One of the City’s longest streets and site of its most symbolically important relic. Linking the Monument to St Paul’s
Churchyard, Cannon Street traces the route of the ancient riverside track that ran alongside the Thames towards the Strand.
It was first recorded in 1183 as Candelewrithstret – the street of the candle-wrights. The City ward of Candlewick takes
its identity from the same root. Cannon Street used to stretch only as far west as Walbrook. It took its present form in the
mid-1850s, when a path was cleared through a network of small lanes south-east of St Paul’s and the whole route was
widened. Cannon Street station and its accompanying bridge over the Thames opened in 1866. The station served as the new terminus
of the South-Eastern Railway, which had originally run into London Bridge. British Rail reconstructed the bridge in 1981 and
an office block was built over the station later in the same decade.
Sometime in the Middle Ages a limestone monolith was placed in the middle of Cannon Street, where it may have acted as a focus
for judicial proceedings. Over the years legends arose that a Trojan king had brought it here, that it marked the site of
Druidic sacrifices and that London’s prosperity depended on its safekeeping. Edward III made it the axis of the City’s
trade when he granted Londoners the right to hold markets within a seven-mile radius of London Stone, as it had become known.