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The name Cannon Street has nothing to do with the weapon, but is in fact an English corruption of the street's original name, Candlewick Street, or Candelewrithstret as it was known in the twelfth century. The street earned its name from the number candlemakers and drapers who lived and worked there.
Cannon Street station was built by the South Eastern Railway following an Act of Parliament in 1861 allowing its construction - it opened to the public September 1st, 1866. The station's hotel was built the following year, and was designed by E.M. Barry, the son of J.W. Barry, the architect behind the House of Parliament.
The presence of the train station, and its proximity to the Thames, bolstered Cannon Street as a centre of trade. As the ninteenth century drew to a close, the area became populated with warehouses and industrial buildings.