WC2H, Westminster & Camden. The boundary edges: Lisle Street, Charing Cross Road, Orange Street & Whitcomb Street.
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London.
Dating back to early 1600’s the land housed the stately home (Leicester House) of Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester. Robert Sidney enclosed the land to the front of the house cutting access off to the parishioners of St Martin in the Fields.
He was ordered to keep this land open and it was known as Leicester Fields (now Leicester Square). The square became residential and over the years (17 -1800’s) was redeveloped with retail units where the house became a museum before being demolished and rebuilt as a church (now the site of Prince Charles Cinema) and the fashionable square a popular site for entertainment and brothels.
By the late 1800-1900’s the area was a thriving entertainment area with shops, museums, exhibitions, hotels, theatres, cinemas.
It was pedestrianised in the 1980’s and Westminster Council concerned it was too dangerous wanted to demolish sections of the square to encourage the growth of theatres and cinemas and reduce the popularity of nightclubs in the area.
Today it is known as the home of cinemas where you can celebrity spot at world film premieres, it houses a few casino’s, late bars and nightclubs.
It backs onto Chinatown and is a short walk from Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. The area is a tourist trap with the M&M and Lego Stores and other street venders selling London memorabilia, street artists and entertainers.
The area is appealing as a thoroughfare to the other areas in central London and a place where you find many tourists. Look past the tourists and the local Londoners passing through and you will see old throwbacks like The Bear & Staff a 17 Century pub on Bear Street the home of London’s gangsters and Charlie Chaplin.
These are just a taste of the images that I have taken of the area. If you are interested in purchasing prints or would like to discuss a commission please get in touch. I’m open to new projects so please fire away! Contact Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contacts page here: http://lucywood.co.uk/contact/