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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): COL/PLD/PL

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1752-1979

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 15.6 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The improvement of the streets, the location of trades, markets and common or open spaces and the regulation of buildings have always been within the purview of the Corporation of London and the Court of Commissioners of Sewers in particular. After the Great Fire an Act of Common Council of 1667 declared what streets were to be widened and to what proportions. Improvement Committees were appointed by the Common Council throughout the nineteenth century and the construction of Holborn Viaduct, King William Street, Cannon Street, Tower Bridge, Charterhouse Street, Princes Street, Moorgate, St Martins-le-Grand and numerous street widenings constituted a gradual replanning. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the City cooperated with the Metropolitan Board of Works and later with the London County Council in improvements such as the Victoria Embankment and Queen Victoria Street.

In 1932 the Corporation was constituted the authority in the City of London for implementing the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Acts. A town planning scheme was prepared but the outbreak of war in 1939 delayed the continuation of the plan. The extensive damage caused by enemy action during the Second World War facilitated more ambitious schemes, under the direction of the Improvements and Town Planning Committee who managed the Town Planning Department. The post-war plan aimed to improve office and warehouse buildings, improve traffic flows, preserve and improve sites of historic and architectural importance, provide more open space and pedestrian circulation and to improve car parking provision.

The Planning Department is now the Department of Planning and Transportation.


Scope and content/abstract:

Plans used by the City Architect, Planning Department, 1752-1979, including plans, diagrams, maps and photographs of City of London and Greater London housing estates, offices, warehouses, wharves, churches, railway stations and tunnels, police stations, public houses, schools and colleges, the Guildhall complex, Mansion House, markets (including the Metropolitan Cattle Market, Spitalfields, Billingsgate, Leadenhall and London Central Market), streets, squares, bridge approach roads, City of London Cemetery, courts, Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, open spaces, parks and gardens, the Monument and sewer systems, 1752-1979.

Also plans of Tower Pier, 1827-1828; Victoria Embankment, 1910, including proposals for a miniature rifle range; plans of the proposed site for Fairlop Airport, Essex, 1938-1950; War Department plans of Burnham Beeches, 1940-1946; anti tank ditches in Epping Forest, 1945; tracings of sites of Temple Bar and Temple Bar Memorial, with tracings of elevations and detail of Memorial, and notes on history, sculptors etc, also includes tracings of Queen Anne's Statue in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1960.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright City of London

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For more plans see the papers of the Public Health Department (COL/PHD), general plans (COL/PL), the papers of the Surveyor's Department (COL/SVD) and the papers of the Technical Services Department (COL/TSD).

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Architects | Artists
Building construction | Building operations | Construction engineering
Building plans | Plans | Visual materials
Railway construction | Construction industry | Industry
Railway track diagrams | Maps | Visual materials
Urban planning | Urban development
Town and country planning

Personal names
Dance | George the younger | 1741-1825 | architect

Corporate names
City Architect | Planning Department | Corporation of London
Planning Department | Corporation of London x Department of Planning and Transportation

Epping Forest | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Fairlop | Essex | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Ilford | Essex | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe