An old illustration of the gate circa
was a postern
the London Wall
originally built by the
Romans. It was turned into a gate in the 15th century. Though the gate was
demolished in 1762, the name survives as a major street in the
London. The street connects the City to the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney, and was constructed around 1846 as one of the new
approaches to London
The name "Moorgate" derives from the surrounding area of Moorfields
, which was one of the last pieces of
open land in the City. Today this region is a financial
centre, and is home to several investment banks
. The street also showcases
historic and contemporary office buildings.
station on the London
Underground is remembered for the Moorgate tube
crash of 1975.
In the incident, a train
terminating at the station failed to stop and crashed into a brick
wall, and 43 people were killed. This resulted in systems being
installed on the Underground which automatically stop trains at
dead-ends, which have become known as Moorgate control
earliest descriptions of Moorgate date from the early 15th century,
where it was described as only a postern in
the London city
wall. Located between Bishopsgate and Cripplegate and leading to a moor known
as Moorfields, it was not one of the
larger or more important of the city gates.
An engraving showing Moorgate before
it was demolished in 1762
In 1415 an ordinance
the old postern be demolished. It was replaced with a newer and
larger structure located farther to the west, which included a
to be shut at night. This gate was enlarged
again in 1472 and 1511, and then damaged in the Great Fire of
London in 1666. Although the City gates had ceased to have
any modern function apart from decoration, it was replaced along
with Ludgate, Newgate, and
Bar with a stone gate in 1672.
was demolished with all the other London city wall gates in 1761/2,
and the resulting stone was sold for £166 to the City of London Corporation to
support the starlings of the
newly widened centre arch of the London Bridge.
Little Moorgate was a gate opposite Little Winchester Street
. It had been demolished
by 1755, but gave its name to a street that was later removed for
the building of a railway.
were one of the last
pieces of open land in the City of London. The fields were
divided into three areas: the Moorfields proper, just inside the
City boundaries, north of Bethlem Royal Hospital (also known as Bedlam, the world's oldest psychiatric hospital), and Middle and
Upper Moorfields (both also open fields) to the north.
Moorfields was developed in 1777 and turned into present day
the name survives in the name of the Catholic parish of St. Mary
Moorfields; Moorfields the short street parallel with
Moorgate; and Moorfields Highwalk, one of the pedestrian "streets"
at high level in the Barbican Estate.
addition, the London Dispensary for curing diseases of the Eye and
Ear was founded on the Moorfields in 1805, and evolved to become
the present Moorfields Eye
Hospital, which is now located on City Road (known popularly from the second verse of the
nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel), and is close
to Old Street
Moorfields was the site of the first
hydrogen balloon flight in England, when Italian Vincenzo
Lunardi took off on the afternoon of 15
Lunardi flew in a
balloon from the area of the
near Moorfields (where it still is to this day,
occupying a site next to City Road). The ascent took place in front
of 100,000 spectators as well as the then Prince of Wales
, George, Duke of Cornwall
The envelope of the balloon was made of oiled silk
, and had a diameter of 33 ft (10 m)
which resulted in a volume of 18,200 cubic feet
(515 m³). Due to the size of the
balloon, it took all of the previous evening and early morning to
fill it. Lunardi first landed at Welham Green (North Mymms), Hertfordshire, 13 miles (21 km) north of London (where the
landing is commemorated with a stone, at a location now known as
Balloon Corner) and then continued his flight to land at Ware, Hertfordshire after flying a total of .
Moorgate Street and neighbourhood
contemporary street of Moorgate runs north from Princes
Street and Lothbury at the back of the Bank of England, across the road named London Wall and the location
of the old gate, and then continues north. It is located inside
the EC2 postal district. After leaving the
London in the direction of the London
Borough of Hackney, the street is known as Finsbury
Pavement (which at one time was known as Moor Fields
Pavement) and then City Road. The street was
constructed around 1846 as one of the new approaches to London Bridge.
While the street was formally known as
"Moorgate Street", the street part of the name eventually fell out
commercial development on Moorgate, known as Moorhouse, opened in 2005.
The building is located at
the corner of Moorgate and London Wall, and was designed by
Foster and Partners
building has 28,000 m² of office space in 19 storeys, and is
built in the location of a smaller office building built in the
1960s known as Moor House. A 36 m shaft under the building
incorporates part of Crossrail
station and ticket hall serving Liverpool Street.
a campus of the London Metropolitan
University, formerly a part of the London
Guildhall University, on Moorgate.
The campus houses its business
school, a library
, and other administrative
There is a small side street to the east off of Moorgate, known as
Moorgate Place. It now connects to another side street known as
Swan Alley, in turn connecting to Moorgate. The side street is the
location of the Chartered Accountants' Hall, home of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Guildhall is connected to Moorgate station via Bassishaw Highwalk.
The Guildhall is the
home of the City of London
and the centre of City government since the
. Adjacent and
internally connected to the Guildhall is the Guildhall
Art Gallery, which houses the art collection of the City of
It occupies a stone building in a semi-Gothic
style which was completed in 1999
to replace an earlier building destroyed in 1941.
Finsbury Circus, an oval-shaped circus
branches east out of Moorgate, sitting on the site of the old
Bethlem Hospital and part of Moorfields. The gardens in the centre
of the circus occupy a 5,000 square metre (1.2 acres
) plot enclosed by railings, and include the
immaculate lawn of the City of London Bowls Club. Built in 1814, it
is unusual amongst London's square
, with the major axis
oriented west-east. According to the
Register of Historic Parks and Gardens
, the garden is Grade II listed
is also the birthplace of John Keats, one
of the principal poets in the English Romantic
Keats was born in 1795 in the Swan and Hoop Inn at
199 Moorgate, where his father was an ostler
The pub is now called "The John Keats at Moorgate", having
previously been known as "The Moorgate Coffee House" and "The
Moorgate", only a few yards from Moorgate station.
Underground station is Moorgate.
Redevelopment of the area
A number of large buildings are being planned in the neighbouring
streets. These include a 43-storey, 140 m residential
skyscraper at Milton Court, which would be taller than CityPoint.
A 90 m office tower at Ropemaker Place is
also being developed by British Land
with construction already underway.
- Books and articles
- Lange, D. The Queen's London: A Pictorial and Descriptive
Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great
Metropolis. Cassell and Company, London, 1896.
- Harris, C. M. What's in a name? The origins of the
names of all stations in current use on the London Underground and
Docklands Light rail with their opening dates. Midas Books and
London Transport, fourth
edition, 2001. ISBN 1-85414-241-0.
- Mills, A. D. Dictionary of London Place Names.
Oxford University Press,
2004. ISBN 0-19-860957-4.
- Rocque, J. Rocque's Map of London. 1746 and 1763.
- Harben, H. A. A Dictionary of London. 1918.
- Stow, J. Survey of London. 1720 and 1755. 2
- Colvin, S. John Keats -
- Motion, A. Keats. University of Chicago Press, 1998. ISBN 0-374-18100-4.
- Holloway, S. Moorgate: Anatomy of a Railway Disaster.
Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0-7153-8913-0.
- Bacon, J. M. The Dominion of the Air, Chapter 3.
- Other web sites
- Major buildings
- Vincenzo Lunardi