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Looking northeast up Threadneedle Street
|Length||0.3 mi (0.5 km)|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
|Southwest end||Bank junction|
|Known for||Bank of England|
The street is famous as the site of the Bank of England; the bank itself is sometimes known as 'the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street' and has been based at its current location since 1734. The London Stock Exchange was also situated on Threadneedle Street until 2004, when it relocated to nearby Paternoster Square. The Baltic Exchange was founded in the Virginia and Baltick Coffee House on Threadneedle Street in 1744; it is now located on St Mary Axe.
The etymology of the name Threadneedle Street is possibly from the Anglo-Saxon threadn, meaning "to prosper". Other theories, however, include that it originated as Three Needle Street (first attested in 1598), perhaps from a signboard portraying three needles, or from the three needles on the arms of needle-makers who had premises on the street. The threads and needles used by the members of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is another possibility, since the livery company's hall has been located on Threadneedle Street since 1347. Another suggestion is that the children's game thread the needle was commonly played there. Before 1598 the road was part of Broad Street (now Old Broad Street).
Points of interest
In addition to the Bank of England, there are a number of shops, banks, restaurants and offices located on Threadneedle Street.
The Merchant Taylors' Hall, home of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, has occupied a site off Threadneedle Street since 1347. It is said that it is here that the British national anthem was sung, in private, in 1607 for the first time, conducted by John Bull.
The London office of the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank, is located at No. 60.
The nearest London Underground station is Bank. London's first bus service ran between Threadneedle Street and Paddington from 1829. Today, the street is served by bus routes 8, 11, 23, 26, 133, 242, and 388.
- Brewer, E. C. (1989) Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable; 14th ed. London: Cassell; p. 1097