Learn more about Bloomsbury, London
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|OS grid reference:||TQ305825|
|County level:||Greater London|
|Sovereign state:||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county:||Greater London|
|Historic county:||Middlesex (1889)|
|Police force:||Metropolitan Police|
|Fire brigade:||London Fire Brigade|
|Ambulance service:||London Ambulance|
|Post office and telephone|
|UK Parliament:||Holborn and St. Pancras|
|London Assembly:||Barnet and Camden|
|London | List of places in London|
Bloomsbury is an area of central London, in the London Borough of Camden. It is a largely residential area most notable for containing several of London's most famous academic institutions, including the University of London headquarters and some of its colleges, the British Museum, and formerly the British Library.
Bloomsbury is often said to be named after a Norman landowner, William de Blemund (Blemondisben), who acquired the land in 1201, but is also said to be named after a village "Lomesbury" which formerly stood in the area. The area of modern-day Bloomsbury remained mostly rural until the early 1660s, when the then Earl of Southampton constructed what was eventually to become Bloomsbury Square. However the area was laid out mainly in the 18th century, largely by landowners like the Wriothesley Russell, 3rd Duke of Bedford who built Bloomsbury Market which opened in 1730.
Bloomsbury is roughly defined as the square bounded by Euston Road to the north, Gray's Inn Road to the east, High Holborn to the south and Tottenham Court Road to the west, although this square arguably also contains parts of Holborn and St Pancras. Nearby areas include Somers Town and King's Cross to the north, Fitzrovia to the west, Clerkenwell to the east, Covent Garden and Holborn to the south, and Soho to the southwest.
The area contains some of London's finest parks and buildings, and is particularly known for its formal squares. These include the large and orderly Russell Square, with its gardens originally designed by Humphry Repton, the smaller, circular Bedford Square (built between 1775 and 1783), Bloomsbury Square, dominated by the grand Victoria House, Queen Square, home to many hospitals, Gordon Square, Woburn Square and Torrington Square, which are home to parts of University College London. Tavistock Square, home to the British Medical Association, was the site of one of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
Historically, Bloomsbury is associated with the arts, education and medicine. It is home to the Senate House and main library of the University of London, and also University College London (with the Slade School of Fine Art), SOAS, Birkbeck College, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The British Museum, which first opened to the public in 1759 in Montagu House, is at the heart of Bloomsbury. At the centre of the museum around the former British Library Reading Room (where Karl Marx was a reader), the space formerly filled with the concrete storage bunkers of the British Library is today the Great Court, an indoor square with a glass roof designed by British architect Norman Foster. It houses displays, a cinema, a shop, a cafe and a restaurant. The British Library now has a new purpose-built home just outside the northern edge of Bloomsbury, on Euston Road.
One of London’s most famous hospitals, Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, is located just off Queen Square, which itself is home to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (formerly the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases) and the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. Bloomsbury is also the location of University College Hospital, which re-opened in 2005 in new buildings on Euston Road, built under the government’s Private Finanace Initiative (PFI). The Eastman Dental Hospital is located on Gray’s Inn Road close to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital administered by the Royal Free Hospital.
Other notable buildings include St. George's Church built by Nicholas Hawksmoor between 1716 and 1731, with its steeple based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and topped with a statue of King George I and Dickens House in Doughty Street. One of London’s most unusual museums is the Foundling Museum close to Brunswick Square; it tells the story of the Foundling Hospital opened by Thomas Coram, for unwanted children (foundlings) in Georgian London. The hospital, now demolished but for the Georgian colonnade, is now a playground and outdoor sports field for children, called Coram’s Fields; adults are only admitted with a child. It is also home to a small number of sheep, which are quite a surprise when wandering in central London. The nearby Lamb’s Conduit Street is a pleasant thoroughfare with independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
In Lincoln's Inn Fields, the largest square in London, is the Sir John Soane's Museum. Soane was, amongst other things, the architect of the Bank of England, and a free thinker and collector. His house is filled with paintings by artists such as William Hogarth (A Rake's Progress), Canaletto, Turner, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, as well as many Egyptian, classical, medieval, and Renaissance antiquities.
The area gives its name to the Bloomsbury Group (also Bloomsbury Set) of artists, the most famous of whom was Virginia Woolf, who met in private homes in the area in the early 1900s, and to the lesser known Bloomsbury Gang of Whigs formed in 1765 by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford.
Bloomsbury is served by numerous tube stations: Euston, Euston Square, Goodge Street, Warren Street, Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square and King's Cross St. Pancras. The mainline rail stations Euston, King's Cross and St. Pancras are all located on the northern edge of Bloomsbury. It is also home to the disused British Museum tube station.
 Notable residents have included:
- William Copeland Borlase M.P. (1848-1899)
- Philip (1792–1870) and Philip Charles Hardwick (1822-1892), father and son architects lived at 60 Russell Square for over ten years.
- John Shaw Senior (1776–1832) and John Shaw Junior (1803-1870), father and son architects lived on Gower Street.
- George Dance (1741–1825), architect lived at 91 Gower Street.
- Thomas Henry-Wyatt (1807–1880), architect lived at 77 Great Russell Street.
- Charles Dickens (1812–1870), novelist lived at 14 Great Russell Street, Tavistock Square and 48 Doughty Street.
- William Butler Yeats (1865–1939), poet, dramatist and prose writer lived at Woburn Walk.
- Virginia and Vanessa Stephen, who would later become author, essayist, and diarist Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) and painter Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) resided at 46 Gordon Square.
- Bob Marley lived in 34 Ridgmount Gardens for 6 months in 1972.
 See also
 External links
The main community reference group in the area is:
- the Bloomsbury Association http://www.bloomsburyassociation.org.uk
who are members of:
- Bloomsbury Improvement Group http://www.casweb.org/big