Outline details of a walk around the main places of interest
Outside Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road.
House of St Barnabas
The house was erected 1746 by the speculative builder Joseph Pearce.
It was used 1811-1861 by the Metropolitan Board of Works. It was in these offices that Joseph Bazalgette worked in one of the rooms.
The 'House of Charity' was begun 1846, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 1996, but did not move into the house until 1862.
On the S side is a small, very ornate chapel, built 1862-64, designed by Joseph Clarke.
The Square was laid out 1681. In the gardens is a statue of Charles II by Caius Cibber.
On the east side is St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. It opened in 1792 in a disused building on the same site, the first Roman Catholic church since the Reformation. The present church was built 1891-93.
At the NW corner of the square stands the French Protestant Church. It was built 1893, designed by Aston Webb.
Beside Frith Street is the Hospital for Women. Founded in 1843, the hospital was built on this site in 1894 but re-modeled 1908.
It was named after a Greek Church that once stood on the east side of the street. The large imposing pub, called Pillars of Hercules, stands towards the northern end. St James’s Club, established 1864. L’Escargo Restaurant. Three Greyhounds PH. Maison Berteaux, founded 1871. Ketner’s Restaurant, established 1867.
On the upper floors of No 22 Frith Street, John Logie Baird made the first public demonstration in the world of television on 26 January 1926.
Old Compton Street
Once referred to as the ‘High Street’ of Soho. Patisserie Valerie. I Camisa, Italian delicatessen.
St Anne churchyard and tower. The church, originally built by Wren, has had many alterations. The tower dates from 1802.
Now rather seedy with many sex-shops. Until the 1970’s it was the home of high-class food shops, many of them French and Swiss owned. The French grocer’s shop is now a restaurant.
The square was laid out between 1675 and the early 1700’s. The name is probably a refined corruption of gelding. The land formerly was used for grazing. Dr John Hunter, the famous surgeon and anatomist, lived at No 31 Golden Square, around 1780.
Probably the most famous street in London in the ‘Swinging 60’s’. Since that time it has struggled to maintain its once-trendy identity.
John Snow PH, named after Dr John Snow (1813-58). He lived at No 54 Frith Street. In 1854, hundreds of people died in the immediate area due to an outbreak of cholera. Snow realised that it was caused by infected water in the street pump. He obtained permission to remove the handle and stopped many others drinking the infected water and going to their deaths. A pump with no handle stands a short distance from the original pump site.
Famous for its street market, especially the fruit, vegetable and flowers.
Once the home of the film and media industry.
Note the stone name plaque ‘Meards Street 1732’. Fine terrace of Georgian houses.
Laid out 1680. Named after Henry Compton, Bishop of London, Dean of the Chapels Royal.
No 54, now a restaurant, it carries a plaque on the wall recording the fact that Dr John Snow lived there, he lived there from 1838 until 1852. Plaque was made by the Association of Anaesthetists. Nos 58-60 give a good idea of what Snow’s house probably looked like.
• ENDS •