East Central London overview
Historic neighbourhoods in the heart of the city
East Central London may be better known as the creative hub and corporate stronghold of the City, but it’s an appealing residential location too. This is the historic heart of London, and lays claim to some of the Capital's most exciting property.
Clerkenwell • Farringdon • Barbican
With more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world, this area’s artistic hum is loudest in Clerkenwell, evidenced in the annual Clerkenwell Design Week. Here you'll find a maze of 17th century streets around Smithfield Market, historic social housing around Lever Street, the oldest Italian deli in the UK and Moorfields Eye Hospital. Dotted around are small garden squares crammed with locals enjoying lunch al fresco, most likely bought from one of the area’s street markets. To relax, they make for the 1930s Turkish baths at Ironmonger Row. The area’s cultural prowess strengthens as you head towards Europe’s largest multi arts venue, the Barbican Centre, which opened in 1982. Home to the London Symphony Orchestra, the Grade II listed complex hosts a variety of musical, theatre, dance and other creative events, and is one of London’s finest examples of Brutalist architecture. Yet the Barbican is more than just exhibitions - its buildings are also home to beautiful flats, many with extraordinary views across the Capital.
Monument • St Paul’s • Mansion House • Blackfriars
Otherwise known as the Square Mile, this is the historic heart of London, and is rich in tales of both disaster and success. In 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out on Pudding Lane near today’s Monument Tube station, named for the neighbouring column that commemorates the fire. The blaze destroyed much of the surrounding area, including St Paul’s Cathedral, which was then rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren and is now one of the Capital’s most iconic landmarks. Standing alongside the cathedral lies Mansion House, an imposing 18th century Palladian building designed to provide a permanent residence in the City for its Lord Mayors. Somewhat out of place, these buildings stand between busy roads and office blocks, and the simple houses and shops of the 17th century have made way for high end residential property. Most locals here live in contemporary apartments overlooking the City, with riverside properties at a premium.