Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cavendish Square off Oxford Street - London

Cavendish Square in London

This photo from Cavendish Square in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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Cavendish Square is not that well known. It is just north of Oxford Street in London and close to Oxford Circus. Surrounded by shopping and offices it is popular with workers as a lunch spot during the summer. In fact, it makes for a pleasant break from the bustle and crowds that weave their way along Oxford Street. John Lewis shopping centre borders the south side of Cavendish Square, and it is often much easer to exit the store here than through the front onto Oxford Circus.

As for a little history, Cavendish Square was first developed in 1717 by the 2nd Earl of Oxford for his wife Henrietta Cavendish-Hollace. Oxford Street itself was also being redeveloped at the same time. The square became very fashionable among the upper classes in London, with individuals like the Duke of Chandos choosing to build there. However, the South Sea Bubble burst and a lot of people lost money, including the Duke of Chandos who had to settle for something rather less grand than originally planned.

Cavendish Square became well known from references to it in books by Charles Dickens, including Nicholas Nickleby, Lottle Dorrit¸and Barnaby Rudge. The square is occupied by statue of both William (Duke of Cumberland who defeated the Bonnie Prince Charles at the battle of Culloden) and Lord George Bentinck (Conservative MP of late 19C).

The whole area is also famous for private medical practices, with both Harley Street and Wimpole Street being near by. Cavendish Square was also the home of Heythorp College until the price of staying here became prohibitive and the college moved out in 1993. Unfortunately, the installation an underground car park and enhancement of vehicle access around the square in the 1970’s has destroyed much of the original layout.

The nearest station to Cavendish Square is Oxford Circus.

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The full panoramic image of Cavendish Square can be found on the London tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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