Cannon Street: A Journey Through Time

Cannon Street in London is a street that spans from Dowgate Hill to Gracechurch Hill, and it is a street of many stories. Formerly known as Candelwrithe Street and later as Candlewick Street, Cannon Street was named after the candle makers who lived there. Over the centuries, the street has transformed and endured many hardships, including severe damage during the Second World War. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Cannon Street, from its origins to its post-war renovation and the places of interest that make it a unique part of London.

The Origins of Cannon Street

Cannon Street’s origins can be traced back to the 12th century when it was known as Candelwrithe Street. The name was derived from the candle makers who lived and worked there. As time passed, the street developed into Candlewick Street and then eventually into Cannon Street. The modern name is a corruption of the original name, Candlewick, and has nothing to do with cannons.

Damage during the Second World War

During the Second World War, Cannon Street suffered severe damage, especially at its western end. St Augustine’s Church, located at the western end of the road, was destroyed, and only its tower remained, which now forms the entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral School. The Cordwainers, who had their 18th-century hall on Cannon Street, lost their building, the fourth on the site since 1483. It is now St Paul’s Garden. Additionally, St Swithin’s Church, opposite Cannon Street Station, was also destroyed.

Post-War Renovation

After the Second World War, many buildings were rebuilt or refurbished, and Cannon Street underwent significant post-war renovation. Bracken House, at the junction of Cannon Street, Friday Street, and Queen Victoria Street, was designed by Sir Albert Richardson for the Financial Times. The building was the first postwar building to be given listed status in 1987, and it was renovated in 1988-91 by Michael Hopkins and Partners to memorable effect.

Places of Interest

Today, Cannon Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of London and is home to many businesses. One of the most interesting things about Cannon Street is the London Stone, which is set into the wall of no. 111, opposite Cannon Street Station. The bronze Icarus in Old Change House numbers 2-6 is another unique feature of the street, created by Michael Ayrton in 1973.

Cannon Street in London is a street of many stories that has been transformed over the centuries. From its origins as Candelwrithe Street, where candle makers sold their wares, to its post-war redevelopment, Cannon Street has undergone many transformations. Despite the severe damage it suffered during the Second World War, Cannon Street has endured and is now a major thoroughfare in the City of London.


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