A Quick History Of Piccadilly

piccadilly circus

When you think of London you can’t help but picture the iconic city skyline and the amazing wonders and secrets spread throughout the city‘s streets. Every borough, square and backstreet has its own story to tell and wherever you venture to in London you’re sure to find all sorts of interesting things to see and history to uncover.

Piccadilly is one of the most famous areas of London and has been a hotspot for travellers and tourists from all over the world thanks to its bustling crowds and iconic scenery. As one of the busiest areas in London, millions of people pass through Piccadilly every week. We’ve put together a post that will take you on a journey through the history of this vibrant area and help you get the most from your stay at the Piccadilly London West End.

London Eye

Piccadilly Road dates back hundreds of years, however during the Middle Ages it was referred to as ‘the road to Reading’ and was used frequently by travellers and traders venturing to London. After wartime passed and the Tudor period came around, the city underwent big expansions, which resulted in the area now known as Piccadilly becoming home to a number of building developments. This made it highly sought after by businessmen and landowners.

Ownership of the land was passed around a lot during the 16h century but eventually was bought by the successful tailor and businessman, Robert Baker. He built a number of establishments including residential buildings and shops. His primary source of business was the production of Piccadills, which were popular fashion accessories of the day and is where the name of the famous street comes from.

Piccadillywest london

Fast forward to the 18th and 19th centuries and Piccadilly had rapidly become one of the busiest streets in London, thanks to the development of St James and Mayfair. The bustling street grew to become a hotspot for developers and business people who recognised the importance of its location and high traffic. During this period Piccadilly was particularly known for its many inns and pubs that brought in an increasing number of travellers and tourists.

At the dawn of the 20th century, the street was all but levelled and most of the old buildings and structures were demolished to make way for new developments. High congestion levels and ever increasing traffic caused a lot of noise, which was why so many residential properties were left empty and eventual demolished. This led to a slump in the area and a lack of interest from developers and traders.

During the 1950s and 60s, the area of Piccadilly London West End had slowly become a hub for illegal drug use in London. During the time it was regarded as the centre of the city’s illegal drug market, where cocaine and heroin where in high supply. After a big government intervention and a crackdown on illegal activity, Piccadilly quickly returned to its former glory and saw the introduction of developments from some of the world’s biggest brands.

Today Piccadilly Road and the famous Piccadilly Circus are some of London’s most affluent areas, with countless shops and retail outlets. The central location and Underground station have made it a hotbed for tourists visiting hotels in West End London England.