Hole Bourne is thought to be originally named after the old English word for ‘hollow’ and a reference to the local River Fleet. The underground River Fleet is still meandering its way through Clerkenwell and into Hampstead Ponds.
After a decree that the legal profession was not allowed to practice within the City of London, Holborn took advantage of being the closest place outside of the city limits and began developing a reputation for all things legal. The Inns of Court, Gray’s Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn all cropped up and remain magnificent to behold.
The Holborn area developed a reputation for performance and theatre in the 18th century. Music venues and theatres such as Weston’s Music Hall sprung up to entertain the locals. Unfortunately, most of the old Victorian theatres are no more, as they made way for growing commercial interests with Holborn’s close neighbour, the West End, becoming the prominent theatreland destination.