Victorian London - Districts - Streets - Cannon Street

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Cannon Street is one of the greatest of the improvements which have been effected in modern London. It is a noble thoroughfare of great width, leading from St. Paul's- churchyard to the end of King William-street. Its construction has relieved Cheapside of the greater part of the heavy traffic. Indeed were Cannon. Street now closed, Cheapside would become impassable. Cannon-street is a street of wholesale warehouses, and a few sample goods in each window alone tell the passer-by the nature of the immense stock contained in them. Here are representatives of many of the largest foreign as well as English firms; and there are large stores of goods from Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Belfast and, indeed, from every large manufacturing town in the kingdom. In Cannon-street are the station of the South Eastern Railway, and the Mansion House Station of the Metropolitan, situated at the point where Queen Victoria-street runs diagonally across Cannon-street. In the wall of St. Swithin's Church, opposite the South- Eastern Station, will be found that curious relic of old London, called London Stone. In the Roman days distances were measured from this point. The various narrow streets running between Cannon-street and Cheapside contain many of the most important warehouses and firms of the City. The locality is specially affected by firms connected with the trades in cotton and other textile fabrics.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Cannon Street, looking West

Cannon Street, looking West - photograph


This view of ever-busy Cannon Street is taken from the rising ground just east of the railway stations of the South-Eastern and Metropolitan Companies. The church on the extreme right of the picture is St. Swithins, with the exterior wall of which is incorporated an old stone, believed to be that from which distances on the British roads were measured during the Roman occupation. The court beyond the church takes its name from the Salters Hall and here are the headquarters of the National Telephone Company. The tall building with rounded windows is the office of an Assurance Company. In the distance are seen the huge dome and one of the towers of St. Paul's Cathedral and nearer to our point of view, in Queen Victoria Street, may be distinguished the tower of St. Mary Aldermary.