The Info List - Holborn

--- Advertisement ---

(/ˈhoʊbərn/ HOH-bə(r)n or /ˈhɒlbərn/ [a]) is a district in the London boroughs of Camden and City of Westminster
City of Westminster
and a locality in the ward of Farringdon Without
Farringdon Without
in the City of London.


1 History

1.1 Toponymy 1.2 Local governance 1.3 Urban development

2 Modern times 3 Education 4 Geography

4.1 Nearby areas 4.2 Transport

5 Notable people 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Toponymy[edit] See also: Street names of Holborn The area's first mention is in a charter of Westminster
Abbey, by King Edgar, dated to 959. This mentions "the old wooden church of St Andrew" (St Andrew, Holborn).[2] The name Holborn
may be derived from the Middle English
Middle English
"hol" for hollow, and bourne, a brook, referring to the River Fleet
River Fleet
as it ran through a steep valley to the east.[2][3] Historical cartographer William Shepherd in his Plan of London about 1300 labels the Fleet as "Hole Bourn" where it passes to the east of St Andrew's church.[4] However, the 16th-century historian John Stow attributes the name to 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 culverted 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 toll gate on the summit of Holborn
Hill.[3][5] This is supported by a map of London and Westminster
created during the reign of Henry VIII that clearly marks the street as 'Oldbourne' and 'High Oldbourne'.[6] Other historians, however, find the theory implausible, in view of the slope of the land.[7] Local governance[edit]

A map showing the wards of Holborn
Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1952

It was then outside the City's jurisdiction and a part of Ossulstone Hundred in Middlesex. In the 12th century St Andrew's was noted in local title deeds as lying on "Holburnestrate"— Holborn
Street.[8] The original Bars were the boundary of the City of London
City of London
from 1223, when the City's jurisdiction was extended beyond the Walls, at Newgate, into the suburb here, as far as the point where the Bars were erected, until 1994 when the boundary moved to the junction of Chancery Lane. In 1394 the Ward of Farringdon Without
Farringdon Without
was created, but only the south side of Holborn
was under its jurisdiction with some minor properties, such as parts of Furnival's Inn, on the northern side, "above Bars". The rest of the area "below Bars" (outside the City's jurisdiction) was organised by the vestry board of the parish of St Andrew.[9] The St George the Martyr Queen Square area became a separate parish in 1723 and was combined with the part of St Andrew outside the City of London
City of London
in 1767 to form St Andrew Holborn
St Andrew Holborn
Above the Bars with St George the Martyr. The Holborn
District was created in 1855, consisting of the civil parishes and extra-parochial places of Glasshouse Yard, Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place, St Andrew Holborn
St Andrew Holborn
Above the Bars with St George the Martyr and St Sepulchre. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn
was created in 1900, consisting of the former area of the Holborn
District and the St Giles District, excluding Glasshouse Yard
Glasshouse Yard
and St Sepulchre, which went to the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. The Metropolitan Borough of Holborn
Metropolitan Borough of Holborn
was abolished in 1965 and its area now forms part of the London Borough of Camden. Local politicians include:

Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer
MP, the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Holborn
and St Pancras, Mark Field
Mark Field
Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, which includes the City of London
City of London
portion of Holborn, three ward councillors for Holborn
and Covent Garden: Cllr Julian Fulbrook, Cllr Sue Vincent and Cllr Awale Olad of the Labour Party.

is represented in the London Assembly
London Assembly
as part of Barnet and Camden by Andrew Dismore, of the Labour Party. Urban development[edit]

"Old Holborn": Staple Inn
Staple Inn
in 1900

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 and Newgate passed up Holborn
on their way to be hanged at Tyburn
or St Giles.[10] 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, originally Weston's Music Hall, stood between 1857 and 1960, when it was pulled down after structural damage sustained in the Blitz. The theatre premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, The World, the Flesh and the Devil, a 50-minute melodrama filmed in Kinemacolour.[11] Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
took up residence in Furnival's Inn
Furnival's Inn
(later the site of " Holborn
Bars", the former Prudential building designed by Alfred Waterhouse). Dickens put his character "Pip", in Great Expectations, in residence at Barnard's Inn
Barnard's Inn
opposite, now occupied by Gresham College.[12] Staple Inn, notable as the promotional image for Old Holborn
tobacco,[13] is nearby. The three of these were Inns of Chancery. The most northerly of the Inns of Court, Gray's Inn, is off Holborn, as is 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 unit, the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
& City Yeomanry) still reflects that. Subsequently, the area diversified and become recognisable as the modern street. A plaque stands at number 120 commemorating Thomas Earnshaw's invention of the Marine chronometer, which facilitated long-distance travel. At the corner of Hatton Garden
Hatton Garden
was the old family department store of Gamages. Until 1992, the London Weather Centre was located in the street. The Prudential insurance company relocated in 2002. The Daily Mirror offices used to be directly opposite it, but the site is now occupied by Sainsbury's
head office. Modern times[edit]

A view of Holborn
in 1984.

Further east, in the gated avenue of Ely Place, is St Etheldreda's Church, originally the chapel of the Bishop of Ely's London palace. This ecclesiastical connection allowed the street to remain part of the county of Cambridgeshire
until the mid-1930s. This meant that Ye Olde Mitre, a pub located in a court hidden behind the buildings of the Place and the Garden, was licensed by the Cambridgeshire Magistrates.[14][15] 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 Edward I.[16][17][18] Hatton Garden, the centre of the diamond trade, was leased to a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Christopher Hatton, at the insistence of the Queen to provide him with an income. Behind the Prudential Building lies the Anglo-Catholic church of St Alban the Martyr.[19] Originally built in 1863 by architect William Butterfield, it was gutted during the Blitz but later reconstructed, retaining Butterfield's west front. The current[when?] vicar is Rev. Christopher Smith.[19] On Holborn Circus
Holborn Circus
lies the Church of St Andrew, an ancient Guild Church that survived the Great Fire of London. However, the parochial authority decided to commission Sir Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren
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 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, whose headquarters is in nearby Charterhouse Street.

Former Pearl Assurance building

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 was converted into a hotel in 1999. There has been a limited attempt to rebrand Holborn
(and perhaps other nearby areas such as Bloomsbury) as "Midtown", on the grounds that it is notionally in the very middle of London, between the West End and the City (often considered, such as for postcode purposes, to be on the east side of central London).[20] Education[edit] For education within the Westminster
portion of Holborn, see City of Westminster
§ Education.

City Lit
City Lit
adult education

Geography[edit] Nearby areas[edit]

Bloomsbury Clerkenwell Smithfield Charing Cross Soho Covent Garden St. Giles

Transport[edit] The nearest London Underground
London Underground
stations are Chancery Lane and Holborn. The closest mainline railway station is 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. Notable people[edit] 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). Thomas Chatterton
Thomas Chatterton
(1752–1770), poet, was born in Bristol and died in a garret in Holborn
at the age of 17. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
(1875–1912), composer, born at 15 Theobalds Road; acclaimed especially for The Song of Hiawatha trilogy. Charles Dickens
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
Naomi Lewis
(1911–2009), advocate of animal rights, poet, children's author and teacher, lived in Red Lion Square
Red Lion Square
1935–2009. Eric Morley
Eric Morley
(1918–2000), founder of the Miss World
Miss World
pageant, was born in Holborn. Ann Radcliffe
Ann Radcliffe
(1764–1823), novelist and renowned author 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 Wren". Barry Sheene
Barry Sheene
(1950–2003), World Champion motorcycle racer, spent his early years in Holborn. William Morris
William Morris
(1845–1896), artist and socialist, lived at 8 Red Lion Square.


The headquarters of Sainsbury's
at Holborn

Staple Inn, near Chancery Lane tube station

Grange Holborn

High Holborn

Entrance to Gray's Inn

Royal London Fusiliers Monument
Royal London Fusiliers Monument
on Holborn, dedicated to those who died in World War I

See also[edit]

Circus London portal


a. ^ Pronunciation: The authoritative BBC pronunciation unit recommends "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'".[21][22] However, Modern British and American English pronunciation (2008) cites "Holborn" as one of its examples of a common word where the "l" is silent.[23] The popular tourist guide The Rough Guide to Britain sticks to the traditional form, with neither "l" nor "r": /ˈhoʊbən/ HOH-bən.[24]


^ "Camden Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 20 October 2016.  ^ a b Lethaby, William (1902). London before the conquest. London: Macmillan. p. 60.  ^ a b Besant, Walter; Mitton, Geraldine (1903). Holborn
and Bloomsbury. The Fascination of London (Project Gutenberg, 2007 ed.). London: Adam and Charles Black. Retrieved 13 August 2008.  ^ Shepherd, William R (1926). Historical atlas (3 ed.). University of London. p. 75. OCLC 253088196.  ^ Strype, John (1720). "Rivers and other Waters serving this City". Survey of London. The Stuart London Project. Online edition: University of Sheffield 2007.  ^ http://www.oldlondonmaps.com/oldenmappages/olden08a.html ^ Lethaby (1902:48) ^ Harben, Henry (1918). A Dictionary of London. London: Herbert Jenkins.  ^ The Parish of St Andrew Holborn
St Andrew Holborn
pp. 11–12 Caroline Barron London 1979 ^ Timbs, John (1855). Curiosities of London: Exhibiting the Most Rare and Remarkable Objects of Interest in the Metropolis. D. Bogue. p. 428.  ^ The World, the Flesh and the Devil on IMDb ^ Chap. 20 ^ Hibbert, Christopher; et al. (1983). The London Encyclopedia (2010 ed.). London: MacMillan. p. 397. ISBN 1-4050-4925-1.  ^ Vitaliev, Vitali (3 January 2003). "Things that go bump on the map". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2008.  ^ Hammond, Derek (28 June 2006). "Secret London: Ye Olde Mitre Tavern". Time Out. Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.  ^ "History of the Church". stetheldreda.com. It is the oldest Catholic church in England
and one of only two remaining buildings in London from the reign of Edward I.  ^ Sarah Kettler; Carole Trimble (2001). The Amateur Historian's Guide to Medieval and Tudor London, 1066-1600. Capital Books. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-892123-32-9. This is Britain's oldest Roman Catholic church, dating from the 13th century.  ^ Andrew Davies (1988). Literary London. Pan Macmillan. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-333-45708-5. In 1874 when the church was bought back by the Roman Catholics it was found to be full of 'inconceivable filth, living and dead'. St Etheldreda's is the oldest Catholic church building in Britain.  ^ a b St Alban the Martyr accessed 14 December 2013 ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9359556/A-Midtown-inLondon-Theres-NoHo-chance.html ^ Olausson, Lena (2006). "Holborn". Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation, The Essential Handbook of the Spoken Word (3rd ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-19-280710-2.  ^ "Pronouncing British Placenames". BBC. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2009.  ^ Dretzke, Burkhard (2008). Modern British and American English pronunciation. Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schöningh. p. 63. ISBN 3-8252-2053-2.  ^ Roberts, Andrew; Matthew Teller (2004). The Rough Guide to Britain. London: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 109. ISBN 1-84353-301-4. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutHolbornat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Travel guide from Wikivoyage Data from Wikidata

and Bloomsbury, by Sir Walter Besant
Walter Besant
and Geraldine Edith Mitton, 1903, from Project Gutenberg

v t e

London Borough of Camden


Belsize Park Bloomsbury Brondesbury Camden Town Chalk Farm Covent Garden Cricklewood Dartmouth Park Fitzrovia Fortune Green Frognal Gospel Oak Hampstead Hatton Garden
Hatton Garden
(inc. Saffron Hill) Haverstock Highgate Holborn Kentish Town Kilburn Kings Cross Primrose Hill Regent's Park St Giles St Pancras Somers Town South Hampstead Swiss Cottage Tufnell Park West Hampstead


Ben Uri Gallery Bloomsbury
Theatre British Library British Museum BT Tower Camden Arts Centre Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Museum Dominion Theatre Donmar Warehouse Foundling Museum Fenton House Freud Museum Highgate
Cemetery Keats House Kenwood House The Jewish Museum Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology Roundhouse Shaftesbury Theatre Sir John Soane's Museum Wellcome Collection West End theatre

Street markets

Camden Market Queen's Crescent Market

Parks and open spaces

Square Hampstead
Heath Kilburn Grange Park Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
Fields Phoenix Garden Primrose Hill Regents Park Russell Square Waterlow Park


and Kilburn Holborn
and St. Pancras

Tube and rail stations

Belsize Park Camden Road Camden Town Chalk Farm Chancery Lane Euston tube station
Euston tube station
(and West Coast Main Line terminus) Euston Square Finchley
Road Finchley
Road & Frognal Goodge Street Gospel Oak
Gospel Oak
railway station Hampstead Hampstead
Heath Holborn Kentish Town Kentish Town
Kentish Town
West Kilburn High Road King's Cross St. Pancras tube station
King's Cross St. Pancras tube station
London King's Cross railway station St Pancras railway station Mornington Crescent Russell Square South Hampstead Swiss Cottage Tottenham
Court Road Warren Street West Hampstead West Hampstead
(Overground) West Hampstead

Other topics

Blue plaques Coat of arms Council Listed buildings

Grade I Grade II*

People Public art Schools

Category Commons

v t e

City of Westminster


Adelphi and Aldwych
(see also Strand) Bayswater Belgravia Covent Garden Fitzrovia Hyde Park (in commercial use) Kilburn Knightsbridge Lisson Grove Maida Vale

including Little Venice

Marylebone Mayfair Millbank Paddington

including Paddington

Pimlico Queen's Park St James's St John's Wood Soho

including Chinatown

Victoria Westbourne Green Westminster


Buckingham Palace Horse Guards National Gallery Tate Britain Trafalgar Square West End theatre Westminster

Parks and open spaces

Green Park Hyde Park Kensington Gardens Regent's Park St James's
St James's


Cities of London and Westminster Westminster

Local government

Borough council Elections

2010 2014


Chelsea Bridge Grosvenor Bridge Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges Lambeth
Bridge Vauxhall
Bridge Waterloo Bridge Westminster

Rail and tube stations

Baker Street Bayswater Bond Street Charing Cross Charing Cross Edgware
Road Edgware
Road Embankment Great Portland Street Green Park Hyde Park Corner Lancaster Gate Leicester Square Maida Vale Marble Arch Marylebone Oxford Circus Paddington Paddington Paddington Piccadilly Circus Pimlico Queensway Regent's Park Royal Oak St. James's Park St. John's Wood Temple Tottenham
Court Road Victoria Warwick Avenue Westbourne Park Westminster

Art and architecture

Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings

1–9 A–Z

Public art

Hyde Park Paddington St Marylebone architectural sculpture

Other topics

Blue plaques People Schools

Category Commons

v t e

Areas of London

Central activities zone

Bloomsbury City of London
City of London
wards Holborn Marylebone Mayfair Paddington Pimlico Soho Southwark Vauxhall Waterloo Westminster

Town centre network


Belgravia Knightsbridge West End


Bromley Croydon Ealing Harrow Hounslow Ilford Kingston Romford Shepherd's Bush Stratford Sutton Uxbridge Wood Green


Angel Barking Bexleyheath Brixton Camden Town Canary Wharf Catford Chiswick Clapham
Junction Dalston East Ham Edgware Eltham Enfield Town Fulham Hammersmith Holloway Nags Head Kensington High Street Kilburn King's Road
King's Road
East Lewisham Orpington Peckham Putney Queensway/Westbourne Grove Richmond Southall Streatham Tooting Walthamstow Wandsworth Wembley Whitechapel Wimbledon Woolwich

Districts (principal)

Acton Beckenham Bethnal Green Brentford Camberwell Canada Water Carshalton Chadwell Heath Chingford Clapham Crystal Palace Coulsdon Cricklewood Dagenham Deptford Dulwich Edmonton Elephant and Castle Erith Feltham Finchley Forest Gate Forest Hill Golders Green Greenwich Harlesden Hampstead Harringay Hayes (Hillingdon) Hendon Hornchurch Kentish Town Leyton Mill Hill Mitcham Morden Muswell Hill New Cross New Malden Northwood Notting Hill Penge Pinner Purley Ruislip Sidcup Southgate South Norwood Stanmore Stoke Newington Surbiton Sydenham Teddington Thamesmead Tolworth Tulse Hill Twickenham Upminster Upper Norwood Wanstead Wealdstone Welling West Ham West Hampstead West Norwood Willesden
Green Woodford

Neighbourhoods (principal)

Abbey Wood Alperton Anerley Barnes Barnsbury Battersea Beckton Bedford Park Bermondsey Bow Brent Cross Brockley Canonbury Charlton Chelsea Chessington Chipping Barnet Chislehurst Clerkenwell Elmers End Gidea Park Greenford Gunnersbury Hackbridge Hackney Ham Hampton Hanwell Hanworth Harold Wood Highams Park Highbury Highgate Hillingdon Hook Holloway Hoxton Ickenham Isle of Dogs Isleworth Islington Kensal Green Kew Lambeth Manor Park Mortlake Neasden Northolt Nunhead Plaistow (Newham) Poplar Roehampton Rotherhithe Seven Kings Seven Sisters Shoreditch Stamford Hill Stepney St Helier Surrey Quays Tottenham Upper Clapton Walworth Wapping West Drayton Worcester Park Yiewsley

Lists of areas by borough

and Dagenham Barnet Bexley Brent Bromley Camden Croydon Ealing Enfield Greenwich Hackney Hammersmith
and Fulham Haringey Harrow Havering Hillingdon Hounslow Islington Kensington and Chelsea Kingston upon Thames Lambeth Lewisham Merton Newham Redbridge Richmond upon Thames Southwark Sutton Tower Hamlets Waltham Forest Wandsworth Westminster


Canley (borough) (The Bill: TV soap) Charnham (suburb) (Family Affairs: TV soap) Gasforth (town) (The Thin Blue Line: TV series) London Below (magical realm) (Neverwhere: TV series, novel) Walford
(borough) (EastEnders: TV soap)

The London Plan 2011, Annex Two: London's Town Centre Network – Greate