The Full Wiki

Leicester Square: Map

Advertisements
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



Leicester Square at night in 2005: a view towards the northeast corner.
For the British guitarist, see Lester Square.
Leicester Square ( ) is a pedestrianised square in the West Endmarker of Londonmarker, Englandmarker. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Roadmarker, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west. The park at the centre of the Square is bound by Cranbourn Street, to the north; Leicester Street, to the east; Irving Street, to the south; and a section of road designated simply as Leicester Square, to the west. It is within the City of Westminstermarker, and about equal distances (about ) north of Trafalgar Squaremarker, east of Piccadilly Circusmarker, west of Covent Gardenmarker, and south of Cambridge Circusmarker.

History

Leicester Square in 1880, looking north east.
The Square is named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, who purchased four acres (1.6 hectares) in St. Martin's Field in 1630; by 1635, he had built himself a large house, Leicester House, at the northern end. The area in front of the house was then enclosed, depriving inhabitants of St. Martin's Parish of their right to use the previously common land. The parishioners appealed to King Charles I, and he appointed three members of the Privy Council to arbitrate. Lord Leicester was ordered to keep part of his land (thereafter known as Leicester Field and later as Leicester Square) open for the parishioners.

The area was developed in the 1670s. It was initially fashionable and Leicester House was once residence of Frederick, Prince of Wales but by the late 18th century, the Square was no longer a smart address and began to serve as a venue for popular entertainments. Leicester House became home of a museum of natural curiosities called the Holophusikonmarker in the 1780s and was demolished about 1791–1792.

In 1848, Leicester Square was the subject of the land-law case of Tulk v. Moxhay. The plot's previous owner had agreed upon a covenant not to erect buildings. However, the law would not allow purchasers who were not 'privy' to the initial contract to be bound by subsequent promises. The judge, Lord Cottenham, decided that future owners could be bound by promises to abstain from activity. Otherwise, a buyer could sell land to himself to undermine an initial promise. Arguments continued about the fate of the garden, with Tulk's heirs erecting a wooden hoarding around the property in 1873. Finally, in 1874 the flamboyant Albert Grant (1830–1899) purchased the outstanding freeholds and donated the garden to the Metropolitan Board of Works, laying out a garden at his own expense. The title passed to the succeeding public bodies and is now in the ownership of the City of Westminster.

By the 19th century, Leicester Square was known as an entertainment venue, with many amusements peculiar to the era including Wyld's Globemarker which was built for the great exhibition and housed a giant scale map of the Earth. Several hotels grew up around the square making it popular with visitors to London. A large theatre, the Alhambramarker, built in 1854, dominated the site, to be joined in 1884 by the Empire Theatre of Varietiesmarker. The square remains the heart of the West End entertainment district today.

During the Labour government's 1979 Winter of Discontent, garbage collectors went on strike. Leicester Square was used as an overflow dump, earning it the nickname of "Fester Square".

Features

Gardens

The Shakespeare fountain and statue
Bust of Hogarth
In the middle of the Square is a small park, in the centre of which is a 19th century statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. The four corner gates of the park have one bust each, depicting Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist; Sir Joshua Reynolds, the first President of the Royal Academymarker; John Hunter, a pioneer of surgery; and William Hogarth, the painter. The most recent addition is a statue of film star and director Charlie Chaplin. On the pavement are inscribed the distances in miles to countries of the former British Empire.

Entertainment

Leicester Square is the centre of London's cinema land, and one of the signs marking the Square bears the legend "Theatreland." It is claimed that the Square contains the cinema with the largest screen and the cinema with the most seats (over 1600). The square is the prime location in London for major film premieres and has seen the likes of James Bond films, animation films such as Shrek and even co-hosts the London Film Festival each year.Similar to Grauman's Chinese Theatremarker in Hollywoodmarker, the square is surrounded by floor mounted plaques with film stars names and cast handprints.

The Square is also the home for 'tkts', formerly known as the Official London Half-Price Theatre Ticket Booth. This booth is jointly operated by TKTS and LondonTown.com. Tickets for theatre performances taking place around the West End that day are sold from the booth for about half the usual price. The popularity of the booth has given rise to many other booths and stores around the Square that advertise half-price tickets for West End shows. It is claimed that at least some of these booths operate fraudulently. Despite having names like 'Official Half-Price Ticket Booth', they are not official and they do not always advertise the booking fees which commonly come with purchasing tickets.

The Square is home to several nightclubs, making it often very busy, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Major cinemas

  • Odeon Leicester Squaremarker, which dominates the east side of the square, had the first digital projector in Europe (1999), hosting most premieres with capacity for 1683 people, arranged in circle and stalls.
  • The adjacent Odeon Mezzanine has five smaller auditoria (capacities of 50–60 each).
  • Empiremarker, on the north of the Square, is the next-largest cinema, with 1,330 seats in the main screen (the only THX certified screen in the square), as well as eight smaller screens, with 349, 96, 58, 49, 48, 42 and 23 seats. Eight of the screens are digital. The main screen and one smaller one can also play 3D films. Many premieres are hosted here.


  • Odeon West Endmarker, on the south side, contains two screens, which can seat 1,000 each, and is used for smaller premieres.
  • Vue, on the north side, near the north east corner, was previously the Warner Brothers Village, a multiplex that hosted only Warner Bros. film premieres. Together with the rest of the Warner Village chain, it was bought out by Vue in 2004.


Other cinemas



Clubs, bars, restaurants

Just off Leicester Square

Media

Global Radio has its headquarters on the east side of Leicester Square, close to the Odeon Leicester Squaremarker. The building houses the radio stations 95.8 Capital FM, Classic FM, Xfm London, Choice FM, Gold, Heart and LBC.

In what was formerly Homemarker (a seven-floor superclub launched in 1999, which went into receivership after having its licence revoked by police for one month in March 2001 because of drugs issues, and at which Paul Oakenfold was a resident D.J.), is now an MTV UK television studio, used for the UK version of Total Request Live and the Russell Brand–fronted show 1 Leicester Square. It was also used for the first series of BBC Saturday morning show TMi.

Other attractions

square regularly hosts a fair each winter and a stage is erected for performances connected to other events such as Chinese New Year.

Infrastructure

The main electric substation for the West End is beneath the Square. The electrical cables to the substation are in a large tunnel ending at Leicester Square, and originating in Wimbledonmarker, at Plough Lane, behind the former Wimbledon FC football ground, before which the cables are above ground. .

The square is set to change in its appearance over the next few years as Westminster Council is planning a new design. The envisioned changes will not significantly alter the square's character but will, amongst other things, enhance its function as a backdrop for film premieres.

References

See also



External links




Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message