Although we call the whole of London London, and it is a city, the City of London is just one square mile in the centre of what is known as Greater London. The City of London is the oldest part of London, a city within a city, and has its own special government and traditions. William the Conqueror granted the City of London a charter which promised to preserve the rights and privileges they had enjoyed under Edward the Confessor.

By the late 16th century the Square Mile had developed as a major centre for banking, international trade and commerce, home to the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England. It continues to be the heart of the financial sector in Britain today.  This learning journey, intended for 16+ students, will explore the political and economic aspects of the City of London through the artworks in the Guildhall Art Gallery, which houses the collection of the City of London Corporation.

The contrasting lives of Londoners both rich and poor, the role of the City as enabler for the British Empire, and the present ethos of City financial institutions are explored through artworks from the 19th, 20th and 21st century.