Inside the Square Mile

London is the world’s financial capital, ranked above New York and Hong Kong on the Global Financial Centers Index.

A massive 10% of UK GDP is generated in an area of roughly only 1 square mile.

In this post we’ll look at some of the landmarks in the City of London, or ‘Square Mile’ as it is commonly referred to.

View of the City of London from Monument

View of the City of London from Monument

The Monument is the City of London’s memorial to the Great Fire of London in 1666. The 202 ft (61.57 metre) tall stone Roman Doric column was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Constructed between 1671 and 1677, it’s 202 foot height marks the exact distance from the Pudding Lane shop of Thomas Farynor, the king’s baker, where the Great Fire began. The column is crowned by a flaming orb of copper. It is the tallest isolated stone column in the world, offering panoramic views such as the one pictured above to those that climb the 311 steps to the top.

The Gherkin

The Gherkin, City of London

30 St Mary Axe, the Swiss Re Building, is commonly referred to as the Gherkin. The building was designed by Norman Foster and Arup engineers and opened in 2004. In 2007, IVG Immobilien AG and UK investment firm Evans Randall completed their joint purchase of the building for £630 million, making it Britain’s most expensive office building.

Lloyd’s Building

Lloyd's of London

The Lloyd’s building, sometimes called the Inside-Out Building houses Lloyd’s of London (a British insurance and reinsurance market). Located at 1, Lime Street, it was designed by architect Richard Rogers and built between 1978 and 1986.

Mansion House

Mansion House, London

Built between 1739 and 1752 in the Palladian style, Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The Bank of England

The Bank of England

The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world, after the Bank of Sweden, established in 1668. The current Governor of the Bank of England is Sir Mervyn King.

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market, City of London

Leadenhall Market is a covered market in the City of London dating back to the 14th century. It is located on what was the centre of Roman London.

St. Paul’s and the skyline from One New Change

St. Paul's and the skyline from One New Change

One New Change is a major office and retail development in the City of London. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it cost £500 million to construct and was completed in October 2010.

The Shard and skyline from One New Change

The Shard, London

The Shard London Bridge is a skyscraper under construction in Southwark, London. When completed in 2012, it will be the tallest building in the European Union.