Services and prices
Terms of business
The National Archives
County record offices
The City of London is also known as "The
Square Mile" and is as its nickname implies approximately one square
mile in area (about 2.5 square kilometres). Originally enclosed by a
city wall, it is now the financial district of modern London, but
retains many of its historic privileges such as its own Lord Mayor and
separate police force.
Historically the Roman city of Londinium was founded here, and for
hundreds of years the City has been the country's centre of trade and
commerce. Expansion outside the original square mile started to take
place in earnest during the 18th century and by the 19th century the
original City was only a small part of the wider metropolis.
The County of London was formed in the 19th century from the wider
London metropolis (except the City) and part of Middlesex, and was
subdivided in 1900 into 28 London boroughs. The County existed until
1965, when it became Greater London, along with most of Middlesex. Greater London itself was abolished as an
administrative area in 1986 when its functions were given to the 32
London boroughs, although the term 'Greater London' is still used to
describe the boroughs collectively.
The population of the City of London fell rapidly during the 19th
century as people moved out towards the suburbs, and today only a few
thousand people live within the City of London itself.
both the City and County of London are held at the London
Metropolitan Archives in the City of London,
records also held by local London borough archives.
below shows the City of London in about 1830. Click on the map for a
The map below shows the County of London in
1900 and its divisions into the various boroughs. Click on the map for
a larger version.
the number of London boroughs has
expanded still further, as parts of the Home Counties have been
absorbed into the greater metropolitan area and become part of London.
Most of this reorganisation has taken place since the 1960s, so in most
cases it has not affected the location of historic records.