The Oldest Institutions in London and the World
It is not known whether or not the first man and van removal company was founded in London, but there are many other institutions and organisations to have originated in the British capital. Some of these are also the oldest such institutions/organisations in the world.
London has always been one of the key financial, commercial and business centres in the world so it is only natural for most of these first-timers to be trade companies, financial institutions etc.
Here are some of the better known things to have been founded and established in London:
Hudson’s Bay Company was founded in London in sixteen seventy. Although the company has long moved away from the UK in order to become a Canadian based corporation it still retains links to its British origins. Hudson’s Bay is the oldest chartered company in the world.
Bethlehem Royal Hospital is the oldest hospital/institution specialising in mental illnesses. The institution was founded in twelve forty seven, near Bishopsgate in City of London. Back then it was known as the Priory of St Mary Bethlehem. In eighteen hundred, Bethlehem Royal Hospital was relocated to Lambeth (that would have been a decent-sized order for any man and van company, if there were such at the time), to the building now occupied by the Imperial War Museum. The hospital is still operational and retains much of its high profile. In fact the word ‘bedlam’ which means uproar and/or confusion is derived from the hospital’s original name.
The world’s oldest horological society – The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers was established through a Royal Charters in sixteen thirty one. It was part of the Livery Companies of The City of London. The company possesses the world’s oldest and most valuable collection of watches and clocks.
Ealing Studios in West London are the oldest continuously working film studios in the world. Founded in nineteen o two (years before Hollywood) by Will Baker it is also the oldest film making site in the UK. The current studio/stage infrastructure has been in operation since nineteen thirty one and is responsible for shooting and putting together some of the UK’s best and most popular reels over the years.
C&SLR which stands for City & South London Railway is the first ever deep-level underground railway in the world. Established in eighteen ninety, the railway was also the first to use electric power to move engines and cars. The C&SLR later became the Northern Line of the London Underground.
The world’s oldest public zoo was founded in London in eighteen twenty eight. Also the oldest scientific zoo in the world, it was initially intended to be a scientific project, not a public amenity. Although founded in eighteen twenty eight, the zoo did not actually see any visitors until its official public opening in eighteen forty seven. Today the zoo houses eight hundred and sixty two animal species, numbering nearly twenty thousand individuals.
Bank of England established in sixteen ninety four was the first privately owned (later to become national) banking institution in the world.