Cannon Street

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For the mainline railway and connected Underground station, see Cannon Street station.
Cannon Street
Cannon Street (W).png
Looking west towards St. Paul's Cathedral, close to the entrance to Cannon Street station (2006)
Former name(s) Candelwrichstrete Street, Candlewick Street, Canwick Street, Cannik Street, Cannin Street
Length 0.5 mi (0.8 km)
Location London, United Kingdom
East end King William Street
West end St. Paul's Churchyard

Cannon Street is a road in the City of London, the historic nucleus of London and its modern financial centre. It runs roughly parallel with the River Thames, about 250 metres north of it, in the south of the City.

It is the site of the ancient London Stone and gave its name to Cannon Street station, a mainline railway terminus and connected London Underground station.

Etymology[edit]

The area around Cannon Street was initially the place of residence of the candle-makers. The name first appears as 'Candelwrichstrete Street' in 1190.[1]

The name was shortened over 60 times[1] as a result of the local cockney dialect and settled on Cannon Street in the 17th century.[2]

A Cannon Street in Birmingham, according to the archives of Birmingham Central Library, is named after the London street.

Overview[edit]

In the west, Cannon Street starts at St. Paul's Churchyard outside St Paul's Cathedral; running east it meets Queen Victoria Street near Mansion House tube station, passing Cannon Street station, and finally meets King William Street and Gracechurch Street near Monument tube station.

Cannon Street pictured in 1987. View westward toward St Paul's.

In the late 19th century Cannon Street was occupied by large wholesale warehouses, especially of cotton goods and other fabrics.[3]

The London Stone, from which it has been suggested distances were measured in Roman times, was originally situated in the middle of Cannon Street. It was later set into the wall of St. Swithin's Church,[3] and now rests in a case to the side of the street.

The Roman governor's palace Praetorium may also have been located in this area, between the principal street of Roman Londinium and the River Thames. The remains of a very large high status building were found with a garden, water pools and several large halls, some of them decorated with mosaic floors. The plan of the building is only partly preserved, but was erected in the second part of the 1st century and was in use until around 300, rebuilt and renovated several times.

It is the street upon which singer Marc Almond suffered a near fatal crash in 2004 whilst riding pillion on a motorcycle.

Where Queen Street crosses Cannon Street there is a pedestrian-priority "Central Plaza" area. This was part of an award-winning public realm improvement scheme undertaken in 2006.[4]

Cannon Street formed part of the marathon course of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[5][6]

Cannon Street has eight pubs (as of 2012) in and around the area[7] which is one of the largest concentrations in the City of London.

Transport links[edit]

Cannon Street station is served by the District and Circle lines on the London Underground and also by National Rail mainline rail services. The street is also the location of Mansion House tube station, also on the District and Circle lines.

London Buses routes 15, 17, 521 and night route N15 serve Cannon Street.[8]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′43″N 0°5′31″W / 51.51194°N 0.09194°W / 51.51194; -0.09194