- Haymarket (London)
Haymarket is a street in the St. James's district of the
City of Westminster, a LondonBorough. It runs from Piccadilly Circusat the north to Pall Mall at the south. It houses a number of restaurants, the Theatre Royal and Her Majesty's Theatre, a cinema complex, and New Zealand House.
The broad street connecting Pall Mall with
Piccadillyis recorded in the Elizabethan eraand, as the name suggest was predominantly used for the sale of farm produce. At that time, it was a rural spot, with the village of Charing, the closest settlement. This practise continued to the reign of William III, by this time, carts carrying hay and straw were allowed to stand in the street and sell free of tolls. In 1692, when the street was paved, a tax was levied on the loads. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=45193 'The Haymarket', Old and New London: Volume 4 (1878), pp. 216-26] accessed: 31 March 2007] . In 1830 the market was moved to Cumberland Marketnear Regent's Park. [Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert (eds.). The London Encyclopaedia. London. 1983. p.381.]
In earlier centuries, Haymarket was also one of the most prominent centres of
prostitutionin London, but this is no longer the case. "Old and New London" informs us, in 1878:
"Situated in the centre of the pleasure-going Westend population, the Haymarket is a great place for hotels, supper-houses, and foreign cafés; and it need hardly be added here, that so many of its taverns became the resort of the loosest characters, after the closing of the theatres, who turned night into day, and who were so constantly appearing before the sitting magistrates in consequence of drunken riots and street rows, that the Legislature interfered, and an Act of Parliament was passed, compelling the closing of such houses of refreshment at twelve o'clock".
It is part of London's theatre district, the West End, and has been a theatrical location at least since the 17th century. The Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, designed by
John Vanbrugh, opened in 1705. It was intended for drama, but the acoustics turned out to be more suitable for opera, and from 1710 to 1745, most operas and some oratorios of George Frederick Handelwere premièred at this theatre, which was renamed the King's Theatre at the death of Queen Anne in 1714. After Vanbrugh's building had been destroyed by fire in 1790, another King's Theatre on the same site followed. After another fire, His Majesty's Theatre was opened there in 1897, This building, the fourth on the same site, is still in use as Her Majesty's Theatrefor major musical productions. Today's Theatre Royal at another site in the Haymarket is a building originally by John Nash (1820), replacing a previous theatre of the 1720s.
Haymarket runs parallel to Lower Regent Street and together the two roads form a one-way system, Lower Regent Street taking northbound traffic and Haymarket taking southbound traffic. The two roads are classified as part of the
A4 roadwhich runs from central Londonto Avonmouthnear Bristol.
2007 bomb plot
29 June 2007, Metropolitan Police"made safe" a car bombthat had been parked in Haymarket. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6252276.stm]
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