Farringdon Within is on the west of the City and has one of the more unusual layouts, shaped by hundreds of years of history, making it difficult to describe.
It effectively can be split into a Northside and Southside, which is how the Councilmen representing the Ward are organised. From the map below, the Northside and Southside of the Ward are fairly obvious.
The Northside covers an area from the junction of Carthusian Street and Aldersgate Street, extending east down to the Museum of London roundabout at Little Britain, then east to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, back north to Smithfield Market, and north again to Charterhouse Square. This area includes lots of residential flats and some houses, mostly around Cloth Fair and Bartholomew Close, but lots of businesses and shops as well, and quite a few Livery Companies – Northside is home to The Worshipful Company of Butchers and of Information Technologists in Bartholomew Close, The Worshipful Company of Farmers and Fletchers on Cloth Street, and The Worshipful Company of Founders on Cloth Fair. Also in the North is St. Bartholomew the Great, one of London’s oldest churches.
In recent years, there has been much redevelopment in the area with the new buildings of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, but the next phase has moved on to directly affect our Ward, with the redevelopment of ‘Barts Square‘ which will significantly change the area. In addition, the east entrance to the new Farringdon Crossrail station is currently under construction in our Ward to the east of Smithfield Market.
Connected to the North by the corridor of King Edward Street, the Southside includes Merrill Lynch Financial Centre – partly built over Roman ruins, and incorporates ancient and mediaeval architecture, including the original city wall – and the surrounding shops, offices and The Viaduct Tavern to the north of Newgate street. A little to the west, but also to the north of Holborn Viaduct, there is another site currently under redevelopment at ‘Sixty London‘ – this hole block is a new addition to the ward, following the 2012 ward boundary review.
Running to the east alongside Paternoster Square, past Cutlers’ Hall and Stationers’ Hall, the Ward includes Ludgate Hill;- lined with shops, offices and flats, this is the classic view of St.Paul’s Cathedral. To the south of Ludgate Hill the Ward covers more mixed properties, including some large office accommodation to the very south at 160 Queen Victoria Street – home to BNY Mellon & Dechert amongst others – opposite the newly redeveloped Blackfriars Station, the first railway station to span the Thames.
Blackfriars has long been associated with Farringdon Within. When Edward I gave permission to rebuild London’s City Wall, the Dominican Friars moved into the area which was named after their black cappa. In 1632, the Society of Apothecaries acquired the monastery’s guesthouse – and the present day Livery Hall is a key landmark in the Southside of Farringdon Within. This is also the home of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.
The Southside also includes Carter Lane, leading into Blackfriars Square, with many places to eat and drink, as well as flats and offices all around. At the very south west corner of the Ward is the Grade II listed The Blackfriar pub, as well as the shops and businesses along New Bridge Street heading north, up and across Ludgate Circus and on up Farringdon Street to Holborn Viaduct. – the first ‘flyover’ built in London, opened by Queen Victoria in 1869.
To the west of Farringdon Street, the Ward covers a number of large office blocks, including the soon to be redeveloped Fleet Building. Running through the centre of the Southside is Old Bailey with the Central Criminal Court, the site of Britain’s most notorious capital cases. It was rebuilt in 1674 after being destroyed in the Great Fire. Running almost parallel to Old Bailey is the Fleet Place development of offices and retail space, connecting Ludgate Hill to Holborn Viaduct, and built over the Thameslink line which runs from Blackfriars, through City Thameslink on Ludgate Hill, and on up to Farringdon Station to the north of the Ward.
This is very much a potted tour and thumbnail sketch. If you think we’ve missed something out, or want to suggest an update, correction or change, please email YourTeam@FarringdonWithin.org.
Map & page, created & written by Graeme Smith CC