Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road is a major road in central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, running from St Giles Circus (the junction of Oxford Street
Oxford Street
Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, as well as its most dense, and currently has approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate,...

 and Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road is a street in central London running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus and then becomes Tottenham Court Road...

) north to Euston Road
Euston Road
Euston Road is an important thoroughfare in central London, England, and forms part of the A501. It is part of the New Road from Paddington to Islington, and was opened as part of the New Road in 1756...

, near the border of the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 and the London Borough of Camden
London Borough of Camden
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough were already developed and had a total population of 96,795. This continued to rise swiftly throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 270,197 in the middle of the century...

, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. It has for many years been a one-way street: all three lanes are northbound only, the equivalent southbound traffic using the parallel Gower Street
Gower Street (London)
Gower Street is a street in Bloomsbury, Central London, England, running between Euston Road to the north and Montague Place to the south.North Gower Street is a separate street running north of the Euston Road...

. It is generally regarded as marking the western boundary of Bloomsbury
-Places:* Bloomsbury is an area in central London.* Bloomsbury , related local government unit* Bloomsbury, New Jersey, New Jersey, USA* Bloomsbury , listed on the NRHP in Maryland...


The south end of the road is close to the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 and to Centre Point
Centre Point
Centre Point is a substantial concrete and glass office building in central London, England, occupying 101-103 New Oxford Street, WC1, close to St Giles Circus and almost directly above Tottenham Court Road tube station. The site was once occupied by a gallows...

, the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

's tallest building. There are a number of buildings belonging to University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 along the road, and University College Hospital
University College Hospital
University College Hospital is a teaching hospital located in London, United Kingdom. It is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is closely associated with University College London ....

 is at the north end of the road at the intersection with Euston Road.

The road is served by three stations on the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

—from south to north these are Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road tube station
Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground station in central London. It is an interchange between the Central line and the branch of the Northern line.On the Central line it is between and , and on the Northern line it is between and...

, Goodge Street
Goodge Street tube station
Goodge Street is a London Underground station on Tottenham Court Road. It is on the Northern Line between Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street, and is in Travelcard Zone 1.-History:...

 and Warren Street
Warren Street tube station
Warren Street tube station is a London Underground station, located at the intersection of Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road. It is on the branch of the Northern Line, between and , and the Victoria Line between and Euston. It is in Travelcard Zone 1 and is the nearest tube station to...

—and by numerous bus routes.


The area across which the road is built is described in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 as belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

. In the time of Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 (1216–1272), a manor house slightly north-west of what is now the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street belonged to one William de Tottenhall. In about the 15th century, the area was known variously as Totten, Totham, or Totting Hall. After changing hands several times, the manor was leased for 99 years to Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, when it came popularly to be called Tottenham Court. In the next century, it appears to have become the property of the Fitzroys
Duke of Grafton
Duke of Grafton is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1675 by Charles II of England for his 2nd illegitimate son by the Duchess of Cleveland, Henry FitzRoy...

, who built Fitzroy Square
Fitzroy Square
Fitzroy Square is one of the Georgian squares in London and is the only one found in the central London area known as in Fitzrovia.The square, nearby Fitzroy Street and the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street have the family name of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, into whose ownership the land...

 on a part of the manor estate towards the end of the 18th century.

Commercial district

Tottenham Court Road is a significant shopping street
High Street
High Street, or the High Street, is a metonym for the generic name of the primary business street of towns or cities, especially in the United Kingdom. It is usually a focal point for shops and retailers in city centres, and is most often used in reference to retailing...

, best known for its high concentration of consumer electronics
Consumer electronics
Consumer electronics are electronic equipment intended for everyday use, most often in entertainment, communications and office productivity. Radio broadcasting in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the broadcast receiver...

 shops, which range from shops specialising in cables and computer components to those dealing in package computers and audio-video systems. Further north there are several furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

 shops including Habitat
Habitat (retailer)
Habitat Retail Ltd. is a retailer of household furnishings in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and has franchised outlets in other countries. Founded in 1964 by Terence Conran, it was sold by the IKANO Group, owned by the Kamprad family, in December 2009 to Hilco, a restructuring...

 and Heals. The road gained notoriety in 2001 when the first branch in central London of the Spearmint Rhino
Spearmint Rhino
Spearmint Rhino is a chain of strip clubs that operates venues throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Central Europe, Russia and Australia. The club opened in 1989 as a supplement to the existing Peppermint Elephant Restaurant. This first Spearmint Rhino was located in Upland,...

 chain of lap-dancing clubs opened. This club is situated in the 1930s building Paramount Court.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Tottenham Court Road and a few of the adjoining streets became a mecca for World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 surplus radio and electronics equipment. Shops such as Proops Brothers and "Z & I Aero Services" lined both sides of the road in those days, and thousands of British young men travelled there to buy amplifiers, radios and electronic components. There were many stores selling all kinds of electro-mechanical and radio parts. By the 1960s, they were also selling Japanese transistor radios, audio mixers, and other electronic gadgets. Many British-made valve
Vacuum tube
In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

 stereos were offered too.

Whitfield Gardens

Opposite Habitat and Heals is an open public space called Whitfield Gardens. On the side of a house is a painting, the "Fitzrovia Mural" over 60 feet high, showing many people at work and at leisure. It was painted in 1980 in a style resembling that of Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

. The mural has suffered from neglect and has been daubed with graffiti. There is a proposal to restore the mural after the current works to renovate the gardens are completed. In 2005, 12 so-called "Our Glass" panels were erected in the gardens. Each is about 5 feet high, with two sides showing a collage
A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

 of people associated with the area, from satirical cartoonist Hogarth
-People:* Burne Hogarth, American cartoonist, illustrator, educator and author* David George Hogarth, English archaeologist* Donald Hogarth, Canadian politician and mining financier* Paul Hogarth, English painter and illustrator...

 to the popular singer Boy George
Boy George
Boy George is a British singer-songwriter who was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the early 1980s. He helped give androgyny an international stage with the success of Culture Club during the 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by...

. There is a 13th panel showing an index to the people. Each panel has a title, for example "1. Whitefield Gardens and the Reverend Whitefield", "2. The Soul Catchers", "3. Hub of the Anti-Slavery campaign", and so on, up to "12. Our Glasses Public Art Club Land".

Fairyland, 92 Tottenham Court Road

During the period leading up to and during the First World War, 92 Tottenham Court Road in London was the location of a shooting range called Fairyland.

In 1909, it was reported in a police investigation that the range was being used by two Suffragettes in a possible conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.

It was the place where, in 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra
Madan Lal Dhingra
Madan Lal Dhingra was an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter. While studying in England, he assassinated Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, a British official, hailed as one of the first acts of revolution in the Indian independence movement in the 20th century.-Early life:Madan Lal Dhingra was born...

  practised shooting prior to his assassination of Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie.

Other residents of India House
India House
India House was an informal Indian nationalist organisation based in London between 1905 and 1910. With the patronage of Shyamji Krishna Varma, its home in a student residence in Highgate, North London was launched to promote nationalist views among Indian students in Britain...

 and members of Abhinav Bharat
Abhinav Bharat
Abhinav Bharat can refer to two organizations one of which is an Hindu nationalist organisation based mainly in Maharashtra in India. The Hindu nationalist organization gained prominence when its members were arrested for allegedly perpetrating the Malegoan bombing...

 practiced shooting at the range and rehearsed assassinations they planned to carry out.

It was also the place where, with regard to in R v Lesbini (1914), Donald Lesbini shot Alice Eliza Storey. R v Lesbini was a case that established in British, Canadian and Australian law that, with regard to voluntary manslaughter
Voluntary Manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being in which the offender had no prior intent to kill and acted during "the heat of passion," under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed. In the Uniform Crime Reports prepared by the...

, a reasonable man always has reasonable powers of self control and is never intoxicated.

The shooting range was owned and run by Henry Stanton Morley (1875-1916).


Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

 played many early concerts at the UFO Club
UFO Club
The UFO Club was a famous but shortlived UK underground club in London during the 1960s, venue of performances by many of the top bands of the day.-History:...

 at 31 Tottenham Court Road where they were the house band. The road is referred to in the lyrics of Underworld
Underworld (band)
Underworld are a British electronic group, and principal name under which duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have recorded together since 1980.- Early years: 1979–1986 :...

's "Born Slippy .NUXX
Born Slippy .NUXX
"Born Slippy .NUXX" is a 1996 single by the band Underworld.It was preceded in January 1995 by the single "Born Slippy", which featured the ".NUXX" mix as a B-side. The band has stated that the pounding, relentless rhythm and shouted lyrics of the track were originally meant "as a joke", and the...

" and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of...

's song "Grizabella the Glamour Cat", from his musical Cats
Cats (musical)
Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot...

. The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

 reference the road in their song "Denmark Street".

The Pogues
The Pogues
The Pogues are a Celtic punk band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before...

 mention Tottenham Court Road in the song "Transmetropolitan
Transmetropolitan is a cyberpunk comic book series written by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertson and published by DC Comics. The series was originally part of the short-lived DC Comics imprint Helix, but upon the end of the book's first year the series was moved to the Vertigo imprint as DC...

", written by Shane MacGowan
Shane MacGowan
Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan is an Irish musician and singer, best known as the original singer and songwriter of The Pogues.-History:...

, from their first album, released in 1984, entitled Red Roses For Me
Red Roses for Me
Red Roses for Me was the first full length album by the London-based band The Pogues and was released in 1984. It is filled with traditional Irish music performed with punk influences. Traditional songs and ballads mixed with Shane MacGowan's "gutter hymns" about drinking, fighting and sex was...

. The lyrical reference is here:

From a 5 pound bet in William Hills/
To a Soho sex-shop dream/
From a fried egg in Valtaro's/
To a Tottenham Court Road ice cream/
We'll spew and lurch, get nicked and fixed/
On the way we'll kill and maim/
When you haven't got a penny, boys/
It's all the bloody same!

Tottenham Court Road's Tube Station is replicated as part of the set for the Queen musical We Will Rock You, which plays at the Dominion Theatre, directly above the tube station on Tottenham Court Road.


The road is featured briefly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling; The Woman in White
The Woman in White
The Woman in White can refer to:*The Woman in White , an 1859 novel written by Wilkie Collins*The Woman in White , a 2004 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the novel...

by Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins
William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. He was very popular during the Victorian era and wrote 30 novels, more than 60 short stories, 14 plays, and over 100 non-fiction pieces...

; Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

; Pygmalion
Pygmalion (play)
Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts is a play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of...

by George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

 and its musical adaptation, My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe...

; Saturday
Saturday (novel)
Saturday is a novel by Ian McEwan set in Fitzrovia, London, on Saturday, 15 February 2003, during a large demonstration against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The protagonist, Henry Perowne, a 48-year-old neurosurgeon, has planned a series of chores and pleasures culminating in a family dinner in the...

and Atonement
Atonement (novel)
Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan.On a fateful day, a young girl makes a terrible mistake that has life-changing effects for many people...

by Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan
Ian Russell McEwan CBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist and screenwriter, and one of Britain's most highly regarded writers. In 2008, The Times named him among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945"....

; several Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger...

; the Saki
Hector Hugh Munro , better known by the pen name Saki, and also frequently as H. H. Munro, was a British writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirised Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy...

 story "Reginald on Christmas Presents"; several stories by John Collier
John Collier (writer)
John Henry Noyes Collier was a British-born author and screenplay writer best known for his short stories, many of which appeared in The New Yorker from the 1930s to the 1950s. They were collected in a 1951 volume, Fancies and Goodnights, which won the International Fantasy Award and remains in...

; A Room with a View
A Room with a View
A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. Forster, about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century...

by E.M. Forster; The London Eye Mystery
The London Eye Mystery
The London Eye Mystery is a children's mystery novel by English author Siobhan Dowd. First published in 2007, it tells the story of how Ted, a boy with Asperger syndrome solves the mystery of how his cousin Salim seemingly vanishes from inside a sealed capsule on the London Eye...

by Siobhan Dowd
Siobhan Dowd
Siobhan Dowd was a British writer and activist.-Biography:Siobhan Dowd was born in London to Irish parents...

; The Wish House by Celia Rees
Celia Rees
Celia Rees is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.She was born in 1949in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics...

 and The Lonely Londoners
The Lonely Londoners
The Lonely Londoners is a 1956 novel by British Caribbean author Samuel Selvon. Its publication marked the first literary work focusing on poor, working class blacks in the beat writer tradition following the enactment of the British Nationality Act 1948....

by Sam Selvon.


It is mentioned briefly as the location where 'I' was allegedly arrested for 'toilet trading' in the 1986 Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I , a film with comic and tragic elements, set in London during the 1960s which drew on his experiences as 'a chronic alcoholic and resting...

 cult-classic movie Withnail and I
Withnail and I
Withnail and I is a British black comedy made in 1986 by HandMade Films. It was written and directed by Bruce Robinson and is based on his life in London in the late 1960s. The main plot follows two unemployed young actors, Withnail and “I” who live in a squalid flat in Camden in 1969 while...

. It is also featured briefly in the 2008 crime film The Bank Job
The Bank Job
The Bank Job is a 2008 British crime film written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Jason Statham, based on the 1971 Baker Street robbery in central London, from which the money and valuables stolen were never recovered...

. Also appears in Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry, Ron, and Hermione Apparate to Tottenham Court Road because of the unwelcome and sudden appearance of Death Eaters. Hermione said it was the first place she could think of and Death Eaters were unlikely to find them there.
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