Why There's Not A Single Road In The City Of London

By M@ Last edited 94 months ago

Last Updated 28 July 2016

Why There's Not A Single Road In The City Of London

One of the greatest pieces of trivia you will ever hear about the City of London is that it contains no Roads. There are plenty of Streets, Squares and Alleys, but traditionally not a single Road.

This is only true on a technicality of wording, however.

The Square Mile survived for hundreds of years without any Roads, right up until boundary changes in 1994. At that time, the eastern half of Goswell Road was brought — reluctantly we're told — under the jurisdiction of the City, while the western half remained in the Borough of Islington.

As the boundary runs down the middle of the Road, pedants might argue that this still, technically, means that there isn't a single Road within the City of London, merely a half-road. The other close candidate is City Road, but this stops just short of the boundary.

The reason for the historic anomaly, in case you're wondering, appears to be because this sense of the word 'road' was not coined until the late 16th Century, after nearly all the thoroughfares in the ancient City had already been named.

See also:

London's Rudest Street Names

Why London Doesn't Exist

London Facts That Aren't Actually True

Big Ben: The Tower With Five Names