Why the centre of London should be 1km east

We've measuring it wrong all this time, says posh estate agent Knight Frank...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 16 May 2014

Where is the centre of London? In 1663 someone decided it was at the top of Whitehall, right where a statue of King Charles I (who, fact fans, had died 14 years beforehand) now stands.

But now posh London estate agent Knight Frank reckons they measured it all wrong. Using ‘state-of-the-art mapping technology’ (Google maps, then?) Knight Frank’s residential research department has worked out the ‘geographical centroid’ of London is 900 metres east, at a bench on Victoria Embankment next to King’s College London:

Fair enough. As deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister pointed out: ‘The London of today bears absolutely no resemblance to the city of 1663. Its population has grown from 250,000 to more than 8 million people and enormous advances have been made in every way in which the city is managed, from strategic planning to transport, construction and waste management.’

The current centre of London is marked by a plaque, stating ‘on the site now occupied by the statue of King Charles I was erected the original Queen Eleanor’s cross, a replica of which stands in front of Charing Cross Station. Mileages from London are measured from the site of the original cross’. If we all adopt the new centre, a lot of road signs would have to be changed. Which might not be seen as the best use of public money…

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