|A Bloomsbury Walk
Route & what to see
This walk centres on UCL & the University of London. Besides college and hospital buildings it includes some lesser known museums and collections that are open to the public. The 4½ mile walk begins at Warren Street tube station (Northern & Victoria lines) a short distance from Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & Metropolitan) and finishes near Euston with Goodge Street and Russell Square on the route. If you are visiting attractions you may not want to do the whole walk. There are plenty of places for refreshments.
Places in bold type are open to the public with details below - * indicates by appointment only
From the station go along
On the left is the Smugglers Tavern formerly the Marquis of Cornwallis. On the corner with Fitzroy Street is French's Theatre Bookshop and on the corner with Conway Street is the old Evans Dairy with blue glazed tiles (pictured in header).
Go left into Conway Street and
first left into Fitzroy Square
The north side was built in the 1820s but includes St Luke's Hospital for the clergy of 1904. The east and south sides of the 1790s are by Robert Adam. Number 6 houses the Georgian Group [website] and on the south side is the London Foot Hospital.
Take Fitzroy Street alongside
There is a bronze statue to Francisco de Miranda and views of the nearby Telecom Tower
Continue across Howland Street
along Charlotte Street and left at Scala Street.
Its name recalls the nearby Scala Theatre. At the end of this street with its 18th century houses is Pollock's Toy Museum.
Left at Whifield Street, right
at Tottenham Street (Goodge Street Station)
Opposite is Heal's store, built on the site of farmland
Go right along Tottenham Court
From here there is a view of the Centrepoint tower. On the corner with Goodge Street notice the former premises of Catesby's Linoland and on the corner of Windmill Street the ornate Rising Sun pub of 1897.
Left at Store Street
Imagination at 25 South Crescent was originally an Edwardian school. The Building Centre at number 26 is a resource open to all and includes New London Architecture with a large model and information on display. It is housed in the former Daimler car showrooms
Go left along Alfred Place
At the far end is the Eisenhower Centre a former deep-level shelter and D-Day communications centre, linked to the Cabinet War Rooms by pneumatic dispatch tube, and now used as security archives. Behind this in North Cresent is Minera House another former garage & car showroom.
Right along Chenies Street.
On the right are the Drill Hall and RADA premises.
Left through Ridgmount Gardens
and left at Torrington Place. Go right along Huntley Street
The former Duke of Wellington pub has now been dedicated to Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher associated with UCL.
Right along University Street
into Gower Street
The cruciform building on the left was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1896 for University College Hospital. It closed in 1995 and was refurbished for UCL. A laboratory which was once the children's ward retains its nursery rhyme tile panels. Gower Street has the main frontage of UCL designed by William Wilkins in 1829. It houses the mummified remains of Jeremy Bentham [more info] and the Strang Print Room. It was used for location filming in the TV series 'Silent Witness'.
Go left along Gower Street,
right along Gower Place and right at Gordon Street
On the right is UCL's Bloomsbury Theatre
Go across Gordon Square
In the SE corner number 50 has a plaque to the Bloomsbury Group
Exit by the SW corner into
Christ Church contains an altarpiece by Burne-Jones in memory of Christina Rossetti. In Malet Place to the right is the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Continue along Malet Street
On the right are the premises of RADA. The box office sells tickets for student productions and the cafe is open to all. Tours of the building are available by arrangement (charge). Further along the School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine occupies one of the many sites proposed for a National Theatre.
At the end of Malet Street
turn left into Montague Place
On the left is the Senate House of 1932 by Charles Holden which houses the University of London's administration. On the right are the King Edward VII galleries of the British Museum. This has been much improved by the opening of the Great Court.
Go left into Russell Square
and along to Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square was laid out by Humphrey Repton c1800 and there are original houses by James Burton on the west side. Off Thornhaugh Street within SOAS is the Brunei Gallery with a Japanese Roof Garden
Return to the west corner of
Here is one of the 13 remaining Cabmen's Shelters [more info]
Walk through Russell Square to
the north corner
A cafe is located in this square which has undergone restoration. Across from this is the Russell Hotel of 1898.
Exit into Bernard Street and
go left into Herbrand Street
Number 7-11 occupies a multi-level garage built for Daimler Car Hire in 1931 by Wallis Gilbert & Partners in Art Deco style.
Return along Herbrand Street
crossing Bernard Street by Russell Square Station
Russell Square is a typical Leslie Green designed station building with its ox blood tiles. To the left in the Colonnade a former two storey Horse Hospital built by James Burton in 1797 now serves as a gallery and shop
At the end go left into
Guilford Street and right into Queen Square.
This square was the site of an ancient reservoir. The central statue is thought to be of Queen Charlotte and there is also a plaque on a paved area that records the escape of 1000 people from a Zeppelin attack in 1915. William Morris, Jeremy Bentham and Jerome K Jerome have all lived in the square. The Art Workers Guild has occupied number 6 since 1914. [website]
Go to the SW corner of the
Located here is the Mary Ward Centre and the church of St George the Martyr with its schools in Old Gloucester Street. The Queen's Larder pub records the fact that Queen Charlotte stored delicacies here for her husband George III who was undergoing medical treatment nearby.
Exit into Great Ormond Street
on the east side
The Children's hospital on the left has a statue to Peter Pan at the entrance (JM Barrie bequeathed the royalties from this book to the hospital). Inside is the Byzantine style Chapel of St Christopher designed by EM Barry and moved from the old building!
From Great Ormond Street go
right into Orde Hall Street, left at Dombey Street and left into
Lamb's Conduit Street
To the right in Rugby Street a former dairy was the site of White's Conduit and in Long Yard a plaque marks the site of Lamb's Conduit, supplied by a tributary of the Fleet.
Go left along Guilford Street
and right into Lansdowne Terrace
On the right are Coram's Fields a children's playground on the site of the Foundling Hospital
Take the path ahead across the
The Foundling Museum is housed in 40 Brunswick Square with a statue of Thomas Corum outside.
Go left through Brunswick
Ahead is the newly refurbished Brunswick Centre
Go right at Hunter Street and
right along Handel Street then walk through St George's Gardens
These were made into a public park in 1885 having served as a burial ground for St George the Martyr, Queen Square & St George's Bloomsbury since 1713 (see information boards). There is a terracotta statue of Eutrepe, the muse of instrumental music, from the Apollo Inn of 1898 on Tottenham Court Road (demolished 1961).
Bear left to exit into
Sidmouth Street and go left through Regent Square and Tavistock
Place. Go right at Marchmont Street and left around Cartwright
This was originally called Burton Crescent, having been designed by James Burton in 1807. They were re-named after the political reformer Major John Cartwright who lived at number 37 and is commemorated with a statue.
Left at Mabledon Palace and
left into Flaxman Terrace
On the right is The Place dance studios & theatre.
At the end continue through
This has some attractive bow-fronted shops built by Thomas Cubitt in 1822
At the end go right along
Upper Woburn Place
On the right is St Pancras Church of 1822 in Greek revival style. This was the most expensive church of its time.
Euston Station is opposite or to the right along Euston Road is the British Library and St Pancras Station
Places to visit
Details of most of the places to visit can be found on Camden's website [click here] others are listed below:
Chapel of St Christopher at Great Ormond St is always open - ask at reception for directions (donations appreciated)
RADA cafe open to all. Tickets sold for student performances. Tours by arrangement (charge) website
Bloombury UCL Theatre website
Building Centre and New London Architecture open Mon - Fri 9:30 -6 & Sat 10-2. website
Brunei Gallery & Roof Garden open Mon - Fri 10:30-5 when there is an exhibition. Tel 020 7898 4046. website
St Pancras Station is worth exploring [website]
These are in the area but not
on the route [click here] for details
Wellcome Trust Gallery with changing exhibitions at 210 Euston Road (free).
Centre for the Magic Arts* at 12 Stephenson Way (charge)
BOC Museum* at 9 Bedford Square (free).
Grant Museum* at UCL's Darwin Building (free).
Geological Sciences Collection* at UCL (free)
Peter Pan Gallery* at Great Ormond St (free) Tel 020 7405 9200 x5920
Dickens House Museum at 48 Doughty Street (charge).
Places not usually open to the public may take part in London's Open House Weekend in September [website]
Streets of Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia
East of Bloomsbury
Both Camden History Society publications [website]. They are available to purchase at Camden Local Studies (see below).
The Friends of St George's Gardens can be contacted at 62 Marchmont Street WC1N 1AB.
This area is in the Borough of Camden whose local studies and archives centre is at Holborn Library [more info] [website]
© london-footprints.co.uk 2009
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