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A view of St mary-le-Bow (detail showing spire)

The City of London is the ancient core from which the rest of London developed and is governed by the oldest local authority in the country, with origins pre-dating Parliament. It has been a centre for settlement, trade, commerce and ceremony since the Roman period, producing a unique historic environment of exceptional richness and significance.

Historic Environment Strategy 2017

The Historic Environment Strategy is a suite of guidance documents on all aspects of the City's historic environment.

 On 4 July 2017, the first elements of the Strategy were adopted by the City Corporation's Planning and Transportation Committee:


The Introduction to the Historic Environment Strategy (5.6MB) is an overview of the City's historic environment and sets out the different elements of the Strategy.

Archaeology and Development Guidance

Updated and revised guidance on archaeology in the development process. The Archaeology and Development Guidance SPD (2MB) is a revision to the existing Planning Advice Note, and provides guidance for all those planning development which may affect archaeology. It follows professional good practice and sector wide guidance. Because it is a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), an Equality Impact Assessment (230KB) and SEA Screening Statement (40KB) were been produced. An Adoption Statement (35KB) and Consultation Statement (200KB) are available.

City of London Churchyards 

The City churchyards are heritage assets and a unique assemblage of burial grounds in an urban context. They have been assessed as a group and individual statements of significance written to bring together existing information and create a tool for future management and interpretation. The documents have been shortlisted for an RTPI award 2017.  

City Historic Environment Overview

Our unique history has resulted in a high number of designated heritage assets (formally identified and protected elements of the historic environment). We have over 600 listed buildings, 26 conservation areas, 48 scheduled ancient monuments and four historic parks and gardens. The City also forms part of the Tower of London World Heritage Site's local setting.

Typical examples of these include listed Wren churches (such as St Mary-le-Bow, see image above) and the Guildhall, historic areas such as Fleet Street or Bank junction, scheduled archaeological remains such as the Roman and medieval wall and registered gardens such as the Inner and Middle Temples. Comprising these elements and more, the City's history is easily seen in its townscape, and this contributes significantly to our commercial and cultural vibrancy.

Through our local plan policies and the planning process, we strive to safeguard and enhance our historic environment whilst promoting the highest standards of contextual, innovative design. Our approach is described in greater detail in the City of London Local Plan.

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
05 December 2018