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The Vikings established Danelaw over much of eastern and northern England; its boundary stretched roughly from London to Chester.
It was an area of political and geographical control imposed by the Viking incursions which was formally agreed by the Danish warlord , Guthrum and the West Saxon king Alfred the Great in Archaeological research shows that this involved abandonment of Lundenwic and a revival of life and trade within the old Roman walls.
London then grew slowly until about , after which activity increased dramatically. By the 11th century, London was beyond all comparison the largest town in England. Westminster Abbey , rebuilt in the Romanesque style by King Edward the Confessor , was one of the grandest churches in Europe. Winchester had previously been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time on, London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war.
In the view of Frank Stenton: The hall became the basis of a new Palace of Westminster. In the 12th century, the institutions of central government, which had hitherto accompanied the royal English court as it moved around the country, grew in size and sophistication and became increasingly fixed in one place.
For most purposes this was Westminster, although the royal treasury, having been moved from Winchester, came to rest in the Tower. While the City of Westminster developed into a true capital in governmental terms, its distinct neighbour, the City of London, remained England's largest city and principal commercial centre, and it flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London.
In , its population was around 18,; by it had grown to nearly , London was also a centre of England's Jewish population before their expulsion by Edward I in Violence against Jews took place in , after it was rumoured that the new King had ordered their massacre after they had presented themselves at his coronation.
During the Tudor period the Reformation produced a gradual shift to Protestantism, and much of London property passed from church to private ownership, which accelerated trade and business in the city. But the reach of English maritime enterprise hardly extended beyond the seas of north-west Europe. The commercial route to Italy and the Mediterranean Sea normally lay through Antwerp and over the Alps ; any ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to or from England were likely to be Italian or Ragusan.
Upon the re-opening of the Netherlands to English shipping in January , there ensued a strong outburst of commercial activity. London became the principal North Sea port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad.
The population rose from an estimated 50, in to about , in In the 16th century William Shakespeare and his contemporaries lived in London at a time of hostility to the development of the theatre. By the end of the Tudor period in , London was still very compact. After an initial advance by the Royalists in , culminating in the battles of Brentford and Turnham Green , London was surrounded by a defensive perimeter wall known as the Lines of Communication.
The lines were built by up to 20, people, and were completed in under two months. London was plagued by disease in the early 17th century,  culminating in the Great Plague of —, which killed up to , people, or a fifth of the population.
The Great Fire of London broke out in in Pudding Lane in the city and quickly swept through the wooden buildings. During the Georgian era , new districts such as Mayfair were formed in the west; new bridges over the Thames encouraged development in South London. In the east, the Port of London expanded downstream. London's development as an international financial centre matured for much of the s. During the 18th century, London was dogged by crime, and the Bow Street Runners were established in as a professional police force.
The coffeehouse became a popular place to debate ideas, with growing literacy and the development of the printing press making news widely available; and Fleet Street became the centre of the British press. Following the invasion of Amsterdam by Napoleonic armies, many financiers relocated to London, especially a large Jewish community, and the first London international issue [ clarification needed ] was arranged in Around the same time, the Royal Navy became the world leading war fleet, acting as a serious deterrent to potential economic adversaries of the United Kingdom.
The repeal of the Corn Laws in was specifically aimed at weakening Dutch economic power. London then overtook Amsterdam as the leading international financial centre. You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
London was the world's largest city from c. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some of the surrounding counties; it was abolished in when the London County Council was created out of those areas of the counties surrounding the capital.
London was bombed by the Germans during the First World War ,  and during the Second World War, the Blitz and other bombings by the German Luftwaffe killed over 30, Londoners, destroying large tracts of housing and other buildings across the city. From the s onwards, London became home to a large number of immigrants, primarily from Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan,  making London one of the most diverse cities worldwide.
In , the Festival of Britain was held on the South Bank. Primarily starting in the mids, London became a centre for the worldwide youth culture , exemplified by the Swinging London subculture  associated with the King's Road , Chelsea  and Carnaby Street. Greater London's population declined steadily in the decades after the Second World War, from an estimated peak of 8. This was borne out of London's ever-increasing role as a major international financial centre during the s.
The Greater London Council was abolished in , which left London without a central administration until when London-wide government was restored, with the creation of the Greater London Authority.
In , London named alongside New York City and Hong Kong as Nylonkong , being hailed as the world's three most influential global cities. The administration of London is formed of two tiers: Citywide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority GLA , while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities. Certain functions, such as waste management , are provided through joint arrangements.
It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and is the third largest fire service in the world. London is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom. Many government departments, as well as the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street , are based close to the Palace of Westminster , particularly along Whitehall. Crime rates vary widely by area, ranging from parts with serious issues to parts considered very safe.
Today crime figures are made available nationally at Local Authority  and Ward level. Recorded crime has been rising in London, notably violent crime and murder by stabbing and other means have risen. There have been 50 murders from the start of to mid April Funding cuts to police in London are likely to have contributed to this, though other factors are also involved.
London , also referred to as Greater London, is one of nine regions of England and the top-level subdivision covering most of the city's metropolis. The Greater London boundary has been aligned to the M25 motorway in places. Outward urban expansion is now prevented by the Metropolitan Green Belt ,  although the built-up area extends beyond the boundary in places, resulting in a separately defined Greater London Urban Area.
Beyond this is the vast London commuter belt. Within London, both the City of London and the City of Westminster have city status and both the City of London and the remainder of Greater London are counties for the purposes of lieutenancies. Its position was formed through constitutional convention , making its status as de facto capital a part of the UK's uncodified constitution.
The capital of England was moved to London from Winchester as the Palace of Westminster developed in the 12th and 13th centuries to become the permanent location of the royal court , and thus the political capital of the nation. Historically London grew up at the lowest bridging point on the Thames. The Thames was once a much broader, shallower river with extensive marshlands ; at high tide, its shores reached five times their present width.
Since the Victorian era the Thames has been extensively embanked , and many of its London tributaries now flow underground. The Thames is a tidal river, and London is vulnerable to flooding.
In , a decade of work began on the construction of the Thames Barrier across the Thames at Woolwich to deal with this threat. While the barrier is expected to function as designed until roughly , concepts for its future enlargement or redesign are already being discussed.
London has a temperate oceanic climate Köppen: Summers are generally warm, sometimes hot. Winters are generally cool with little temperature variation. Heavy Snow is rare but snow happens at least once each winter. Spring and autumn can be pleasant.
London's vast urban area is often described using a set of district names, such as Bloomsbury , Mayfair , Wembley and Whitechapel. These are either informal designations, reflect the names of villages that have been absorbed by sprawl, or are superseded administrative units such as parishes or former boroughs. Such names have remained in use through tradition, each referring to a local area with its own distinctive character, but without official boundaries.
Since Greater London has been divided into 32 London boroughs in addition to the ancient City of London. The West End is London's main entertainment and shopping district, attracting tourists. The East End is the area closest to the original Port of London , known for its high immigrant population, as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London.
London's buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly because of their varying ages. Many grand houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery , are constructed from Portland stone.
Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco or whitewashed buildings. Few structures in central London pre-date the Great Fire of , these being a few trace Roman remains, the Tower of London and a few scattered Tudor survivors in the City. The disused — but soon to be rejuvenated — Battersea Power Station by the river in the south-west is a local landmark, while some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture , most notably St.
The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London , which originated nearby. Nelson's Column is a nationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square , one of the focal points of central London. Older buildings are mainly brick built, most commonly the yellow London stock brick or a warm orange-red variety, often decorated with carvings and white plaster mouldings. In the dense areas, most of the concentration is via medium- and high-rise buildings.
High-rise development is restricted at certain sites if it would obstruct protected views of St Paul's Cathedral and other historic buildings. Nevertheless, there are a number of very tall skyscrapers in central London see Tall buildings in London , including the storey Shard London Bridge , the tallest building in the European Union.
They indicate that species of flowering plant have been found growing there and that the tidal Thames supports species of fish. London's wetland areas support nationally important populations of many water birds. Amphibians are common in the capital, including smooth newts living by the Tate Modern , and common frogs, common toads , palmate newts and great crested newts.
On the other hand, native reptiles such as slowworms , common lizards , grass snakes and adders , are mostly only seen in Outer London. Among other inhabitants of London are 10, red foxes , so that there are now 16 foxes for every square mile 2.
These urban foxes are noticeably bolder than their country cousins, sharing the pavement with pedestrians and raising cubs in people's backyards. Foxes have even sneaked into the Houses of Parliament , where one was found asleep on a filing cabinet. Generally, however, foxes and city folk appear to get along. A survey in by the London-based Mammal Society found that 80 per cent of 3, respondents who volunteered to keep a diary of garden mammal visits liked having them around.
This sample cannot be taken to represent Londoners as a whole. Other mammals found in Greater London are hedgehogs , rats, mice, rabbit, shrew, vole, and squirrels,  In wilder areas of Outer London, such as Epping Forest , a wide variety of mammals are found including hare , badger , field, bank and water vole , wood mouse , yellow-necked mouse , mole , shrew , and weasel , in addition to fox, squirrel and hedgehog.
A dead otter was found at The Highway, in Wapping , about a mile from the Tower Bridge , which would suggest that they have begun to move back after being absent a hundred years from the city. Unnatural History of London" shows pigeons using the London Underground to get around the city, a seal that takes fish from fishmongers outside Billingsgate Fish Market , and foxes that will "sit" if given sausages. Herds of red and fallow deer also roam freely within much of Richmond and Bushy Park.
A cull takes place each November and February to ensure numbers can be sustained. A rare population of melanistic , black fallow deer is also maintained at the Deer Sanctuary near Theydon Bois. Muntjac deer , which escaped from deer parks at the turn of the twentieth century, are also found in the forest. While Londoners are accustomed to wildlife such as birds and foxes sharing the city, more recently urban deer have started becoming a regular feature, and whole herds of fallow deer come into residential areas at night to take advantage of London's green spaces.
The census recorded that 2,, people or Note that some of the German-born population, in 18th position, are British citizens from birth born to parents serving in the British Armed Forces in Germany. With increasing industrialisation, London's population grew rapidly throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was for some time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the most populous city in the world.
Its population peaked at 8,, in immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War, but had declined to 7,, at the Census. However, the population then grew by just over a million between the and Censuses, to reach 8,, in the latter enumeration.
Ethnic groups in the census . According to the Office for National Statistics , based on the Census estimates, Indians account for 6. Chinese peoples account for 1.
Black Africans account for 7. Across London, Black and Asian children outnumber White British children by about six to four in state schools.
The census showed that According to the Census , the largest religious groupings are Christians London has traditionally been Christian, and has a large number of churches , particularly in the City of London.
The well-known St Paul's Cathedral in the City and Southwark Cathedral south of the river are Anglican administrative centres,  while the Archbishop of Canterbury , principal bishop of the Church of England and worldwide Anglican Communion , has his main residence at Lambeth Palace in the London Borough of Lambeth.
Important national and royal ceremonies are shared between St Paul's and Westminster Abbey. Church attendance continues on a long, slow, steady decline, according to Church of England statistics.
London is also home to sizeable Muslim , Hindu , Sikh , and Jewish communities. Large Hindu communities are in the north-western boroughs of Harrow and Brent , the latter of which hosts what was, until ,  Europe's largest Hindu temple , Neasden Temple. There are Sikh communities in East and West London, particularly in Southall, home to one of the largest Sikh populations and the largest Sikh temple outside India. It is the only synagogue in Europe which has held regular services continuously for over years.
Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue has the largest membership of any single Orthodox synagogue in the whole of Europe, overtaking Ilford synagogue also in London in There are many accents traditionally associated with London. The most well known of the London accents long ago acquired the Cockney label from London's East End , which is heard both in London itself, and across the wider South East England region more generally.
Since the turn of the century the Cockney dialect is less common in the East End and has 'migrated' east to Havering and the county of Essex. One way to get an idea of their relative importance is to look at relative amounts of office space: London has some of the highest real estate prices in the world.
London's finance industry is based in the City of London and Canary Wharf , the two major business districts in London. London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world as the most important location for international finance. For many bankers established in Amsterdam e. Hope, Baring , this was only time to move to London. The London financial elite was strengthened by a strong Jewish community from all over Europe capable of mastering the most sophisticated financial tools of the time.
By the end of the 19th century, Britain was the wealthiest of all nations, and London a leading financial centre. Kearney's Global Cities Index. London's largest industry is finance, and its financial exports make it a large contributor to the UK's balance of payments.
Around , people were employed in financial services in London until mid London has over overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. Because of its prominent global role, London's economy had been affected by the financial crisis of — However, by the City has recovered; put in place new regulatory powers, proceeded to regain lost ground and re-established London's economic dominance.
Over 70 per cent of the FTSE are within London's metropolitan area, and 75 per cent of Fortune companies have offices in London. Media companies are concentrated in London and the media distribution industry is London's second most competitive sector. Many national newspapers are edited in London. In April , the city was among the first to receive a geoTLD. The gas and electricity distribution networks that manage and operate the towers, cables and pressure systems that deliver energy to consumers across the city are managed by National Grid plc , SGN  and UK Power Networks.
London is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and in was ranked as the most visited city in the world with over 65 million visits. In the top most-visited attractions in the UK were all in London. The top 10 most visited attractions were: The number of hotel rooms in London in stood at ,, and is expected to grow over the years. Transport is one of the four main areas of policy administered by the Mayor of London,  however the mayor's financial control does not extend to the longer distance rail network that enters London.
In he assumed responsibility for some local lines, which now form the London Overground network, adding to the existing responsibility for the London Underground, trams and buses. The lines that formed the London Underground, as well as trams and buses, became part of an integrated transport system in when the London Passenger Transport Board or London Transport was created.
Transport for London is now the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, and is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London. London is a major international air transport hub with the busiest city airspace in the world. Eight airports use the word London in their name, but most traffic passes through six of these.
Additionally, various other airports also serve London, catering primarily to general aviation flights. The London Underground , commonly referred to as the Tube, is the oldest  and third longest  metro system in the world. The system serves stations  and was formed from several private companies, including the world's first underground electric line, the City and South London Railway.
There are more than railway stations in the London Travelcard Zones on an extensive above-ground suburban railway network. South London, particularly, has a high concentration of railways as it has fewer Underground lines. Most rail lines terminate around the centre of London, running into eighteen terminal stations , with the exception of the Thameslink trains connecting Bedford in the north and Brighton in the south via Luton and Gatwick airports.
With the need for more rail capacity in London, Crossrail is due to open in It will be a new railway line running east to west through London and into the Home Counties with a branch to Heathrow Airport. London is the centre of the National Rail network, with 70 per cent of rail journeys starting or ending in London. Some international railway services to Continental Europe were operated during the 20th century as boat trains , such as the Admiraal de Ruijter to Amsterdam and the Night Ferry to Paris and Brussels.
The opening of the Channel Tunnel in connected London directly to the continental rail network, allowing Eurostar services to begin. Since , high-speed trains link St. Although rail freight levels are far down compared to their height, significant quantities of cargo are also carried into and out of London by rail; chiefly building materials and landfill waste. London's bus network is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with about 8, buses, more than bus routes and around 19, bus stops.
London has the largest wheelchair accessible network in the world  and, from the 3rd quarter of , became more accessible to hearing and visually impaired passengers as audio-visual announcements were introduced.
The distinctive red double-decker buses are an internationally recognised trademark of London transport along with black cabs and the Tube. London has a modern tram network, known as Tramlink , centred on Croydon in South London. London's first and only cable car, known as the Emirates Air Line , opened in June Crossing the River Thames , linking Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks in the east of the city, the cable car is integrated with London's Oyster Card ticketing system, although special fares are charged.
Similar to the Santander Cycles bike hire scheme, the cable car is sponsored in a year deal by the airline Emirates. In the whole Greater London Area, around , people use a bike everyday. Cycling is nevertheless becoming increasingly popular way to get around London.
The launch of a cycle hire scheme in July has been successful and generally well received. The London Cycling Campaign lobbies for better provision.
From being the largest port in the world, the Port of London is now only the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year. London has frequent river boat services on the Thames known as Thames Clippers. The Woolwich Ferry , with 2. Other operators run both commuter and tourist boat services in London. Although the majority of journeys involving central London are made by public transport, car travel is common in the suburbs.
The inner ring road around the city centre , the North and South Circular roads in the suburbs , and the outer orbital motorway the M25 , outside the built-up area encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes—but very few motorways penetrate into inner London.
A plan for a comprehensive network of motorways throughout the city the Ringways Plan was prepared in the s but was mostly cancelled in the early s. Create a new Playlist. Please enter the required information. Sign in to add this to a playlist. Sign in to remove this from recommended.
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It is an operating church, because it is the largest Protestant Church in England. It is high dome, containing the remarkable Whispering Gallery. This is the place where all the kings and queens of England were crowned. Newton, Kipling, Dickens, W. Scott and many other well-known people are buried there. The cars, the red London buses, and the taxis go round a statue there. Picadilly Circus is a very busy place. People come here to shop at the day time, and at night they come for a night out.
Trafalgar Square is the center of London. The square was named Trafalgar to commemorate the victory at Trafalgar in where Nelson was killed. On the north side of the square are the National Portrait Gallery. It is an international, rather than, as it is named, a National Gallery. London is the capital of England. It is its political and business centre.
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At its height in the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of around 60,