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The Changing Face of Fitzrovia: 300 Years of an Urban Village :: Nick Bailey

  • Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library 32-38 Theobalds Road London, WC1X 8PA UK (map)

Fitzroy Square is at the heart of a busy and congested 21st century urban village, but it was once the Home Field of the Southampton Fitzroy Estate. How did urban development take place and why did Fitzrovia become so diverse in its mix of people, commercial production and cultural and gastronomic heritage?

Nick Bailey, local author and Emeritus Professor of Urban Regeneration at the University of Westminster, will give an illustrated talk on how Fitzrovia evolved over three centuries as London’s ‘Bohemia’, sandwiched between the great estates of the Duke of Bedford to the east and Cavendish-Harley to the west. Better known in the nineteenth century for furniture- and piano-making, its main role was as an area of cheap accommodation for successive waves of migrants from Europe. 

Nick will conclude with a discussion of Arthur Beresford Pite’s nineteenth century architectural vision of the ‘Golden City’ created through a series of commissions in Fitzrovia.