Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London, famed as a fashionable residential area and as the home of numerous prestigious cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. It is bounded by Fitzrovia to the west, Covent Garden to the south, Regent's Park and St. Pancras to the north, and Clerkenwell to the east.
Bloomsbury is home of the British Museum, the largest museum in the United Kingdom, and numerous educational institutions, including the University College London, the University of London, the New College of the Humanities, the University of Law, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and many others. Bloomsbury is as an intellectual and literary hub for London, as home of world-known Bloomsbury Publishing, publishers of the Harry Potter series, and namesake of the Bloomsbury Set, a group of famous British intellectuals, including author Virginia Woolf and economist John Maynard Keynes, among others.
Bloomsbury began to be developed in the 1600's under the Earls of Southampton, but it was primarily in the 19th century, under the Duke of Bedford, which the district was planned and built as an affluent Regency era residential area by famed developer James Burton. The district is known for its numerous garden squares, including Bloomsbury Square, Russell Square, and Tavistock Square, among others.
|Population||10,892 (2011 Census. Ward)|
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|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||WC1, NW1|
The earliest record of what would become Bloomsbury is in the 1086 Domesday Book, which states that the area had vineyards and "wood for 100 pigs". But it is not until 1201 that the name Bloomsbury is first noted, when William de Blemond, a Norman landowner, acquired the land. The name Bloomsbury is a development from Blemondisberi – the bury, or manor, of Blemond. An 1878 publication, Old and New London: Volume 4, mentions the idea that the area was named after a village called "Lomesbury" which formerly stood where Bloomsbury Square is now, though this etymology is now discredited.
In the early 1660s, the Earl of Southampton constructed what eventually became Bloomsbury Square. The Yorkshire Grey public house on the corner of Gray's Inn Road and Theobald's Road dates from 1676. The area was laid out mainly in the 18th century, largely by landowners such as Wriothesley Russell, 3rd Duke of Bedford, who built Bloomsbury Market, which opened in 1730. The major development of the squares that we see today started in about 1800 when Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford removed Bedford House and developed the land to the north with Russell Square as its centrepiece.
Historically, Bloomsbury is associated with the arts, education, and medicine. The area gives its name to the Bloomsbury Group of artists, the most famous of whom was Virginia Woolf, who met in private homes in the area in the early 1900s, and to the lesser known Bloomsbury Gang of Whigs formed in 1765 by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford. The publisher Faber & Faber used to be located in Queen Square, though at the time T. S. Eliot was editor the offices were in Tavistock Square. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in John Millais's parents' house on Gower Street in 1848.
The Bloomsbury Festival was launched in 2006 when local resident Roma Backhouse was commissioned to mark the re-opening of the Brunswick Centre, a residential and shopping area. The free festival is a celebration of the local area, partnering with galleries, libraries and museums, and achieved charitable status at the end of 2012. As of 2013, the Duchess of Bedford is a festival patron and Cathy Mager is the Festival Director.
Bloomsbury is home to Senate House and the main library of the University of London, Birkbeck College, Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Royal Veterinary College and University College London (with the Slade School of Fine Art), a branch of the University of Law, London Contemporary Dance School, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Goodenough College. Other colleges include the University of London's School of Advanced Study, the Architectural Association School of Architecture in Bedford Square, and the London campuses of several American colleges including Arcadia University, the University of California, University of Delaware, Florida State University, Syracuse University, New York University, and the Hult International Business School.
Also different kinds of tutoring institutions like Bloomsbury International for English Language, Bloomsbury Law Tutors for law education, Skygate Tutors and Topmark Tutors Centre contributing to grow the private tutoring sector in Bloomsbury.
The British Museum, which first opened to the public in 1759 in Montagu House, is at the heart of Bloomsbury. At the centre of the museum the space around the former British Library Reading Room, which was filled with the concrete storage bunkers of the British Library, is today the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, an indoor square with a glass roof designed by British architect Norman Foster. It houses displays, a cinema, a shop, a cafe and a restaurant. Since 1998, the British Library has been located in a purpose-built building just outside the northern edge of Bloomsbury, in Euston Road.
Also in Bloomsbury is the Foundling Museum, close to Brunswick Square, which tells the story of the Foundling Hospital opened by Thomas Coram for unwanted children in Georgian London. The hospital, now demolished except for the Georgian colonnade, is today a playground and outdoor sports field for children, called Coram's Fields. It is also home to a small number of sheep. The nearby Lamb's Conduit Street is a pleasant thoroughfare with shops, cafes and restaurants.
Bloomsbury contains several notable churches:
Bloomsbury has no official boundaries, but can be roughly defined as the square of territory bounded by Tottenham Court Road to the west, Euston Road to the north, Gray's Inn Road to the east, and either High Holborn or the thoroughfare formed by New Oxford Street, Bloomsbury Way and Theobalds Road to the south. Bloomsbury merges gradually with Holborn in the south, with St Pancras and King's Cross in the north-east and with Clerkenwell in the south-east.
The area is bisected north to south by the main road Southampton Row/Woburn Place, which has several large tourist hotels and links Tavistock Square and Russell Square – the central points of Bloomsbury. The road runs from Euston and Somers Town in the north to Holborn in the south.
East of Southampton Row/Woburn Place are the Grade II listed Brunswick Centre, a residential and shopping centre, and Coram's Fields children's recreation area. The area to the north of Coram's Fields consists mainly of blocks of flats, built as both private and social housing, which is often considered part of St Pancras or King's Cross rather than north-eastern Bloomsbury. The area to the south is generally less residential, containing several hospitals, including Great Ormond Street, and gradually becomes more commercial in character as it approaches Holborn at Theobald's Road.
The area west of Southampton Row/Woburn Place is notable for its concentration of academic establishments, museums, and formal squares. Here are the British Museum and the central departments and colleges of the University of London, including Birkbeck College, University College London, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the University of London's School of Advanced Study. The main north-south road in west Bloomsbury is Gower Street which is a one-way street running south from Euston Road towards Shaftesbury Avenue in Covent Garden, becoming Bloomsbury Street when it passes to the west of the British Museum.
For street name etymologies see Street names of Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury contains some of London's finest parks and buildings, and is particularly known for its formal squares. These include:
The area lay within the parishes of St Giles in the Fields and St George's, Bloomsbury, which were absorbed into the St Giles District as part of the Metropolis Management Act 1855. It is now controlled by the London Borough of Camden.
In February 2010, businesses were balloted on an expansion of the InHolborn Business Improvement District (BID) to include the southern part of Bloomsbury. Only businesses with a rateable value in excess of £60,000 could vote as only these would pay the BID levy. This expansion of the BID into Bloomsbury was supported by Camden Council. The proposal was passed and part of Bloomsbury was brought within the InHolborn BID.
Controversy was raised during this BID renewal when InHolborn proposed collecting Bloomsbury, St Giles and Holborn under the name of "Midtown", since it was seen as "too American". Businesses were informed about the BID proposals, but there was little consultation with residents or voluntary organisations. InHolborn produced a comprehensive business plan aimed at large businesses. Bloomsbury is now part of InMidtown BID with its 2010 to 2015 business plan and a stated aim to make the area "a quality environment In which to work and live, a vibrant area to visit, and a profitable place in which to do business".
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (formerly the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital) are both located on Great Ormond Street, off Queen Square, which itself is home to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (formerly the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases). Bloomsbury is also the location of University College Hospital, which re-opened in 2005 in new buildings on Euston Road, built under the government's private finance initiative (PFI). The Eastman Dental Hospital is located on Gray's Inn Road close to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital administered by the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.
The area surrounding Bloomsbury has several London Underground stations, although only three of these (Russell Square, King's Cross St. Pancras and Euston Square) have entrances in Bloomsbury itself. The other stations, located on the fringes of Bloomsbury, are Euston, Goodge Street, Warren Street, Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, and Chancery Lane.
Bloomsbury is also the site of the disused British Museum Underground station.
It is well served by buses, with over 12 different routes running south down Gower Street and both north and south through Russell Square. Route 7 goes along Great Russell Street, past the British Museum, and on to Russell Square.
Birkbeck, University of London (formally Birkbeck College), is a public research university located in Bloomsbury London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Established in 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institute by its founder, Sir George Birkbeck, and its supporters, Jeremy Bentham, J. C. Hobhouse and Henry Brougham, Birkbeck has been one of the few institutions to specialise in evening higher education.
Birkbeck's main building is based in the Bloomsbury zone of Camden, in Central London, alongside a number of institutions in the same borough. In partnership with University of East London, Birkbeck has an additional large campus in Stratford, next to the Theatre Royal.
Birkbeck offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all lectures are given in the evening. Birkbeck's academic activities are organised into five constituent faculties which are subdivided into nineteen departments. It also offers many continuing education courses leading to certificates and diplomas, foundation degrees, and short courses. Research at Birkbeck in 11 subject areas is rated as ‘internationally excellent’ and ‘world leading’ while over 90 percent of Birkbeck academics are research-active. Birkbeck, being part of the University of London, shares the University's academic standards and awards University of London degrees. In common with the other University of London colleges, Birkbeck has also secured its own independent degree awarding powers, which were confirmed by the Privy Council in July 2012. The quality of degrees awarded by Birkbeck was confirmed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency following institutional audits in 2005 and 2010.Birkbeck has been shortlisted by the Times Higher Education Awards as University of the Year. Birkbeck is a member of academic organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the European University Association. The university's Centre for Brain Function and Development was awarded The Queen's Anniversary Prize for its brain research in 2005.Birkbeck has produced many notable alumni in the fields of science, law, politics, economics, literature, media, art and drama. Alumni include four Nobel laureates, numerous political leaders, members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and a British prime minister among its former students and faculty.Bloomsbury, New Jersey
Bloomsbury is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 870, reflecting a decline of 16 (-1.8%) from the 886 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 4 (-0.4%) from the 890 counted in the 1990 Census.Bloomsbury was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 30, 1905, from portions of Bethlehem Township.The Borough of Bloomsbury was once known as "Johnson's Iron Works", owned by Robert Johnson, on the north bank of the river. The current name is derived either from the Bloom family, influential in the early history of the town, or from the iron ore processed into masses of wrought iron that are known as "blooms".Bloomsbury (horse)
Bloomsbury (1836 –1861) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from May 1839 to July 1841 he ran ten times and won four races. His most important win came on his first racecourse appearance when he won the 1839 Derby. He went on to win important races at Ascot and Liverpool before his retirement after his five-year-old season. He was later exported to stand as a stallion in Germany. Bloomsbury's controversial origins were the subject of two formal objections and a court case which led to a crisis in English racing.Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group—or Bloomsbury Set—was a group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists in the first half of the 20th century, including Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey. This loose collective of friends and relatives was closely associated with the University of Cambridge for the men and King's College London for the women, and they lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London. According to Ian Ousby, "although its members denied being a group in any formal sense, they were united by an abiding belief in the importance of the arts." Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism, and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality.Bloomsbury Publishing
Bloomsbury Publishing plc (formerly M.B.N.1 Limited and Bloomsbury Publishing Company Limited) is a British independent, worldwide publishing house of fiction and non-fiction. It is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index. Bloomsbury's head office is located in Bloomsbury, an area of the London Borough of Camden. It has a US publishing office located in New York City, an India publishing office in New Delhi, an Australia sales office in Sydney CBD and other publishing offices in the UK including at Oxford. The company's growth over the past two decades is primarily attributable to the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and, from 2008, to the development of its academic and professional publishing division. The Bloomsbury Academic & Professional division won the Bookseller Industry Award for Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year in both 2013 and 2014.Bloomsbury Theatre
The Bloomsbury Theatre is a theatre on Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden, owned by University College London.The Theatre has a seating capacity of 547 and offers a professional programme of innovative music, drama, comedy and dance all year round.
The main theatre was closed for building works in 2015. Plans are currently being developed to reopen the theatre near the end of 2018.Funded by a UGC grant and a considerable private donation, the theatre was opened in 1968 as the Collegiate Theatre, and was renamed the Bloomsbury Theatre in 1982. Between 2001 and 2008, the theatre was known as The UCL Bloomsbury, to emphasise links with UCL, who use it for student productions 12 weeks a year. The Bloomsbury Theatre recently returned to the logo designed by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe which it had used for nearly twenty years until 2001.The theatre building also provides access to the UCL Union Fitness Centre and Clubs and Societies Centre on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. The basement also holds one of the three University Shops. A UCL Union-run café is on the Ground Floor. Access to the Main UCL Wilkins Building (Octagon Building) and the UCL Refectory is possible through the theatre building.
Amongst the many other artists who have performed at the theatre are; UCL alumnus Ricky Gervais has performed two of his standup shows in the theatre, where they were also filmed for release on DVD and was the venue for Crusader Norman Housley come-back lecture series: Contesting the Crusades, which he developed into a popular history book.
In 1982, UCL alumnus Fabio Perselli directed the British English language premiere of the multi-racial production of Luigi Pirandello`s Liola for Internationalist Theatre at the Bloomsbury Theatre. The translation as well as the musical composition were done by Fabio Perselli and Victoria Lyne.From 2001, the theatre provided a residency for the New London Orchestra and hosted Robin Ince's "Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People" for several years.Church of Christ the King, Bloomsbury
The Church of Christ the King is a church belonging to the Catholic Apostolic Church, situated in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London, alongside Dr Williams's Library and near University College London. The church is currently used by Euston Church for Sunday services. The English Chapel at the east end of the Church is used by Forward in Faith for weekday services. It has been a Grade I listed building since 10 June 1954.Continuum International Publishing Group
Continuum International Publishing Group was an academic publisher of books with editorial offices in London and New York City. It was purchased by Nova Capital Management in 2005. In July 2011 it was taken over by Bloomsbury Publishing. As of September 2012, all new Continuum titles are published under the Bloomsbury name (under the imprint Bloomsbury Academic).Continuum International was created in 1999 with the merger of the Cassell academic and religious lists and the Continuum Publishing Company, founded in New York in 1980.The academic publishing programme was focused on the humanities, especially the fields of philosophy, film and music, literature, education, linguistics, theology, and biblical studies. Continuum published Paulo Freire's seminal Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Continuum acquired Athlone Press, which was founded in 1948 as the University of London publishing house and sold to the Bemrose Corporation in 1979.In 2003, Continuum acquired the London-based Hambledon & London (Sunday Times Small Publisher of the Year 2001–02), a publisher of trade history for the general reader.Gordon Square
Gordon Square is part of the Bedford Estate in Bloomsbury, London, United Kingdom (postal district WC1).Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling. The first novel in the Harry Potter series and Rowling's debut novel, it follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry makes close friends and a few enemies during his first year at the school, and with the help of his friends, Harry faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just 15 months old.
The book was first published in the United Kingdom in 1997 by Bloomsbury. In 1998, it was published in the United States by Scholastic Corporation under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It won most of the British book awards that were judged by children and other awards in the US. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999 and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into at least 73 other languages, and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name, as have all six of its sequels.
Most reviews were very favourable, commenting on Rowling's imagination, humour, simple, direct style and clever plot construction, although a few complained that the final chapters seemed rushed. The writing has been compared to that of Jane Austen, one of Rowling's favourite authors; Roald Dahl, whose works dominated children's stories before the appearance of Harry Potter; and the Ancient Greek story-teller Homer. While some commentators thought the book looked backwards to Victorian and Edwardian boarding school stories, others thought it placed the genre firmly in the modern world by featuring contemporary ethical and social issues, as well as overcoming obstacles like bullies.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, along with the rest of the Harry Potter series, has been attacked by some religious groups and banned in some countries because of accusations that the novels promote witchcraft under the guise of a heroic, moral story. Other religious commentators have written that the book exemplifies important viewpoints, including the power of self-sacrifice and the ways in which people's decisions shape their personalities. The series has been used as a source of object lessons in educational techniques, sociological analysis and marketing.I.B. Tauris
I.B. Tauris (usually typeset as I.B.Tauris) was an independent publishing house with offices in London and New York City. In May 2018 it was purchased by Bloomsbury Publishing. The I.B.Tauris brand will be kept as an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing.List of English Heritage blue plaques in the London Borough of Camden
This is a list of the 169 English Heritage blue plaques in the London Borough of Camden.Queen Square, London
Queen Square is a garden square in the Bloomsbury district of central London. Many of its buildings are associated with medicine, particularly neurology.Russell Square
Russell Square is a large garden square in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden, built predominantly by James Burton. It is near the University of London's main buildings and the British Museum. To the north is Woburn Place, and to the south-east is Southampton Row. Russell Square tube station is nearby to the north-east.It is named after the surname of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford; the freehold remains with the Bedford Estate, though the square is managed by Camden Council. The gardens are Grade II-listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.In 2005, two terrorist bombings occurred near the square. One of the bombings was on a London Underground train between King's Cross St Pancras tube station and Russell Square tube station, and another was on a bus on Tavistock Square, near Russell Square. To commemorate the victims, flowers were laid at the square. In 2016 the Russell Square stabbing took place.Tavistock Square
Tavistock Square is a public square in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden.University College London Union
UCL's Students' Union (Students' Union UCL), founded in 1893, is one of the oldest students' unions in England, although postdating the Liverpool Guild of Students which formed a student representative council in 1892. It was formed with the following objectives: "the promotion of social intercourse and of the means of recreation, physical and mental, of the students of University College, and the financial successes of students' clubs". UCL Union was the first of its kind as it was formed for both athletics clubs and social activities alike.
Since its formation, the Union has taken on responsibility for many aspects of student life. Events for example were seen as a key element hence the establishment of an Ents Committee. A student magazine known as the Gazette was formed a few years later and the Somers Town sports venue was also acquired.
Students' Union UCL is affiliated to the National Union of Students.University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a public research university in Norwich, England. Established in 1963 on a 320 acres (130 hectares) campus west of the city centre, the university has four faculties and 26 schools of study. The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £273.7 million of which £35.6 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £262.6 million.The university is ranked 13th in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times, 14th by The Complete University Guide and 18th by The Guardian.Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf (; née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and also a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.
Woolf was born into an affluent household in South Kensington, London, the seventh child in a blended family of eight. Her mother, Julia Prinsep Jackson, celebrated as a Pre-Raphaelite artist's model, had three children from her first marriage, while Woolf's father, Leslie Stephen, a notable man of letters, had one previous daughter. The Stephens produced another four children, including the modernist painter Vanessa Bell. While the boys in the family received college educations, the girls were home-schooled in English classics and Victorian literature. An important influence in Virginia Woolf's early life was the summer home the family used in St Ives, Cornwall, where she first saw the Godrevy Lighthouse, which was to become iconic in her novel To the Lighthouse (1927).
Woolf's childhood came to an abrupt end in 1895 with the death of her mother and her first mental breakdown, followed two years later by the death of her stepsister and surrogate mother, Stella Duckworth. From 1897 to 1901, she attended the Ladies' Department of King's College London, where she studied classics and history and came into contact with early reformers of women's higher education and the women's rights movement. Other important influences were her Cambridge-educated brothers and unfettered access to her father's vast library.
Encouraged by her father, Woolf began writing professionally in 1900. Her father's death in 1905 caused another mental breakdown for Woolf. Following his death, the Stephen family moved from Kensington to the more bohemian Bloomsbury, where they adopted a free-spirited lifestyle. It was in Bloomsbury where, in conjunction with the brothers' intellectual friends, the Stephens formed the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group.
Following her 1912 marriage to Leonard Woolf, the couple founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which published much of her work. The couple rented a home in Sussex and moved there permanently in 1940. Throughout her life, Woolf was troubled by bouts of mental illness. She was institutionalized several times and attempted suicide at least twice. Her illness is considered to have been bipolar disorder, for which there was no effective intervention during her lifetime. At age 59, Woolf committed suicide in 1941 by putting rocks in her coat pockets and drowning herself in a river.
During the interwar period, Woolf was an important part of London's literary and artistic society. In 1915 she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her half-brother's publishing house, Gerald Duckworth and Company. Her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928). She is also known for her essays, including A Room of One's Own (1929), in which she wrote the much-quoted dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Woolf became one of the central subjects of the 1970s movement of feminist criticism and her works have since garnered much attention and widespread commentary for "inspiring feminism." Her works have been translated into more than 50 languages. A large body of literature is dedicated to her life and work, and she has been the subject of plays, novels and films. Woolf is commemorated today by statues, societies dedicated to her work and a building at the University of London.Woburn Square
Woburn Square is the smallest of the Bloomsbury squares and owned by the University of London. Designed by Thomas Cubitt and built between 1829 and 1847, it is named after Woburn Abbey, the main country seat of the Dukes of Bedford, who developed much of Bloomsbury.
The original construction was of 41 houses, smaller than those of adjoining Gordon Square and hence with lower rents. The square was built on the boundary between the parishes of St. Pancras and Holborn and the boundary marker stones are still visible in the gardens. The two squares were built to improve land that was originally marshland.
This narrow square was longer, extending down towards Russell Square, before the southern half and the Lewis Vulliamy designed Christ Church were demolished in the 1970s to make space for new buildings for the School of Oriental and African Studies.
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