Tucked away in an obscure corner of the magnificent London Guildhall, is the City of London Police Museum. Free to visit, this small museum tells the history of a unique police force which is responsible for law enforcement inside the Square Mile of central London - a mostly business district with few residents but huge amounts of daily workers.
The 'Square Mile' nickname for the City of London is something of a misnomer. It is based on the original Roman walls around Londinium, as although the Roman city was abandoned in the 5th century AD, it was resettled by Alfred the Great in the 9th century AD, and new walls were built on top of the foundations of the Roman walls. As the city grew in size and new districts were established, the city area increased to 1.05 square miles, with the name The Square Mile first being used by the Victorians in the 1860s. The city by then had become a centre of international banking, commerce and trade. Boundaries were altered again in 1994, and the Square Mile grew to an area of 1.12 miles.
The area still has many of its Medieval traditions of aldermen who represent each ward and form the governance of the city, presided over by the Mayor of London. It also has its own police force, who operate solely within this square mile and who were never subsumed into the wider London Metropolitan Police who cover everywhere else in the vast capital city.
The museum tells the history of this unique force and the specific issues that they have had to deal with over the past 175 years, which include Jack the Ripper, the Houndsditch Murders which is s