Welcome to our Fleet Street history section. You can skip to subsequent pages using the links below or simply continue reading to start at the beginning.


Fleet Street was traditionally the home of the British press, up until the 1980s when most of the press relocated to premises in Wapping and Canary Wharf. Nevertheless the phrase "Fleet Street" is still used to refer to the British national press at large.

The street has a long history stretching back long before the publishers moved in, as it was home to many lawyers' offices due to its proximity to the The Temple. Ironically, it is today largely dominated by legal firms as it was in its beginnings.

There are longer, wider and far more architecturally impressive streets than Fleet Street but historically at least it is one London's most important and significant streets.

Fleet Street stands out from the more recently built streets such as Oxford street, Piccadilly or Pall Mall because it is arguably the parent thoroughfare of London; because it links up the east and the west; and beginning at the Law Courts it ends in sight of St. Paul's.

It possesses an aura which is unlike that of any other street and in its lifetime has witnessed more turbulance than any most streets in London, as it has passed from being a highway of ecclesiastical and noble palaces, with all the power these connoted, to being today a highway of letters and of information exchange.

Appropriately it has been called "The Street of Adventure" in which a power resides compared with which that of its early residents is as naught, and whose filaments stretch away in all directions and influence the minds of those living in the most remote parts of the earth.

Next page: Early Fleet Street