Monday, August 02, 2004

Bloomsbury London

Bloomsbury is named after 'Blemondisberi' or the manor of William Blemond, who acquired the land in the early-13th century. The area remained rural until 1661, when the 4th Earl of Southampton built Southampton (now Bloomsbury) Square around his house. More grand squares followed including Bedford Square, laid out in 1775 - 80 and the vast Russell Square, added in 1800. By the mid-19th century the district had become mostly residential but it was never a very fashionable area. This explains why large institutions, such as the British Museum and the University of London, were able to acquire large chunks of the district. Many of the Georgian buildings in Bloomsbury's splendid squares have also been taken over by the University, including the 'Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology' and the 'Percival David Foundation for Chinese Art'. The University of London's monolithic Senate House was added in the 1930s.

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