A Quick History of the West End

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Natural History Museum

When you walk around London today you’re greeted by a stunning mix of modern-age attractions and historical buildings. The regal Houses of Parliament stand alongside the technological marvel of the London Eye, and age-old institutions like the London Library are only a stone’s throw away from Soho’s vibrant nightlife scene.

history of the West End

One area of London near the Montcalm Hotel Marble Arch with a particularly interesting history is the West End. Now known for being the go-to area of London for attractions, shopping and shows, the West End has grown considerably since its origins as a favoured area of the wealthy. Read on to discover more about this fascinating part of the city.

A New Development

In the mid-1600s, London’s population began to increase and the largely undeveloped land around the palaces of St James, Westminster and Whitehall made for the spot that would become the centre of one of the world’s greatest capitals four centuries on. This was partly due to the Great Fire of London destroying the old city in 1666, making way for a new hub.

A Place of Power

As time moved on and Britain entered the Victorian era, the West End was largely chosen by the wealthiest in the capital due to the fact that the smog which enveloped London during the Industrial Revolution would usually drift towards the East End. The richest people during this period of London’s history also tended to be the most influential, and located themselves within close proximity of the seat of British power in Westminster.

Burning of Parliament

burning-of-parliament

In 1834, London and the West End were faced with another great fire reminiscent of the Great Fire of London that had destroyed the capital 168 years prior. The Burning of Parliament occurred when the Clerk of Works thought it would be a bright idea to burn two cart-loads of wooden tally sticks in the underfloor stoves in the basement of The House of Lords. What could possibly go wrong?

Inevitably, the stoves weren’t put out well enough after the burning had been completed, and by 6pm on 16 October a massive fire had engulfed both Houses of Parliament. Only the Jewel Tower, the Undercroft Chapel, the Cloisters and Chapter House of St Stephen’s and Westminster Hall survived the massive blaze.

An Improvement for The Poor

Although the living conditions of London’s poorest were still largely terrible during this time, the efforts of campaigners such as Charles Dickens bore success in the form of compulsory education for children aged 5 to 12 in the year 1870.

The Blitz

While it was a favoured area of the rich, the West End was also the site of heavy bombing during World War 2 and suffered huge damages. Many of the opulent living spaces and entertainment venues that had come to characterise the West End at this point were destroyed.

Return of the West End

The rebuilding process since The Blitz has seen the West End surpass its former glory in the Victorian era to become a true global destination of tourism and grandeur. You’ll find some of the biggest and best attractions here, along with high-end restaurants, massive shopping arenas like Oxford Street and an endless supply of things to do, not to mention some truly opulent places to stay like our boutique hotels London.

FAQs

Why is the West End called the West End?

West End is famous for its historical places of attractions. Therefore the palaces became the prospect to develop and officially it was called west end of London. Other than that, West End is the site for all entertainment and shopping experiences

Where is the West End in London?

London’s West end includes Leicester Square and Covent garden. It also includes Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Bond Street. The London west end area has the remarkable history of the city of London which is within the city of Westminster

What areas are in West London?

South West sub region of London includes the Croydon, Kingston upon Thames river, Lambeth and Merton. It also includes Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth

West sub region of London includes Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fuham, Harrow. It also includes Hillington, Hounslow, Kensington and chelsea