimlico
Street in Pimlico

As a starting point in considering what "central London" means, it is important to recognise that London does not consist of a small high rise core surrounded by a belt of very low density districts. The situation is more complex. The section of London which is of an urban as opposed to a suburban character is very extensive, encompassing most of the districts built before 1914. Up to this point most London housing, including most of that in the most expensive districts, was terraced. Low density suburbs were first built in the early 19th century, but did not become prevalent for another hundred years after that. Download high resolution version (1015x690, 143 KB)A street in Pimlico, London, which characteristically mixes grand Victorian town-houses with council housing User:rayray took this picture on 16/03/2005. ... Download high resolution version (1015x690, 143 KB)A street in Pimlico, London, which characteristically mixes grand Victorian town-houses with council housing User:rayray took this picture on 16/03/2005. ... An urban area is a term used to define an area where there is an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ... Illustration of the backyards of a surburban neighbourhood Suburbs are inhabited districts located either on the outer rim of a city or outside the official limits of a city (the term varies from country to country), or the outer elements of a conurbation. ... A street of British Victorian/Edwardian terraced homes. ...


In the 20th century, and especially in the decades after the Second World War, the size of the fashionable central area of London shrank considerably as the old aristocratic London elite faded away and many members of the middle classes decided that life close to the city centre was no longer appealing. At that time government planners often had a negative view of urban life as well, and a large amount of housing in central London was destroyed in the Second World War. Thus many members of the working class were encouraged to move out of the city centre as well, either to suburban developments around London or to new towns further afield. However, since the 1980's many of these areas have been gentrified and are regarded as desirable areas of central London once again. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... A new town, planned community or planned city is a city, town, or community that was designed from scratch, and grew up more or less following the plan. ...


Changing definition

Introduction of postal districts

In 1858 London was divided into postal districts in order to aid the forwarding of mail items. The two most central districts were "EC" - East Central which broadly covered the City of London and "WC" - West Central which coved the area immediately west of there as far as Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The system of London postal districts predate the introduction of postcodes throughout the United Kingdom in the 1960s and have been adapted over time. ...


Coming of the railways

When the railways were first constructed in London during the latter 1800s an area of central London was defined by government and railway lines were not permitted to pass beyond it, at least not above ground. The restrictions were relaxed a little and the new, more central, terminals were constructed at Waterloo (replacing Nine Elms), Fenchurch Street (Minories) and Liverpool Street (Bishopsgate). This created the ring of terminal stations which still exists today. The railways were thus instrumental in both enabling the rapid expansion of London and also helped to reinforce the boundary of the central area.


Modern times

In the late 1970s the population of Greater London was at its lowest level since the 1920s, and "central London" might have included:

These five districts all contain dense concentrations of characteristically metropolitan activities: major corporate offices; buildings housing the functions of the state; universities; professional institutions; large scale retailing, including department stores; museums, libraries, theatres, concert halls and other important entertainment facilities. They also have a large amount of housing, some of that in the private sector being among the most expensive in the world. Coat of arms The City of London is a small area in Greater London. ... The City of Westminster is a London borough with city status, situated to the west of the City of London and north of the River Thames. ... The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a London borough in the west side of inner London, created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. ... The London Borough of Camden is an inner-London borough created in 1965 to replace the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, St Pancras. ... Arms of Islington London Borough Council Islington Town Hall Islington is a borough of London to the north of the City of London, west of Hackney, east of Camden, and south of Haringey. ... A department store organizes its goods by departments, such as womens clothes, home furnishings, electronics, and the like. ...


Since 1970s there has been a long term trend for the number of districts in London which can credibly be considered part of "central London" to increase. Some non-residential land uses in London, such as offices and hotels, have become more widely distributed, but these new candidate districts for "central London" status tend to be more residential than the core districts listed above.


The Central London Partnership covers seven London boroughs: Camden, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster. In December 2005 the London Development Agency published a draft 'Central London Tourism Strategy' covering the Central London Partnership area. It excluded the City of London but said that its 'central importance' would be taken into account as part of the strategy. The London Borough of Camden is an inner-London borough created in 1965 to replace the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, St Pancras. ... Arms of Islington London Borough Council Islington Town Hall Islington is a borough of London to the north of the City of London, west of Hackney, east of Camden, and south of Haringey. ... The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a London borough in the west side of inner London, created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. ... The London Borough of Lambeth is a London borough in South London and forms part of Inner London. ... The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in London, England. ... The London Borough of Wandsworth is a London borough in South West London, England and forms part of Inner London. ... The City of Westminster is a London borough with city status, situated to the west of the City of London and north of the River Thames. ... The London Development Agency is an agency of the Greater London Authority that is responsible for development in Greater London. ... Coat of arms The City of London is a small area in Greater London. ...


Gentrification

The expansion of "central London" is strongly associated with gentrification as swathes of Victorian London which became shabby in the post-war decades are revived by well-to-do buyers. Thus there are a great many districts which are considered central by some, especially by their own middle class residents, but not necessarily accepted as such by everyone else. Areas which have passed through this "centralisation" include Fulham in the 1980s and Camden Town in the 1990s more recently, and many others. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Fulham is a district in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham located 3. ... Camden Town is a place in the London Borough of Camden, England. ...


South Bank and its environs

South Bank
South Bank

London began on the north bank of the Thames, and its centre of gravity is still strongly on that side of the river, but a wide range of major buildings and facilities have been built south of the river in recent decades. The South Bank and Bankside areas are now accepted as being part of "central London", and some people would include other districts on this side of the river as well. Download high resolution version (800x638, 198 KB)The National Theatre, London, seen from Waterloo bridge. ... Download high resolution version (800x638, 198 KB)The National Theatre, London, seen from Waterloo bridge. ... The National Theatre is one of the collection of arts buildings that make up the South Bank Centre. ... Bankside is an area in Southwark, London, on the southern bank of the River Thames. ...


The East End

Although much of the East End of London is completely urban in character, compared to the West End of London it has historically been the poorer side of the city with the focus of the metropolis more westward, thus it was not considered part of central London. With extensive redevelopment, social change and rising land values this contrast has been reduced. The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... The West End of London is part of the city centre of London in England. ...


Inner suburbs

To the west and north west of the core districts listed above there is a ring of fashionable mainly Victorian and primarily residential districts around all four sides of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, such as Holland Park and Notting Hill. Some people consider all of these districts to be part of "central London". Similar claims would also be made by many for the fashionable north western districts as far out as Hampstead. Manchester Town Hall is an example of Victorian architecture found in Manchester, UK. The term Victorian architecture can refer to one of a number of architectural styles predominantly in the Victorian era. ... The Serpentine, viewed from the eastern end Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London and one of the Royal Parks of London. ... This article is about the park in London. ... Holland Park is a district and a public park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in west central London in England. ... Notting Hill is a district of London located to the west of the centre and close to the north-western corner of Hyde Park. ... Hampstead is an area in the London Borough of Camden. ...


Central London and Inner London

Inner London shown within Greater London
Inner London shown within Greater London

Inner London is a defined term meaning that part of Greater London which was part of the County of London and by definition includes all of central London. File links The following pages link to this file: Inner London Education Authority County of London Inner London Categories: NowCommons | GFDL images ... File links The following pages link to this file: Inner London Education Authority County of London Inner London Categories: NowCommons | GFDL images ... Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the central part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. ... Greater London is the top level administrative subdivision covering London, England. ... The County of London (in red), super imposed upon todays Greater London area, to show the difference in size with post-1965 Borough boundaries The County of London was an administrative county of England from 1888 to 1965. ...


Use of Inner London in some contexts can carry negative connotations and be used only to describe those inner-city areas affected by poverty, crime, and social problems while central London carries more prestigious connotations and is used in terms of business, entertainment, tourism and desirable housing. In this context it is suggested that central London is surrounded by inner London and not part of it.


It is important to note that unlike in some major cities in the United States and elsewhere, these two faces of urban life are intermingled. There is social housing in almost all of the prestigious central London districts, even Mayfair, and nowadays expensive private housing is often built in poor neighbourhoods where most of the existing occupants live in social housing without these poorer occupants being moved elsewhere. All sorts of people live cheek-by-jowl in London, though often without having much contact with people outside of their own group. Mayfair is an area in the City of Westminster London, named after the fortnight-long May Fair that took place there from 1686 until it was banned in that location in 1764. ... Public housing describes a form of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. ...


Other definitions

Maps

The Geographer's A-Z Street Atlas and other map sources often include a section covering central London at an increased scale. The area chosen as central may vary. The cover of the 2004 Edition of the London A to Z The A-Z, or in full, the Geographers A-Z Street Atlas is an atlas of streets in London. ...

Zone 1 of the Underground
Zone 1 of the Underground
The Congestion Charge Zone
The Congestion Charge Zone

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x730, 97 KB) Generated as part of the London Underground geographic maps project by software written by ed g2s • talk and James D. Forrester utilising GPS data. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1280x730, 97 KB) Generated as part of the London Underground geographic maps project by software written by ed g2s • talk and James D. Forrester utilising GPS data. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1513x1055, 572 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): London congestion charge Central London User:Ed g2s/Images ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1513x1055, 572 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): London congestion charge Central London User:Ed g2s/Images ...

Transport

  • The area inside the Circle Line of the London Underground. This is a fairly wide definition in the western areas, but entirely ignores any districts south of the Thames and the recent expansion of central activities to part of the East End of London, with the development of Docklands. Thus it is probably not used as much as it was some years ago.
  • Central London 'Journey Planner' maps in tube carriages show a varying area as central.

This article is about the British underground transport system. ... The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... The Millennium Dome and Canary Wharf from the Royal Victoria Dock. ... Travelcard Zone 1 is the central zone of Transport for Londons zonal system used for calculating co-ordinated inter-modal Travelcard fares within London. ... Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for the transport system throughout the City of London and Greater London in England. ... Several places exist with the name Thames, and the word is also used as part of several brand and company names Most famous is the River Thames in England, on which the city of London stands Other Thames Rivers There is a Thames River in Canada There is a Thames... Road pricing is a generic term for charging for the use of roads using direct methods, charging the users of a specific section of the road network for its use. ...

Postal districts

London's most central postal districts
London's most central postal districts

The East Central and West Central postal district created in 1858 which were further divided in 1917 into the modern EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, WC1 and WC2 London postal districts. These do not reflect changes in perceptions which have occurred since then, and they were perhaps not intended to define "Central London" for general purposes even then. An area closer to a typical modern definition of Central London can be arrived at by combining the aforementioned districts with the head districts of the other sectors e.g. SE1, SW1 etc. Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The system of London postal districts predate the introduction of postcodes throughout the United Kingdom in the 1960s and have been adapted over time. ... London SE1 is the London postal district covering the area of central London south of the river Thames, between Vauxhall Bridge and St Saviours Dock, which is just to the east of Tower Bridge. ... London SW1 is the London postal district covering the area of central London on the north bank of the River Thames, roughly between Hungerford Bridge and Chelsea Bridge. ...


Parlance

One way of identifying which areas are central is the language used to describe them by Londoners. When describing non-central areas the relevant place name is used. When the central area is being referred to it is most commonly called 'The City' for the City of London and 'Town', 'West End' or 'West' for the central shopping, entertainment and business districts outside the City. One might be 'going up to Town' if shopping on Oxford Street or Bond Street but not if shopping on the Kings Road.


Phone codes

In passing, it should be noted that it is thought by some that, if a telephone number begins with 020 7, it may be assumed to be located in Central London. This, however, is wholly incorrect. The 020 7 prefix usually, though not invariably, denotes a location in Inner London, including Central London, the 020 8 in Outer London. Inner London is the name for the group of London boroughs which form the central part of Greater London and are surrounded by Outer London. ... Outer London is the name for the group of London Boroughs that do not form part of Inner London, but form a ring around it. ...


Central activities zone

The Central Activities Zone (CAZ): This is a term used in the London Plan, which derives in its turn from definitions used in the local plans of the various boroughs whose areas form part of Central London. It covers only those areas with a very high concentration of metropolitan activities, generally those where 50 per cent or more of each street block is in commercial use. This results in a small and extremely irregularly shaped area. Ken Livingstone, the current Mayor of London The Mayor of London is an elected politician in London, United Kingdom. ...


Charing Cross

In order to calculate distances from London the most central point is taken as Charing Cross and in this way can be taken as the most central location and all things in a given radius from there considered central. [citation needed] The Victorian Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross The name Charing Cross, now given to a district of central London in the City of Westminster, comes from the original hamlet of Charing, where King Edward I placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile. ...


London boroughs

With the exception of the "square mile" of the City of London, the London boroughs all include some districts which would not be considered to be part of "central London" at least by some of the stricter definitions. London boroughs can be defined in terms of 'inner' or 'outer' London, but cannot be defined as central or otherwise. However, the London Plan in 2004 defined the Central London sub-region as comprising the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Islington, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark and the City of Westminster, omitting the City of London itself. Coat of arms The City of London is a small area in Greater London. ... The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. ... Ken Livingstone, the current Mayor of London The Mayor of London is an elected politician in London, United Kingdom. ...


Summary of districts

The City of London is taken as being entirely and undisputedly central. Here follows some districts which are also commonly thought of as central and some fringe cases that are sometimes considered so. Coat of arms The City of London is a small area in Greater London. ...

London borough Districts considered central Fringes
London Borough of Tower Hamlets Tower Hill Wapping
London Borough of Hackney Shoreditch, Old Street North of Old Street
London Borough of Islington Finsbury, Clerkenwell Islington north of the Angel
London Borough of Camden Holborn, Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia North of Euston Road
City of Westminster All except north west Maida Vale
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Sloane Square, Knightsbridge Notting Hill, Earl's Court
London Borough of Lambeth South Bank, Waterloo, North Lambeth Vauxhall
London Borough of Southwark The Borough Elephant & Castle

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in East London. ... Tower Hill is an elevated spot outside the Tower of London and just outside the limits of the City of London in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. ... Wapping Old Stairs, one of many points of access to the foreshore in the area. ... Hackney Town Hall was built in the 1930s for the old Metropolitan Borough. ... Shoreditch Town Hall Shoreditch is a place in the London Borough of Hackney. ... Old Street is a road in central London that runs west to east from Clerkenwell to Shoreditch. ... Old Street is a road in central London that runs west to east from Clerkenwell to Shoreditch. ... Arms of Islington London Borough Council Islington Town Hall Islington is a borough of London to the north of the City of London, west of Hackney, east of Camden, and south of Haringey. ... Finsbury is a place in the south of the London Borough of Islington. ... Clerkenwell (pronounced clarkenwell) is a locality in the southermost part of the London Borough of Islington. ... Islington is an inner-city district in north London. ... The Angel was originally an inn near a tollgate on the Great North Road (at what is now the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road), but now refers to this part of Islington in London. ... The London Borough of Camden is an inner-London borough created in 1965 to replace the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, St Pancras. ... Holborn (pronounced ho-bun or ho-burn) is a place in London, named after a tributary to the river Fleet that flowed through the area, the Hole-bourne (the stream in the hollow). ... Bloomsbury may refer to: Bloomsbury, London, an area in the centre of the city the Bloomsbury group, an English literary group active around from around 1905 to the start of World War II. the Bloomsbury Gang, a political grouping centred on the local landowner, John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford... Fitzrovia is an area of central London. ... Euston Road is an important thoroughfare in central London. ... The City of Westminster is a London borough with city status, situated to the west of the City of London and north of the River Thames. ... Maida Vale is a road in north-west London, and a district surrounding it. ... Arms of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a London borough in the west side of central London, created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. ... Sloane Square is a small hard landscaped square on the boundaries of the fashionable London districts of Belgravia and Chelsea. ... Click Here for Knightsbridge, Castle Hill Australia Knightsbridge is a place in the City of Westminster, London notable for its expensive shops, including Harrods. ... Notting Hill is a district of London located to the west of the centre and close to the north-western corner of Hyde Park. ... Earls Court is a place in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in London, England. ... The London Borough of Lambeth is a London borough in South London and forms part of Inner London. ... The National Theatre is one of the collection of arts buildings that make up the South Bank Centre. ... Lambeth is a place in the London Borough of Lambeth. ... North Lambeth is a division of Lambeth part of the London Borough of Lambeth. ... Vauxhall is an inner city area of south London in the London Borough of Lambeth. ... The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in London, England. ... The Borough or Southwark(e) (pronounced suthuk or suthark) is the area of London immediately south of London Bridge and part of the larger London Borough of Southwark. ... Bakerloo line entrance Elephant & Castle tube new Northern Line entrance Elephant & Castle station in Elephant and Castle in the London Borough of Southwark, England is an interchange complex consisting of a National Rail station, serving various suburban stations within south London, and a London Underground station. ...

External links

  • A map of London - the scale has been selected for convenience only and the map edges do not correspond with any definition of central London. By some definitions central London extends beyond the edges of this map, especially to the east, where Canary Wharf is off the map. The black and white square just above centre is at Charing Cross.
  • Central London Partnership
  • Central London


The Victorian Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross The name Charing Cross, now given to a district of central London in the City of Westminster, comes from the original hamlet of Charing, where King Edward I placed a memorial to his wife, Eleanor of Castile. ...

Informal divisions of London

North West | North | North East London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... North West London could mean: NW sector of the London postal districts North West London Strategic Health Authority North West London, an informal designation usually taken to include Barnet, Brent, Harrow and the northern parts of Camden, Hillingdon and Westminster. ... North London is that part of London which is north of the River Thames. ... Greater London is divided into a number of constituencies for London Assembly elections. ...


West | West End | Central | East End | East Greater London and the Regions of England. ... The West End of London is part of the city centre of London in England. ... The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... East London is the name commonly given to the eastern part of London on the north side of the River Thames. ...


South West | South | South East Greater London is divided into a number of constituencies for London Assembly elections. ... South London area South London (known colloquially as South of the River) is the area of London south of the River Thames. ... South East London is an area of London, England. ...


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