The 32 Boroughs

2005 March 30

London has been divided into 32 boroughs since 1965, when Greater London was created. Before that, outer London was either Kent, Surrey, Middlesex and Essex, with a much smaller County of London within (Finsbury Park lies just outside the County, in Essex.)

Some boroughs have town halls, others have civic offices. Waltham Forest boasts a huge 1930s pile covered in heroic statues with jutting chins, whilst Hounslow has a sprawling, low-lying group of buildings in a public park, an inward-looking affair from the sixties that is too modest even to mention the name of the borough. Barnet's home is a cute little mock Tudor manor house, but Croydon is administered from a twenty-storey tower block.

Many inner London boroughs have several town halls, owing to having been constituted from other boroughs in the past. But the fine halls in Acton, Finsbury and Stratford will have to wait for another project.