King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Coming to London

The Strand neighbourhood

The angle of two streets meeting photographed in 1891 with a large hoarding on the left of advertisements including Reckitt's Blue, Borwick's baking powder, Nestles milk and the Daily Telegraph; a pub on the right with a lamp advertising wines and spirits and people standing around a lamppost including a woman in an apronGilbert's passage near King's, 1891The decision to build the College in the Strand was a close run thing: one popular alternative was adjacent to London Zoo in Regent's Park, until the scheme was blocked by local residents fearful of 'inconsiderate, rude, and mischievous' youths.

The neighbourhood of King's at the time of its opening in 1831 was densely populated, disorderly and chaotic, bordering on the slums that comprised Dickens' 'rookery'.

It was home to many theatres and pubs and to criminals, prostitutes and beggars seeking charity and custom and whom it was feared would have a damaging influence upon students fresh to London.

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