Regent Street’s Past - A 200 Year Timeline – Regent Street London

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REGENT STREET’S PAST – A 200 YEAR TIMELINE

Discover how London’s first purpose-built shopping street has changed over time

Set in London’s West End, Regent Street is a globally renowned shopping and dining street known throughout its history for offering an impressive array of brands from fashion to cutting edge technology as well as in store experiences like nowhere else. Regent Street is unique in bringing the street to life through stand out cultural celebrations year after year including the world famous Christmas lights, a long standing tradition in London starting on our very own mile of style. In addition to their sartorial selection, Regent Street is also home to restaurants, hotels and galleries for you to while away your day.

For those seeking to better understand the history of the iconic curve, keep reading to see how it became the street you see today.

 

 

Regent Street: A Timeline

 

1813:  Under the New Street Act of 1913, John Nash submits his grand scheme for Regent Street

 

1819: Regent Street is named for the first time as part of the Annual Report

 

1825/6: The development of Regent Street finishes. Regent Street immediately recognised as the centre of London's social scene

 

1828: Carlton House Terrace (designed by John Nash) building commences

 

1833: Regent Street and St James Park linked together by the Duke of York’s Column and Steps

 

1837: Queen Victoria ascends to the throne

 

1838: Regent Street is mentioned in Charles Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickelby. The upper class character Lord Frederick Verisopht lives in an apartment on Regent Street

 

1848: Regent Street Colonnades removed – due to their reputation as a haunt for both pick-pockets and ladies of “ill-repute”

 

1863: The London Underground begins running using gas-lit wooden carriages

 

1865: The Café Royal opens and quickly becomes a favourite hang-out for creatives of the day

 

1875: Liberty London opens - with just three dedicated members of staff

 

1881: Hamleys – the world’s oldest toyshop – opens on Regent Street

 

1890: The Langham is immortalised in writing at as the setting for several Sherlock Holmes stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the book’s author, was a frequent hotel guest

 

1891: Oscar Wilde is seen frequenting “The Café” – other patrons include H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, W B Yeats, Walter Sickert and James McNeill Whistler. Hotel Café Royal has since named The Oscar Wilde Lounge after the illustrious writer

 

1890s: The last remaining stables on Swallow Street are replaced by the New Gallery. Today, this is home to Burberry

 

1890s – 1920s: The rebuilding of Regent Street takes place, with progress delayed by World War One. The only original Nash building remaining is All Soul's Church

 

1900:  Oxford Circus tube station opens

 

1901: King Edward VII ascends to the throne

 

1908: Olympic Games held in London for the first time

 

1910: King George V ascends to the throne

 

1927: Regent Street is opened with King George V’s Royal Procession

 

1928: Piccadilly Circus tube station opens

 

1932: BBC Broadcasting House opened

 

1936: King Edward VIII ascends to the throne and abdicates in December that same year. King George VI ascends to the throne

 

1939-40s: Regent Street is hit during ‘The Blitz’ war-time bombing. Hamleys was bombed five times during this period

 

1948: The first post war Olympic Games take place in London

 

1952: Queen Elizabeth II ascends to the throne

 

1953: Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation parade includes a celebratory drive through Regent Street

 

1954: The first Regent Street Christmas Lights switch on takes place – marking the first ever Christmas Lights display in central London

1969: Queen Elizabeth takes to the wheel of tube train to Oxford Circus to celebrate the opening of the new Victoria Line

 

1972: London-born David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars cover is shot outside No. 23, Heddon Street. There is a plaque today commemorating the musician’s most famous alter-ego

 

1984: Smoking on London Underground trains is banned

 

2000s: Major redevelopment takes place

 

2001: In the cult favourite film Bridget Jones’ Diary, Bridget Jones is filmed dining at Momo on Heddon Street with her friends

 

2012: Regent Street flies the flags of 206 nations as the Olympic Games take place across London once again

 

2014: Lower Regent Street renamed as Regent Street St James

 

2017: The secret rooftop Regent Street allotment is created to encourage more wildlife into the West End

 

2019: Regent Street celebrates 200 years

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