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Our Ward

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


Map & page, created & written by Graeme Smith CC

3 thoughts on “Our Ward

  1. John says:

    [pedant]It’s Key Output 0[/pedant] ;)It was only three months ago that these works were aonnunced as starting in May – it’s been pushed back by one month, every month for the last three months now, and if they’re not careful they won’t be finished by the time the Moorgate branch is closed. Farringdon is busy enough as it is right now, so it is critical that the new footbridge and Turnmill Street exit are ready by 1 March 2009.With a potential recession around the corner we can ill afford to let the Thameslink Programme fall further off schedule – the intended completion of Key Output 0 has already slipped by more than 2 months.While the works are going on I’ll get on/off at City Thameslink and London Blackfriars more often – unless I’m catching an EMT service I’ll continue to avoid getting on at London St Pancras. If I’m travelling off-peak then I’ll continue use any of the London Thameslink stations.

  2. Graeme Smith CC says:


    Water Lane does still exist in part, but is now called Blackfriars Lane.  The north end of the lane has changed in layout somewhat, but the southern end is much the same I believe.  Apothecaries’ Hall was originally on Water Lane, and is still on the same site, which confirms it’s location.  Indeed, if you look at Wikipedia for information on the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, it references Water Lane and some retail outlets…

    “From [1672] until 1922, the Society manufactured medicinal and pharmaceutical products at their Hall, and sold some of their products from a retail outlet opening onto Water Lane (now Blackfriars Lane).”

    This reproduction map of mine from c1520 shows the hall and Water Lane…

    I would suggest contacting the Apothecaries who I’m sure will be interested to hear from you, and may ave some useful information in their archives –

    The Ogilby and Morgan’s map of 1676, refered to on the Apothecaries website, can also be found here, showing the Hall (C3) on ‘Black friars’ .

    Hope this is of use and interest.  It was certainly interesting to hear that Chanel was previously located in our ward!  Please keep in touch and let us know if you find out any more of the interesting history of our ward.




  3. Doucet says:

    Dear Mr Smith,

    I am in charge of Chanel Fragrances Heritage in Paris.

    In 1924, Parfums Chanel LTD was located 4, Water Lane EC4 London at FARRINGDON WITHIN.

    Would it be possible to tell me if Water Lane still exist nowadays ?

    Thank you very much for your help

    Sincerely yours

    Patrick Doucet

    Manager of Chanel Fragrances Heritage



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