Firing on All Cannons
London has more famous streets than you can shake a stick at. From groovy Carnaby Street to Sherlock’s Baker Street and all the high powered comings and goings at Downing Street, not to mention the thoroughfares immortalised by a certain property trading board game, it’s hard to work out which one is the most iconic.
There’s one street that’s fairly low down the list in the recognition stakes, but nonetheless it has many stories to tell and no doubt many more to come. This street boasts some moments of real London history and continues to buzz with activity, with the new Athlete Lab among its most recent arrivals. This street is Cannon Street.
An abridged history of Cannon Street throws up some interesting facts: starting life in 1190 as the place where the capital’s candle makers resided, it began as Candelwrichstrete Street – a name that was shortened a whopping 60 times before everyone finally agreed on Cannon Street; The London Stone – from which it has been suggested distances were measured in Roman times – was also originally situated in the middle of what was to become Cannon Street.
It was important in times of old, and despite not being the best known name in London, it is very important now.
The road is lined with major players in the business world these days. Just a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral, the thoroughfare of St Paul’s Churchyard becomes Cannon Street and the imposing office buildings pop up. On the left are the premises of asset management firm Fidelity Worldwide Investment, and on the right a similar company – First State Investments; both are significant multinational organisations in their field.
Other Cannon Street residents include: executive headhunting agency Odgers Berndtson, whose head office is ideally placed at the heart of The City; the headquarters of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation; Silver – a development and construction agency responsible for a number of key projects across the capital.
But perhaps one of Cannon Street’s most significant developments in recent years has been the opening of the striking Cannon Place building – a major hub for business. In March it welcomed the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to its new 25,000 square foot premises on its fourth floor – the organisation having relocated from its home of 34 years at Centre Point. And development is set to continue with the new Bloomberg Place – which will become the European headquarters for the New York-based financial software, data and media company – due to open in 2016.
Of course with all of these financial powerhouses employing so many workers, good amenities are required – and this is one of the other great selling points of Cannon Street. Transport connections are excellent – not only is the street served by Cannon Street and Mansion House underground stations, its overground station connects to national rail mainline services.
The streets are lined with the usual suspects – quality sandwich shops for decent lunch breaks, chain hotels for visiting business people to retire to after a long day in the office, and Cannon Place itself is home to a plethora of stores and eateries. And for the executive who likes to stay in shape, another new kid on the block provides the perfect solution. Athlete Lab is an indoor cycling training facility – created with busy city workers in mind, it lets them enjoy a realistic simulation of an outdoor cycle just steps from their office.
So if you are London bound, make sure you try to pass by Cannon Street to get a feel of the old and new London life.