HOLBORN (/ˈhoʊbərn/ HOH-bə(r)n or /ˈhɒlbərn/ ) is a
district in the West End , central
London , forming part of the London
Borough of Camden .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Toponymy
* 1.2 Local governance
* 1.3 Urban development
* 2 Modern times
* 3 Education
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Nearby areas
* 4.2 Transport
* 5 Notable people
* 6 Gallery
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 10 External links
The area's first mention is in a charter of
Westminster Abbey , by
King Edgar , dated to 959. This mentions "the old wooden church of St
St Andrew, Holborn
St Andrew, Holborn ). The name
Holborn may be derived from
Middle English "hol" for hollow, and bourne, a brook, referring to
River Fleet as it ran through a steep valley to the east.
Historical cartographer William Shepherd in his Plan of
1300 labels the Fleet as "Hole Bourn" where it passes to the east of
St Andrew's church. However, the 16th century historian John Stow
attributes the name to the Old Bourne ("old brook"), a small stream
which he believed ran into the Fleet at
Holborn Bridge, a structure
lost when the river was culverted in 1732. The exact course of the
stream is uncertain, but according to Stow it started in one of the
many small springs near
Holborn Bar, the old City toll gate on the
Holborn Hill. This is supported by a map of
Westminster created during the reign of Henry VIII that clearly marks
the street as 'Oldbourne' and 'High Oldbourne'. Other historians,
however, find the theory implausible, in view of the slope of the
A map showing the wards of
Holborn Metropolitan Borough as they
appeared in 1952.
It was then outside the City's jurisdiction and a part of Ossulstone
Middlesex . In the 12th century St Andrew's was noted in
local title deeds as lying on "Holburnestrate"—
Holborn Street. The
original Bars were the boundary of the
City of London
City of London from 1223, when
the City's jurisdiction was extended beyond the Walls, at Newgate,
into the suburb here, as far as the point where the Bars were erected,
until 1994 when the border moved to the junction of Chancery Lane. In
1394 the Ward of Farringdon Without was created, but only the south
Holborn was under its jurisdiction with some minor properties,
such as parts of Furnival's Inn, on the northern side, "above Bars".
The rest of the area "below Bars" (outside the City's jurisdiction)
was organised by the vestry board of the parish of St Andrew . The St
George the Martyr Queen Square area became a separate parish in 1723
and was combined with the part of St Andrew outside the City of London
in 1767 to form
St Andrew Holborn Above the Bars with St George the
Holborn District was created in 1855, consisting of the civil
parishes and extra-parochial places of
Glasshouse Yard , Saffron Hill,
Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and
Ely Place ,
St Andrew Holborn Above the
Bars with St George the Martyr and St Sepulchre . The Metropolitan
Holborn was created in 1900, consisting of the former area
Holborn District and the St Giles District , excluding
Glasshouse Yard and St Sepulchre, which went to the Metropolitan
Borough of Finsbury . The
Metropolitan Borough of Holborn was
abolished in 1965 and its area now forms part of the
London Borough of
Local politicians include
Keir Starmer MP, the Labour Party Member of
Holborn and St Pancras , and
Mark Field MP of the
Conservative Party Member of Parliament, who is MP of the City of
London portion of Holborn, part of the Cities of
Westminster and three ward councillors for
Holborn and Covent Garden :
Cllr Julian Fulbrook, Cllr Sue Vincent and Cllr Awale Olad of the
Holborn is also represented in the
London Assembly as
Barnet and Camden by
Andrew Dismore , also of the Labour
Old Holborn ":
Staple Inn in 1900
Henry V paid for the road to be paved in 1494 because the
thoroughfare "was so deep and miry that many perils and hazards were
thereby occasioned, as well to the king's carriages passing that way,
as to those of his subjects". Criminals from the Tower and Newgate
Holborn on their way to be hanged at
Tyburn or St Giles .
In the 18th century,
Holborn was the location of the infamous Mother
Clap 's molly house (meeting place for homosexual men). There were 22
inns or taverns recorded in the 1860s. The
Holborn Empire , originally
Weston\'s Music Hall , stood between 1857 and 1960, when it was pulled
down after structural damage sustained in the Blitz . The theatre
premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, The World, the
Flesh and the Devil , a 50-minute melodrama filmed in
Charles Dickens took up residence in Furnival\'s Inn (later the site
Holborn Bars ", the former Prudential building designed by Alfred
Waterhouse ). Dickens put his character "Pip", in
Great Expectations ,
in residence at Barnard\'s Inn opposite, now occupied by Gresham
Staple Inn , notable as the promotional image for Old
Holborn tobacco , is nearby. The three of these were Inns of Chancery
. The most northerly of the
Inns of Court
Inns of Court , Gray\'s Inn , is off
Holborn, as is Lincoln\'s Inn : the area has been associated with the
legal professions since mediaeval times, and the name of the local
militia (now Territorial Army unit, the
Inns of Court
Inns of Court "> A view of
Holborn in 1984.
Further east, in the gated avenue of
Ely Place , is St Etheldreda\'s
Church , originally the chapel of the
Bishop of Ely 's
This ecclesiastical connection allowed the street to remain part of
the county of
Cambridgeshire until the mid-1930s. This meant that Ye
Olde Mitre , a pub located in a court hidden behind the buildings of
the Place and the Garden, was licensed by the Cambridgeshire
Magistrates. St Etheldreda's is the oldest church building used for
Roman Catholic worship in London. However, this became so only after
it ceased to be an Anglican chapel in the 19th century.
Hatton Garden , the centre of the diamond trade, was leased to a
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I , Sir Christopher Hatton, at the
insistence of the Queen to provide him with an income. Behind the
Prudential Building lies the Anglo-Catholic church of St Alban the
Martyr. Originally built in 1863 by architect
William Butterfield ,
it was gutted during the Blitz but later reconstructed, retaining
Butterfield's west front. The current vicar is the Rev. Christopher
Smith. On the southern side lie
Chancery Lane and
Fetter Lane .
Holborn Circus lies the Church of St Andrew , an ancient Guild
Church that survived the
Great Fire of London . However the parochial
authority decided to commission
Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild it.
Although the nave was destroyed in the Blitz, the reconstruction was
faithful to Wren's original. In the middle of the Circus there is a
large equestrian statue of
Prince Albert by Charles Bacon (1874), the
City's official monument to him. It was presented by Charles
Oppenheim, of the diamond trading company
De Beers , whose
headquarters building is in nearby Charterhouse Street. Former
Pearl Assurance building
In the early 21st century,
Holborn has become the site of new offices
and hotels: for example, the old neoclassical Pearl Assurance building
near the junction with Kingsway was converted into a hotel in 1999.
There has been a limited attempt to rebrand
Holborn (and perhaps
other nearby areas such as
Bloomsbury ) as "Midtown", on the grounds
that it is notionally in the very middle of London, between the West
End and the City (often considered, such as for postcode purposes, to
be on the east side of central London). The reason for the rebrand
attempt may be that
Holborn is less well-known than the West End and
For education within the
Westminster portion of
Holborn see the main
City of Westminster
City of Westminster article.
City Lit adult education
* St. Giles
London Underground stations are
Chancery Lane and Holborn
. The closest mainline railway station is City Thameslink .
The following is a list of notable people who were born in or are
significantly connected with Holborn.
John Barbirolli , conductor, was born in Southampton Row (blue
plaque on hotel his father managed).
Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770), poet, was born in Bristol and
died in a garret in
Holborn at the age of 17.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), composer, born at 15
Theobalds Road; acclaimed especially for The Song of Hiawatha trilogy.
Charles Dickens lived in
Doughty Street where there is a museum.
Naomi Lewis (1911–2009), advocate of animal rights, poet,
children's author and teacher, lived in
Red Lion Square 1935–2009.
Eric Morley (1918–2000), founder of
Miss World pageant, was born
Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823), novelist and renowned author of the
Gothic novel , was born in Holborn.
John Shaw, Jr. (1803–1870), architect, was born in Holborn;
praised as a designer in the "Manner of Wren ".
Barry Sheene (1950–2003), World Champion motorcycle racer, spent
his early years in Holborn.
William Morris (1845–1896), artist and socialist lived at 8 Red
Lion Square .
The headquarters of Sainsbury\'s at
Staple Inn , near
Chancery Lane tube station
Entrance to Gray\'s Inn
Royal London Fusiliers Monument on Holborn, dedicated to those who
World War I
World War I
* A. ^ Pronunciation: The authoritative BBC pronunciation unit
recommends "ˈhəʊbə(r)n ", but allowing "sometimes also
HOHL-buhrn". The organisation's less formal Pronouncing British
Placenames notes that "You'll occasionally find towns where nobody can
Holborn in central
London has for many years been pronounced
'hoe-bun', but having so few local residents to preserve this, it's
rapidly changing to a more natural 'hol-burn'". However, Modern
British and American English pronunciation (2008) cites "Holborn" as
one of its examples of a common word where the "l" is silent. The
popular tourist guide The Rough Guide to Britain sticks to the
traditional form, with neither "l" nor "r": /ˈhoʊbən/ HOH-bən .
* ^ "Camden Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office
for National Statistics. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ A B Lethaby, William (1902).
London before the conquest.
London: Macmillan. p. 60.
* ^ A B Besant, Walter ; Mitton, Geraldine (1903).
Bloomsbury. The Fascination of
London (Project Gutenberg, 2007 ed.).
London: Adam and Charles Black . Retrieved 13 August 2008.
* ^ Shepherd, William R (1926). Historical atlas (3 ed.).
University of London. p. 75.
OCLC 253088196 .
* ^ Strype, John (1720). "Rivers and other Waters serving this
City". Survey of London. The Stuart
London Project. Online edition:
University of Sheffield 2007.
* ^ http://www.oldlondonmaps.com/oldenmappages/olden08a.html
* ^ Lethaby (1902:48)
* ^ Harben, Henry (1918). A Dictionary of London. London: Herbert
* ^ The Parish of
St Andrew Holborn pp11-12 Caroline Barron London
* ^ Timbs, John (1855). Curiosities of London: Exhibiting the Most
Rare and Remarkable Objects of Interest in the Metropolis. D. Bogue.
* ^ The World, the Flesh and the Devil on
* ^ Chap. 20
* ^ Hibbert, Christopher ; et al. (1983). The
(2010 ed.). London: MacMillan. p. 397. ISBN 1-4050-4925-1 .
* ^ Vitaliev, Vitali (3 January 2003). "Things that go bump on the
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 12 August 2008.
* ^ Hammond, Derek (28 June 2006). "Secret London: Ye Olde Mitre
Tavern". Time Out . Retrieved 12 August 2008.
* ^ A B St Alban the Martyr accessed 14 December 2013
* ^ Olausson, Lena (2006). "Holborn". Oxford BBC Guide to
Pronunciation, The Essential Handbook of the Spoken Word (3rd ed.).
Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-19-280710-2 .
* ^ "Pronouncing British Placenames". BBC. 7 March 2007. Retrieved
21 November 2009.
* ^ Dretzke, Burkhard (2008). Modern British and American English
pronunciation. Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schöningh. p. 63. ISBN
* ^ Roberts, Andrew; Matthew Teller (2004). The Rough Guide to
Britain. London: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 109. ISBN 1-84353-301-4 .