City of London Civil Parishes, 1870

What do Cripplegate, Cordwainer, Vintry and Portsoken have in common?

Written by on 14th May 2012
Category: City guides

They’re all historic areas within the City of London, and many of us have probably been to them. While some – Aldgate and Bishopsgate, for example – are still widely used, most of them have been supplanted by more modern names. But they are still in use as electoral wards, acting as reminders of the City’s ancient history.

So what do they all mean? The wards’ websites – currently in development – give some clues, although even they don’t seem entirely sure. Cripplegate takes in the Barbican Estate and Barbican Centre, and according to its website the name could relate to a congregation of disabled beggars around one of the gates in the City wall. ‘Alternatively,’ the website states, ‘it has been suggested that the name derives from old English for a “crepel” or covered way.’

Cordwainer has historically been home to London’s cordwainers – shoemakers who make fine soft leather shoes – and there’s a statue of one of them on Watling Street. The area also takes in Bow Lane and Queen Victoria Street.

It’s quite common for visitors and locals to know areas of London by completely different names, according to whether they refer to a location by the district name, a local landmark or even the nearest tube station. This is particularly the case in the City, where old side streets sit alongside new developments.

We try to take account of this at SilverDoor by listing each property in the City under three districts – one of which is ‘City’, of course. This means that whatever search terms you use, you should be able to find what you’re looking for. Have a browse of all our London serviced apartments to see what suits you, or give us a call to discuss the itinerary for your next stay in the area and we can find the perfect location for your visit.