Bloomsbury is a district of Central London between Holborn and Euston. It is home to the British Museum, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, several hospitals
and University of London faculties. The area was developed by landowners such as the Earl of Southampton and the Russell family, the Dukes of Bedford. Building began in the 17th century although the Bloomsbury of today dates largely from the 19th century. This is an area noted for its squares containing small, parks some of which remain gated for the exclusive use of the residents who are provided with keys. The streets are typically lined with fashionable georgian town houses although the southern parts are more institutional and commercial.
This part of London has long been associated with the Bloomsbury Group, a loose association of influential artists, writers and intellectuals who from 1904 regularly met at the 46 Gordon Square home of the Stephen
|46 Gordon Square|
Thoby Stephen introduced many of the friends that he had made at Cambridge and they too often settled in the locality. There is a bust of Thoby's sister, Virginia Woolf in nearby Tavistock Square Gardens.
The Bloomsbury Group apart, this district has long associations with the arts and literature. Charles Dickens, J. M. Barrie, Vera Brittain and William Butler Yeats are just a few of the famous residents. Bloomsbury abounds with blue plaques.
John Everett Millais had a studio at the Gower Street home of his parents. Here in 1848, Millais, Hunt and Rosetti founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; a group of artists who advocated a return to the quality of 15th century Italian art.
Publisher Faber and Faber had its offices at Tavistock Square, the editor being poet T. S. Eliot.
There are three important churches in Bloomsbury. St George's built in 1731, the gothic Christ the King of 1853 and St. Pancras New Church of 1822. Coram's Fields on the site of a foundling hospital is home to a small flock of sheep, unusual residents for Central London. Adults may not enter the park unless accompanied by children.
Each year there is the Bloomsbury Festival in Russell Square which includes an arts and crafts fair, dance workshops and food stalls. Bloomsbury has numerous hotels, restaurants, pubs and a good selection of interesting shopping.
The Bloomsbury Group