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Streets

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  • St Giles-in-the-Fields

    St Giles-in-the-Fields

    The first church was founded on the site of a leper hospital in 1101 by Matilda, wife of Henry I, the present building dates from the 18th century when the area was populated by many descendents of exiled French Huguenots. The architect was Henry Flitcroft who is remembered by the street name to the West of the courtyard (one of very few architects thus honoured in London).

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  • St Martin's Lane

    St Martin's Lane

    Such is the international repute of St Martin’s Lane as a musical Mecca that Vivien Leigh and Rex Harrison starred in a 1938 film musical based here on the street, imaginatively-entitled ‘St Martin’s Lane’. The same musical was launched in America under the ghastly title ‘Sidewalks of London’. The story it tells is far from groundbreaking within the genre, in a nutshell: Leigh plays a...

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  • Stacey Street

    Stacey Street

    Local history records indicate that the land was owned by one James Stacey in the 16th century. He built two large houses on the St Giles Hospital Grounds after the Hospital was dissolved by Henry VIII. The street was originally a pathway between the buildings and was formed around 1680.

    However, the street was not formally named after James Stacey until 1878. It had previously been...

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  • Tavistock Street

    Tavistock Street

    Running behind the Jubilee Hall Market and extending North-Eastwards to Drury Lane Tavistock Street is unremarkable in today’s London however going into the past it has a strange and wonderful tale to tell.

    Tavistock Street was built in three sections and is named after the, then, landlord, the Duke of Bedford, Marquis of Tavistock. In 1937 it engorged the earlier York(e) Street which...

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  • The Aldwych

    The Aldwych

    It was in the last years of the nineteenth century that this major construction project commenced. The 28 acre Aldwych and Kingsway scheme was the last and greatest of the Victorian metropolitan improvements. For a cost of around £5 million, it was a radical solution to the problem of Victorian traffic congestion and had a useful by-product of slum clearance and the provision of new homes in...

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  • The Piccadilly Line 1906

    With the introduction of electric trains the underground had a much larger scope than when the railway was operating ‘cut and cover’ (to ensure that there was sufficient ventilation for the smoke from the steam trains to escape). The limitations of using steam trains meant that the underground railway’s growth was stilted and so with the introduction of electricity, ventilation points for...

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  • The Piccadilly Line 2006

    The Piccadilly Line 2006

    With over 500,000 people travelling on the line each day, totalling over 150 million passengers a year, the Piccadilly Line is one of the busiest underground train systems in the world. With the extension to Heathrow Airport, the Piccadilly Line has been nicknamed the ‘tourist tube’ which is extremely apt as the line boasts stations for some of the most important London locations including...

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  • The River Fleet

    The River Fleet

    This, the largest of London’s subterranean rivers, flows roughly parallel to Kingsway to the East of Covent Garden rising in Hampstead and attributing to the mighty Thames. In Anglo-Saxon times the Fleet was itself somewhat mighty; its mouth was reckoned to be over 100 yards wide. Taking its name from the old English word fleot meaning ‘estuary’ the River Fleet existed as an important waterway...

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  • The Strand

    The Strand

    The Thistle Charing Cross Hotel has welcomed many, many esteemed guests in its 140 years and most interestingly one particular scoundrel. When he wasn’t out murdering prostitutes, it is thought that Jack the Ripper stayed here. Enthusiasts believe that ‘Jack’ was at least two people and amongst the tantalising clues that suspects left for bamboozled detectives was a bag, apparently discarded...

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  • Tottenham Court Road

    Tottenham Court Road

    In the recent past Tottenham Court Road has been a synonym for the furniture trade of which much remains today, although these days the road is more often to be associated with electronic hardware, especially the most modern audio and video appliances. The famous furniture house of Messrs Heal & Son was established here in 1840 on farmland, the lease of the property states that it provides...

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