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Holborn ( or ) is a district in
central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of Engla ...
, which covers the south-eastern part of the
London Borough of Camden The London Borough of Camden () is a London borough The London boroughs are the 32 districts of England, local authority districts that make up the Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Greater London; each is governed by a ...
and a part ( St Andrew Holborn Below the Bars), of the
Ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a pen ...
of
Farringdon Without __NOTOC__ Farringdon Without is the most westerly Ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for exampl ...
in the
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It c ...

City of London
. The area has its roots in the
ancient parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word ...
of Holborn, which lay on the west bank of the now buried
River Fleet The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers, all of which today contain foul water for treatment. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds—the Hampstead Ponds a ...
, taking its name from an alternative name for the river. The area is sometimes described as part of the
West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest cit ...
or of the wider
West London West London is the western part of London, England. The area lies north of the River Thames and extends from its historic and commercial core of Westminster and the West End of London, West End to the Greater London boundary, much of which is f ...
area. The River Fleet also gave its name to the streets ''Holborn'' and ''
High Holborn High Holborn ( ) is a street in Holborn and Farringdon Without, Central London, which forms a part of the A40 road in London, A40 route from London to Fishguard. It starts in the west at the eastern end of St Giles High Street and runs past the ...
'' which extend west from the site of the former
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall around the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. Newgate lay on the west side of the wall and the road issuing from it headed over the River Fleet to Middl ...

Newgate
in the
London Wall The London Wall was a first built by the around the strategically important port town of in AD 200. It has origins as an initial mound wall and ditch from AD 100 and an initial fort, now called Cripplegate fort after the city gate that wa ...

London Wall
, over the Fleet, through Holborn and towards
Westminster Westminster is a district in , part of the wider . The area, which extends from the to has many , including the , , , and much of the shopping and entertainment district. The name ( ang, Westmynstre) originated from the informal descript ...

Westminster
. The district benefits from a central location which helps provide a strong mixed economy. The area is particularly noted for its links to the legal profession, the diamond centre at
Hatton Garden Hatton Garden is a street and quiet commercial zone in the Holborn Holborn ( or ) is a district in central London, which covers the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Camden and a part ( St Andrew Holborn Below the Bars), of th ...
and
Great Ormond Street Hospital Great Ormond Street Hospital (informally GOSH or Great Ormond Street, formerly the Hospital for Sick Children) is a children's hospital Image:The Children's Castle, Helsinki.jpg, Children's Castle (''Lastenlinna''), a former children's hosp ...

Great Ormond Street Hospital
.


Origins and administration

Holborn emerged from the
ancient parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word ...
of St Andrew Holborn and its later sub-divisions. The
parish church A parish church (or parochial church) in is the which acts as the religious centre of a . In many parts of the world, especially in areas, the parish church may play a significant role in community activities, often allowing its premises to ...

parish church
is first mentioned, and described as ''old'', in a charter of 959, but this is before the parish or the landholdings on which it was based took on anything like their settled form.


Toponymy

The earliest surviving written record of the area occurs in a charter of 959, in which King Edgar the Peaceful granted
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly in the , London, England, just to the west of the . It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditi ...

Westminster Abbey
an area of land (much larger than the later parish of Holborn) stretching from the Abbey itself, on Thorney Island, to the
River Fleet The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers, all of which today contain foul water for treatment. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds—the Hampstead Ponds a ...
. The charter mentions "the old wooden church of St Andrew" (
St Andrew, Holborn The Church of St Andrew, Holborn, is a Church of England church (building), church on the northwestern edge of the City of London, on Holborn within the Ward of Farringdon Without. History Roman and medieval Roman pottery was found on the site ...

St Andrew, Holborn
). The name Holborn is used in the charter, but it refers to the River Fleet rather than the district. The name "Holborn" may derive from the
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the Wor ...
''hol'' for "hollow", and ''bourne'', a "brook", referring to the
River Fleet The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers, all of which today contain foul water for treatment. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds—the Hampstead Ponds a ...
as it ran through a steep valley (hollow) in places. However, the 16th-century historian
John Stow John Stow (''also'' Stowe; 1524/25 – 5 April 1605) was an English historian and antiquarian. He wrote a series of chronicles of History of England, English history, published from 1565 onwards under such titles as ''The Summarie of Englyshe Ch ...

John Stow
attributes the name to a different watercourse: the ''Old Bourne'' ("old brook"), a small stream which he believed ran into the Fleet at Holborn Bridge, a structure lost when the river was
culvert A culvert is a structure that channels water past an obstacle or to channel a subterranean waterway. Typically embedded so as to be surrounded by soil, a culvert may be made from a pipe (fluid conveyance), pipe, reinforced concrete or other m ...

culvert
ed in 1732. The exact course of the stream is uncertain, but according to Stow it started in one of the many small springs near Holborn Bar, the old
City A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a permanent and s ...

City
toll gate on the summit of Holborn Hill. Other historians, however, find the theory implausible, in view of the slope of the land.


Administration: Parish and Ward

The Parish of St Andrew, Holborn, was divided by a civil boundary, with part within the Farringdon Without ward of the City of London (later known as ''St Andrew Holborn Below the Bars'') – which includes the parish church and the part within the
Ossulstone Hundred Ossulstone is an obsolete subdivision (hundred 100 or one hundred (Roman numeral Roman numerals are a numeral system A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system A writing system is a method of visually representi ...
of Middlesex (later known as ''St Andrew Above the Bars''). It is not known when the parish of Holborn took on its settled form, but it is likely to have been by the time of the introduction of Canon Law around 1180, with records from the time the was established in 1120 indicating that the parish extended further west at that time, presumably to encompass what would become the combined parish of
St Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is one of the major rivers ...
and
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...

Bloomsbury
. A charter of around 1000 shows the boundaries of the City being pushed west to their settled historic extent in around 1000, though this extramural area would have been very sparsely settled. The City’s wards take shape in the 11th century, before the Norman Conquest.Process, terms and sources described in detail in "London, 800-1216". Brooke and Keir, Chapter 7 The civil division of the parish is very ancient and predates the establishment of the parish in its settled form. In 1394 the
Ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a pen ...
of Farringdon was subdivided into
Farringdon Within Farringdon Within is one of the 25 wards of the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic cent ...
and
Farringdon Without __NOTOC__ Farringdon Without is the most westerly Ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for exampl ...
, with south-east Holborn part of the latter. The City Bars mark the boundary of the City of London within Holborn. In 1994 the City boundary shifted slightly to the junction of Chancery Lane and the Bars were moved accordingly.


Many Civil Parishes

It has been described how the two parts of the parish came under separate civil governance (though without any civil governance at parish level) according to whether the part was in the City or outside. From the Tudor period onwards new local government were introduced in England, and parish areas were obliged to take on civil as well as ecclesiastical responsibilities for the first time, this started with relief of the poor. The two parts became, for civil but not ecclesiastical purposes, two separate parishes known as ''St Andrew Holborn Below the Bars'' and ''St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars'', the ''Bars'' being the City boundary markers. The area "above Bars" (outside the city's jurisdiction) was organised by the
vestry A vestry was a committee for the local secular and ecclesiastical government for a parish in England and Wales, which originally met in the vestry or sacristy A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments (such as the alb and chasuble) and other chu ...

vestry
board of the parish of
St Andrew Andrew the Apostle ( gr, Ἀνδρέας ''Andreas''; : ܐܢܕܪܐܘܣ), also called Saint Andrew, was an according to the . He is the brother of . He is referred to in the tradition as the First-Called ( gr, Πρωτόκλητος, ''Prōtok ...

St Andrew
. As well as Holborn's two main civil parishes, there were a number of extra-parochial areas, parts of the ecclesiastical parish of Holborn but formed their own (usually tiny) civil parish areas: * Liberty of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place *
Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are Call to the Bar, called to the Bar. (The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray' ...

Lincoln's Inn
(excluding Lincoln's Inn Fields, in the combined parish of ''St Giles and Bloomsbury'') *
Thavie's Inn Thavie's Inn was a former Inn of Chancery , the only Inn of Chancery building to survive largely intact The Inns of Chancery or ''Hospida Cancellarie'' were a group of buildings and legal institutions in London initially attached to the Inns of C ...
*
Barnard's Inn Barnard's Inn is a former Inns of Chancery, Inn of Chancery in Holborn, London. It is now the home of Gresham College, an institution of higher learning established in 1597 that hosts public lectures. History Barnard's Inn dates back at least ...

Barnard's Inn
*
Furnival's Inn Furnival's Inn was an Inn of Chancery which formerly stood on the site of the present Holborn Bars building (the former Prudential plc, Prudential Assurance Company building) in Holborn, London, England. History Furnival's Inn was founded abou ...
*
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
*
Staple Inn Staple Inn is a part- Tudor building on the south side of High Holborn street in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government dist ...


Response to urbanisation

The St George the Martyr Queen Square area became a separate parish, for both civil and ecclesiastical matters, in 1723; but for civil matters was reunited with the part of St Andrew outside the City (''Above the Bars'') of London in 1767, to form
St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr (also known as St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr Queen Square) was a civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for loc ...
. The Holborn District was created in 1855, consisting of the civil parishes and extra-parochial places of Holborn outside the city; St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the Martyr,
Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely PlaceThe Liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or ch ...
, as well as two tiny units that were added from the
Finsbury Division The Finsbury Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone, in the historic county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chamber ...
: Glasshouse Yard and St Sepulchre, Middlesex. The
Metropolitan Borough of Holborn The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was a metropolitan borough in the County of London The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the gene ...

Metropolitan Borough of Holborn
was created in 1900, consisting of the former area of the Holborn District and the St Giles District, but the small units previously part of the
Finsbury Division The Finsbury Division was one of four divisions of the Hundred of Ossulstone, in the historic county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chamber ...
were instead included in the
Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury The Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury was a Metropolitan borough within the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Islington to form the London Borough of Islington. Formation and boundaries ...

Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury
. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was abolished in 1965 and its area now forms part of the
London Borough of Camden The London Borough of Camden () is a London borough The London boroughs are the 32 districts of England, local authority districts that make up the Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Greater London; each is governed by a ...
.


Latter history


Urban growth

The westward growth of London beyond the
City Wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorize ...

City Wall
, and towards the seat of government in
Westminster Westminster is a district in , part of the wider . The area, which extends from the to has many , including the , , , and much of the shopping and entertainment district. The name ( ang, Westmynstre) originated from the informal descript ...

Westminster
, took place along the banks of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...
and along the roads leading from
Ludgate Ludgate was the westernmost gate in London Wall. The name survives in Ludgate Hill, an eastward continuation of Fleet Street, Ludgate Circus and Ludgate Square. Etymology According to legend Ludgate is named after King Lud. The claim by the No ...
(
Fleet Street Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar, London, Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which ...

Fleet Street
and The Strand) and
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall around the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. Newgate lay on the west side of the wall and the road issuing from it headed over the River Fleet to Middl ...

Newgate
(''Holborn'' and ''
High Holborn High Holborn ( ) is a street in Holborn and Farringdon Without, Central London, which forms a part of the A40 road in London, A40 route from London to Fishguard. It starts in the west at the eastern end of St Giles High Street and runs past the ...
''). This growth, initially limited to
Farringdon Without __NOTOC__ Farringdon Without is the most westerly Ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for exampl ...
(which includes a part of Holborn) was well underway in the 12th century, leading to the Ward being retrospectively described as the capital's original
West End West End most commonly refers to: * West End of London, an area of central London, England * West End theatre, a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London, England West End may also refer to: Place ...
. In the 12th century St Andrew's was noted in local title deeds as lying on "Holburnestrate"—Holborn Street, but as the street leads from Roman
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall around the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. Newgate lay on the west side of the wall and the road issuing from it headed over the River Fleet to Middl ...

Newgate
, and the church was sited on it by the 10th century, it is probably considerably older. In 1394 the population had grown so large that the Ward of Farringdon had grown too large for effective governance and was formally divided into the separate Wards, (rather than separate named areas within the same Ward) in 1394. The westward growth towards Westminster accelerated in the Tudor period. The westerly ribbon development through the parish was complete before the of 1666, with the displacement of people accelerating the development of the rest of the area. The northern fringe the last area to be developed, with this process finalised in the 18th century.


Medieval

St Etheldreda's Church St Etheldreda's Church is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to th ...
, in gated
Ely Place Ely Place is a gated road of multi-storey terraces at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden in London, England. It hosts a 1773-rebuilt public house, Ye Olde Mitre, of Tudor origin and is adjacent to Hatton Garden. It is privately ...
was originally the chapel of the
Bishop of Ely The Bishop of Ely is the ordinary Ordinary or The Ordinary often refer to: Music * Ordinary (EP), ''Ordinary'' (EP) (2015), by South Korean group Beast * Ordinary (Every Little Thing album), ''Ordinary'' (Every Little Thing album) (2011) * Ordina ...
's London palace. This ecclesiastical connection allowed the street to remain part of the county of
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chamber ...

Cambridgeshire
until the mid-1930s. This meant that
Ye Olde Mitre The Ye Olde Mitre is a listed building, Grade II listed public house at 1 Ely Court, Ely Place, Holborn, London EC1N 6SJ. It is on the Campaign for Real Ale's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. English Heritage documents indicate tha ...
, a pub located in a court hidden behind the buildings of the Place and the Garden, was licensed by the Cambridgeshire Magistrates. St Etheldreda's is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Britain, and one of two extant buildings in London dating back to the era of .


Tudor and Stuart periods

Henry VIIHenry VII may refer to: * Henry VII of England (1457–1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1485 until his death in 1509; the founder of the House of Tudor * Henry VII, Duke of Bavaria (died 1047), count of Luxembourg (as Henry II) from 1 ...

Henry VII
paid for the road to be paved in 1494 because the thoroughfare "was so deep and miry that many perils and hazards were thereby occasioned, as well to the king's carriages passing that way, as to those of his subjects". Criminals from the
Tower A tower is a tall structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rul ...

Tower
and
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall around the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. Newgate lay on the west side of the wall and the road issuing from it headed over the River Fleet to Middl ...
passed up Holborn on their way to be hanged at
Tyburn Tyburn was a manor Manor may refer to: Land tenure *Manor, the land belonging to the Lord of the manor under manorialism in parts of medieval Europe, notably England *Manor house, the main residence of the lord of the manor *Lord of the mano ...
or
St Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is one of the major rivers ...
.
Hatton Garden Hatton Garden is a street and quiet commercial zone in the Holborn Holborn ( or ) is a district in central London, which covers the south-eastern part of the London Borough of Camden and a part ( St Andrew Holborn Below the Bars), of th ...
, the centre of the diamond trade, was leased to a favourite of
Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_an ...
, Sir Christopher Hatton, at the insistence of the Queen to provide him with an income. The area was not damaged by the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

Great Fire of London
in 1666, though the area of destruction reached its south-eastern boundary.


Legal profession

Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the .. His work ...

Charles Dickens
took up residence in
Furnival's Inn Furnival's Inn was an Inn of Chancery which formerly stood on the site of the present Holborn Bars building (the former Prudential plc, Prudential Assurance Company building) in Holborn, London, England. History Furnival's Inn was founded abou ...
(later the site of "
Holborn Bars Holborn Bars, also known as the Prudential Assurance Building is a large red terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-ba ...
", the former Prudential building designed by
Alfred Waterhouse Alfred Waterhouse (19 July 1830 – 22 August 1905) was an English architect, particularly associated with the Victorian architecture, Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, although he designed using other architectural styles as well. He is ...
). Dickens put his character "Pip", in ''
Great Expectations ''Great Expectations'' is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel. It depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip (Great Expectations), Pip (the book is a ''bildungsroman'', a coming-of-age story). It i ...

Great Expectations
'', in residence at
Barnard's Inn Barnard's Inn is a former Inns of Chancery, Inn of Chancery in Holborn, London. It is now the home of Gresham College, an institution of higher learning established in 1597 that hosts public lectures. History Barnard's Inn dates back at least ...

Barnard's Inn
opposite, now occupied by
Gresham College Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Hall off in , . It does not enroll students or award degrees. It was founded in 1597 under the of Sir , and hosts over 140 free public lectures every year. Since 2001, all lectu ...
.
Staple Inn Staple Inn is a part- Tudor building on the south side of High Holborn street in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government dist ...
, notable as the promotional image for
Old Holborn Old Holborn (pronounced ''old hoburn'') is a brand of hand rolling tobacco produced by Richard Lloyd & Sons (a subsidiary of Gallaher Group which itself is a subsidiary of Japan Tobacco). The name originates from Holborn in London, where Richard ...
tobacco, is nearby. The three of these were
Inns of Chancery The Inns of Chancery or ''Hospida Cancellarie'' were a group of buildings and legal institutions in London initially attached to the Inns of Court and used as offices for the clerks of court of equity, chancery, from which they drew their name. ...
. The most northerly of the
Inns of Court The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usuall ...
,
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
, is off Holborn, as is
Lincoln's Inn The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are Call to the Bar, called to the Bar. (The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray' ...

Lincoln's Inn
: the area has been associated with the legal professions since mediaeval times, and the name of the local militia (now
Territorial Army Territorial Army may refer to: * Territorial Army (India) * Territorial Army (United Kingdom) * Territorial Army (Ethiopia), part of the Ethiopian National Defense Force * Territorial Army (Germany) part of the West German Army during the Cold War ...
unit, the Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) still reflects that. The unit is nicknamed the ''Devil's Own'', a name given by
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on th ...
, not due to ferocity in battle, but rather to his dislike of lawyers.


Historic points of interest

In the 18th century, Holborn was the location of the infamous Mother Clap's molly house (meeting place for homosexual men). There were 22 inns or taverns recorded in the 1860s. The
Holborn Empire Weston's Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened on 16 November 1857 at 242-245 High Holborn in London, England. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire. History Early years The theatre was constructed on the site of ...
, originally
Weston's Music Hall Weston's Music Hall was a music hall and theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live ...
, stood between 1857 and 1960, when it was pulled down after structural damage sustained in
the Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the . The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word for 'lightning war'. The Germans conducted mass ai ...
. The theatre premièred one of the first full-length feature films in 1914, '' The World, the Flesh and the Devil'', a 50-minute
melodrama A modern melodrama is a dramatic work wherein the plot, typically sensationalized and for a strong emotional appeal, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Melodramas typically concentrate on dialogue that is often bombastic or excess ...
filmed in
Kinemacolor Kinemacolor was the first successful colour motion picture process, used commercially from 1908 to 1914. It was invented by George Albert Smith in 1906. He was influenced by the work of William Norman Lascelles Davidson and, more directly, E ...

Kinemacolor
. Subsequently, the area diversified and become recognisable as the modern street. A plaque stands at number 120 commemorating 's invention of the
Marine chronometer A marine chronometer is a precision timepiece A clock is a device used to measure, verify, keep, and indicate time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an app ...
, which facilitated long-distance travel. At the corner of Hatton Garden was the old family department store of
Gamages Gamages was a department store in Holborn, London. Trading between 1878 and 1972, it was particularly well known for its toy and hardware departments. History Gamages began life in 1878 in a rented watch repair shop and, after quickly becoming a ...
. Until 1992, the London Weather Centre was located in the street. The Prudential insurance company relocated in 2002. The
Daily Mirror The ''Daily Mirror'' is a British national daily tabloid-sized newspaper that is considered to be engaged in tabloid-style journalism. Founded in 1903, it is owned by parent company Reach plc Reach plc (known as Trinity Mirror between 1 ...
offices used to be directly opposite it, but the site is now occupied by
Sainsbury's J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarket A supermarket is a self-service Retail#Types of outlets, shop offering a wide variety of food, Drink, beverages and Household goods, household products, ...

Sainsbury's
head office. Behind the Prudential Building lies the Anglo-Catholic church of St Alban the Martyr.St Alban the Martyr
accessed 14 December 2013
Originally built in 1863 by architect
William Butterfield William Butterfield (7 September 1814 – 23 February 1900) was a Gothic Revival architect and associated with the Oxford Movement The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church members of the Church of England which eventually develo ...

William Butterfield
, it was gutted during the Blitz but later reconstructed, retaining Butterfield's west front. On
Holborn Circus Holborn Circus is a five-way junction at the western extreme of the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains ...
lies the Church of
St Andrew Andrew the Apostle ( gr, Ἀνδρέας ''Andreas''; : ܐܢܕܪܐܘܣ), also called Saint Andrew, was an according to the . He is the brother of . He is referred to in the tradition as the First-Called ( gr, Πρωτόκλητος, ''Prōtok ...

St Andrew
, an ancient
Guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functiona ...
Church that survived the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

Great Fire of London
. However, the parochial authority decided to commission
Sir Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...
to rebuild it. Although the nave was destroyed in the Blitz, the reconstruction was faithful to Wren's original. Just to the west of the circus, but originally sited in the middle, is a large equestrian statue of
Prince Albert Prince Albert most commonly refers to: *Albert, Prince Consort german: link=no, Franz Albert August Karl Emanuel , house = , father = Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , mother = Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenbu ...

Prince Albert
by Charles Bacon, erected in 1874 as the city's official monument to him. It was presented by Charles Oppenheim, of the diamond trading company
De Beers De Beers Group is an international corporation that specializes in diamond Diamond is a Allotropes of carbon, solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At Standard conditions for ...

De Beers
, whose headquarters is in nearby Charterhouse Street.


Geography

The district can best be described in reference to the ancient parish and the sub-divisions that succeeded it, however the area is not an administrative unit so contemporary perceptions of its extent can be vague and highly variable. In particular there are overlapping perceptions of the extent of the districts of Holborn,
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...

Bloomsbury
and
St Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is one of the major rivers ...
. One of the many factors in this, is a tendency to conflate the ''Holborn'' and ''High Holborn'' roads with the district. The now buried
River Fleet The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers, all of which today contain foul water for treatment. Its headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath, each of which was dammed into a series of ponds—the Hampstead Ponds a ...
formed the historic eastern boundary of the ancient parish of Holborn, a course now marked by
Farringdon Street File:Farringdon Street as seen from the Holborn Viaduct.JPG, Farringdon Street, south of Farringdon Road Farringdon Road is a road in Clerkenwell, London. History Its construction, which took almost 20 years between the 1840s and the 1860s, ...
,
Farringdon Road Farringdon Street, south of Farringdon Road Farringdon Road is a road in Clerkenwell, London. History Its construction, which took almost 20 years between the 1840s and the 1860s, is considered one of the greatest urban engineering achieve ...

Farringdon Road
and other streets. The northern boundary with St Pancras was formed by a tributary of the Fleet later known as Lamb’s Conduit. The area extends west from Farringdon Street, for three-quarters of a mile, roughly as far as Southampton Row and Holborn tube station. The station was originally named ''Holborn (Kingsway)'' as it was on the junction of those two roads. Most of the area lies north of the eponymous road, rather than to the south.


Transport

The nearest London Underground stations are Chancery Lane tube station, Chancery Lane and Holborn tube station, Holborn. The closest mainline railway station is City Thameslink railway station, City Thameslink. Holborn is served by bus routes 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 59, 68, 76, 91, 98, 168, 171, 188, 243, 341, 521, X68 and night routes N1, N8, N19, N38, N41, N55, N68 and N171.


Nearby areas

*
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...

Bloomsbury
* Clerkenwell * Smithfield, London, Smithfield * Charing Cross * Soho * Covent Garden * St Giles, London, St. Giles *Piccadilly


Economy

In the early 21st century, Holborn has become the site of new offices and hotels. For example, the old neoclassical Pearl Assurance building near the junction with Kingsway, London, Kingsway was converted into a hotel in 1999. There has been a limited attempt by some commercial organisations to rebrand Holborn (and other nearby areas such as
Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital ...

Bloomsbury
) as "Midtown", on the grounds that it is notionally in the very middle of London, between the
West End West End most commonly refers to: * West End of London, an area of central London, England * West End theatre, a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London, England West End may also refer to: Place ...
and City of London, the City, but this Americanisation has been widely criticised and not accepted or used by Londoners.


Representation

The MPs for the area are: * Keir Starmer MP, the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras, * Nickie Aiken, the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, which includes the City of London portion of Holborn. The three ward councillors for Holborn and Covent Garden, representing the
London Borough of Camden The London Borough of Camden () is a London borough The London boroughs are the 32 districts of England, local authority districts that make up the Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Greater London; each is governed by a ...
part of the district are: * Cllr Julian Fulbrook, Cllr Sue Vincent and Cllr Awale Olad of the Labour Party. Holborn is represented in the London Assembly as part of Barnet and Camden by: * Andrew Dismore, of the Labour Party.


Notable people

The following is a list of notable people who were born in or are significantly connected with Holborn. * John Barbirolli, conductor, was born in Southampton Row (blue plaque on hotel his father managed). * John William Bean (1824-1882), criminal, born in Holborn, attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria * Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770), poet, was born in Bristol and died in a garret in Holborn at the age of 17. * Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), composer, born at 15 Theobalds Road; acclaimed especially for The Song of Hiawatha (Coleridge-Taylor), ''The Song of Hiawatha'' trilogy. * James Day (cricketer, born 1850), James Day (1850–1895), cricketer, was born in Holborn. *
Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the .. His work ...

Charles Dickens
lived in Doughty Street, where his house is now a museum. * Rupert Farley, actor and voice actor, was born in Holborn. * Naomi Lewis (1911–2009), advocate of animal rights, poet, children's author and teacher, lived in Red Lion Square 1935–2009. * Eric Morley (1918–2000), founder of the Miss World pageant, was born in Holborn. * Pedro Perera (1832–1915), first-class cricketer * Frederico Perera (1836–1909), first-class cricketer * Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823), novelist and pioneer of the Gothic novel, was born in Holborn. * John Shaw Jr. (1803–1870), architect, was born in Holborn; praised as a designer in the "Manner of Christopher Wren, Wren". * Barry Sheene (1950–2003), World Champion motorcycle racer, spent his early years in Holborn. * William Morris (1845–1896), artist and socialist, lived at 8 Red Lion Square. * Matthew Ball (dancer), Matthew Ball, Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet lives there.


Gallery

File:J Sainsbury HQ 1.jpg, The headquarters of
Sainsbury's J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarket A supermarket is a self-service Retail#Types of outlets, shop offering a wide variety of food, Drink, beverages and Household goods, household products, ...

Sainsbury's
at
Holborn Circus Holborn Circus is a five-way junction at the western extreme of the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains ...
File:Grange Holborn Hotel.jpg, Grange Holborn Hotel File:High Holborn 1.jpg,
High Holborn High Holborn ( ) is a street in Holborn and Farringdon Without, Central London, which forms a part of the A40 road in London, A40 route from London to Fishguard. It starts in the west at the eastern end of St Giles High Street and runs past the ...
File:Gray's Inn entrance.jpg, Entrance to
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
File:Royal Fusiliers memorial.JPG, Royal London Fusiliers Monument on Holborn, dedicated to those who died in World War I


See also

*
Holborn Circus Holborn Circus is a five-way junction at the western extreme of the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains ...
*


Notes

*a. Pronunciation: The authoritative BBC pronunciation unit recommends "IPA chart for English dialects, ˈhəʊbə(r)n" but allows "sometimes also hohl-buhrn". The organisation's less formal ''Pronouncing British Placenames'' notes, "You'll occasionally find towns where nobody can agree.... Holborn in central London has for many years been pronounced 'hoe-bun', but having so few local residents to preserve this, it's rapidly changing to a more natural 'hol-burn'". However, ''Modern British and American English pronunciation'' (2008) cites "Holborn" as one of its examples of a common word where the "l" is silent. The popular tourist guide ''The Rough Guide to Britain'' sticks to the traditional form, with neither "l" nor "r": .


References


External links


Holborn and Bloomsbury
by Sir Walter Besant and Geraldine Edith Mitton, 1903, from Project Gutenberg {{Authority control Holborn, Districts of the London Borough of Camden Districts of the City of London