Fleet Street was formerly the hub of the British newspaper world. The first printing presses were established here at the end of the 15th century. The first daily newspaper, the "Daily Courant", appeared in 1702. Although the buildings of the various publishing houses, their editorial offices and print rooms are still in existence, they now house insurance companies and brokers.
Fleet Street Map
Transit: Underground: Blackfriars, Temple.
Fleet Street Buildings
Among the historic buildings of Fleet Street are two dating from the 17th century, "Ye Old Cheshire Cheese" (at one time the meeting place of many great writers) and "Ye Old Cock Tavern" (once the haunt of journalists and printers), as well as the church of St-Dunstan-in-the-West, with its statue of Queen Elizabeth I, erected during her reign, on the south wall. The Child's Bank "under the sign of the marigold at Temple Bar" is housed at No. 1 Fleet St Founded in 1671, it is the oldest bank in London and was described by Charles Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities" (1859): "It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness. ... in a miserable little shop, with two little counters, where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the wind rustled it, while they examined the signature by the dingiest of windows, which were always under a shower-bath of mud from Fleet Street, and which were made the dingier by their own iron bars proper, and the heavy shadow of Temple Bar."
Temple Bar Memorial
A gryphon adorns the Temple Bar Memorial (1880) marking the beginning of Fleet Street, a continuation of the Strand, on the boundary of the City and Westminster. The memorial stands on the site of Temple Bar Gate, designed by Wren in 1680, on which decapitated heads were once displayed. The sovereign must request the Lord Mayor's permission at this place to enter the City.
Prince Henry's Room
The well preserved Prince Henry's room is one of the few wooden buildings to have survived the devastating fire of 1666. It has played different roles throughout its history, originally being an inn and later changing its nature to that of a wax museum.It is currently a museum honoring the diarist Samuel Pepys.
Address: 17 Fleet Street, England
Opening hours: 11am-2pm; Closed: Sun
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Good Friday - Christian
Transit: Metro: Temple, Chancery Lane.
Royal Courts of Justice
The impressive Gothic building of the Royal Courts of Justice bears strong religious tones in its design. The interior is open to the public and visitors can examine a display of typical livery of the English legal system, as well as peer into the odd courtroom or two.
The exterior of St Dunstan's houses the first clock in London with a double face and second hands on it.The interior is notable for the Lord Mayor's sword that was used in the Battle of Culloden.
The Cock Tavern is known best for its association with many famous writers, including Lord Tennyson, Dickens and Samuel Pepys.
Royal Society at Crane Court
This was the home to the Royal Society when it was under the presidency of Newton.