If you are a book lover, you can’t miss Cecil Court, London‘s hidden gem for the bibliophiles among you. Cecil Court is a charming little London street in the heart of the city, connecting Charing Cross Road to St. Martin’s Lane, just a stone’s throw away from Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden in London’s fabulous West End.
Nicknamed ‘Booksellers’ Row’, the street is famous for its collection of antique bookshops, curio shops, and unique boutiques. Whether you’re an avid reader, a collector, or just love to explore new places, this is the perfect destination for you. It also has a second nickname, but you’ll need to keep reading to find out what that is.
A Basic History of Cecil Court
The court’s history is not too long, thankfully, because it’s relatively dull. It dates back to 1609 when the land was bought by Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury, who also served as Secretary of State under Queen Elizabeth I and King James I and, according to Wikipedia, was the principal discoverer of the Gunpowder Plot!
With that out of the way, here are some interesting stories associated with the court’s history.
It’s suggested Cecil Court is the inspiration behind the famous Diagon Alley from Harry Potter. Do you think there could be some truth in that? Maybe we’ll never know!
This street was also the temporary home of Mozart, that super famous composer, when he was just eight years old, during a tour of Europe in 1764. The Mozart family lived with barber John Couzin for almost four months. You can even see one of those blue plaques on the wall telling you so.
The court became known as Flicker Alley, too! That’s its second nickname, by the way. Or first, whichever way you look at it. That’s because, between 1897 and 1915, the alley became the heart of the British Film Industry. The offices of British film pioneers Cecil Hepworth and James Williamson were along Flicker Alley, along with international film companies such as Vitagraph, Nordisk and Gaumont. And there’s also a plaque for that!
What to Expect on Cecil Court
Cecil Court is a picturesque street that retains its 19th-century charm, and beyond the books, the beauty of the street is the shop fronts, unchanged from the style of the Victorian era, with delicately designed signwriting.
There are around twenty independent bookshops on the court, each with its own speciality. Whether you’re looking for rare first editions, vintage comics, or contemporary bestsellers, you’ll find it along this Victorian street. There’s a directory on the website below, should you wish to look for a particular shop.
You can also pick up some other cool stuff, like old carriage prints from the London Underground. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to own a piece of London history like that? There are also other antique dealers selling prints, maps, and photographs. The shops are pretty expensive, though, so be prepared to pay a pretty penny for that piece of history or unique book!
Cecil Court Location & Map
The court is located in the heart of London’s West End and is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest tube station is Leicester Square, just a five-minute walk away. Other nearby stations include Covent Garden and Charing Cross.
This street is a little gem in the heart of London, a haven for book lovers and collectors alike. Walking down the street is like journeying through time, with its beautiful architecture, quaint shops, and unique atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a rare book, a special gift, or want to explore a new place, This is the perfect destination. So next time you’re in London, take advantage of the opportunity to visit this magical street.
How do I get to Cecil Court?
The court is located in the heart of London’s West End and is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest tube station is Leicester Square, and other nearby stations include Covent Garden and Charing Cross.
Are there any other attractions near Cecil Court?
The court is located in the heart of London’s West End, so many other attractions are nearby, such as the National Gallery, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square.
What kind of books can I find in Cecil Court?
The court offers a wide range of books, including rare and collectable books, esoteric literature, philosophy, spirituality, and vintage magazines.
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