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Soho Square in 1816. At that time farm animals were often driven into London.
Monmouth House in Soho Square was built for the Duke of Monmouth. It was later the French ambassador's residence, but it was demolished in 1773.

Soho Square is a square in Soho, London, England, with a park and garden area at its centre that dates back to 1681. It was originally called King Square after Charles II, whose statue stands in the square. At the centre of the garden, there is a distinctive half-timbered gardener's hut. During the summer, it hosts open-air free concerts. Soho Square is often synonymous with the Football Association, as they were until September 2009 located here.

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The Soho Square neighborhood is universally regarded as the most prestigious (and expensive) address of London media organisations.[citation needed] Soho Square itself is home to several leading media and sport organisations, including the British Board of Film Classification, 20th Century Fox, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, Fin London, International Creative Management, Momentum Pictures, Paul McCartney's MPL Communications, Relevant Picture Company, Tiger Aspect Productions, The Motley Fool, Allsop, Evolutions Television, See Tickets and Consolidated Developments/Realty. The area also features many businesses (including Expedia.com), clubs, and bars, as well as two churches. St. Patrick's Church is a very large Roman Catholic Parish church that features extensive catacombs (that spread deep under the Square and further afield). Also, directly underneath the Square's garden was a large sub-station, This is now housed in the basement of 33 Soho Square where direct access is available at all times to service engineers in the event of power failure; the entrance is located in Dean Street.

An increasing number of tenants are now leaving Soho Square due to the development of Crossrail. The buildings on the east side of the square are to be surrounded by road obstructions, demolition, building works and construction works until 2017. This has resulted in a number of buildings that were not the result of a Compulsory Purchase Order being left empty.

Most expensive place to work

A view of Soho Square in 1992

London’s West End is the world’s most expensive office market at THB 5,525 per square meter per month (US$185 square foot per annum).[citation needed] The most expensive area still remains Soho Square[citation needed] due to its location, high profile tenants, ambience, transport links and the fact that many tenants own the freehold of their respective buildings.

History

Built in the late 1670s, Soho Square was in its early years one of the most fashionable places to live in London. It was originally called King's Square, for King Charles II. A statue of Charles II was carved by Danish sculptor Caius Gabriel Cibber in 1681 and placed at the center of the Square. By the early 19th century, the statue was described as being 'in a most wretched mutilated state; and the inscriptions on the base of the pedestal quite illegible'.[1] In 1875, it was removed during alterations in the square by T. Blackwell, of Crosse and Blackwell, the venerable jam firm, who gave it for safekeeping to his friend, artist Frederick Goodall, with the intention that it might be restored.[1] Goodall placed the statue on an island in his lake at Grim's Dyke, where it remained when dramatist W. S. Gilbert purchased the property in 1890, and there it stayed after Gilbert's death in 1911. In her will, Lady Gilbert directed that the statue be returned, and it was restored to Soho Square in 1938.[2]

Wilfrid Voynich had his antiquarian bookshop at 1 Soho Square from 1902.

Two of the original houses, nos. 10 and 15, still stand. At nos. 8 and 9 is the French Protestant Church, built in 1891-3.

Immortalisation in song

Empty bench in Soho Square.jpgEmpty bench close-up.jpg
Kirsty MacColl memorial bench in Soho Square; A close-up of the engraved lyrics

The Soho Square garden contains a bench that commemorates the late singer Kirsty MacColl, who wrote the song "Soho Square" for her album Titanic Days. After her death in 2000, fans bought a memorial bench in her honour, inscribing the lyrics: "One day I'll be waiting there / No empty bench in Soho Square".[1]

Nearest tube station

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Soho Square Area: Portland Estate: Soho Square Garden" in Survey of London volumes 33 and 34 (1966) St Anne Soho, pp. 51-53. Date accessed: 12 January 2008.
  2. ^ Photo of the statue

In popular culture

Nearby places

See also

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°7′56″W / 51.51528°N 0.13222°W / 51.51528; -0.13222

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