Did you know that...
The name Piccadilly comes from the word piccadill which is a term used for a certain type of lace collar. More than 400 years ago, tailor Robert Baker started a piccadill business in the area. Baker became extremely rich as his piccadills were in high demand among the noblemen. He bought the land and constructed several buildings. His home came to be known as the Piccadilly Hall but it would take roughly 50 more years until the official name would change from Portugal Street (named after Catherine of Braganza, Portuguese wife of Charles II’s) to Piccadilly.
The Piccadilly light-up advertising boards, probably the most famous feature of the area, for the first time were noticed in 1908. Bovril, Perrier, and Coca-Cola were among the promotional pioneers who advertised their products in neon lights here.
Hatchard’s, London’s oldest bookshop, is located at 187 Piccadilly. It was established here by publisher John Hatchard in 1791.
One of the 7 Noses of Soho is mounted to a wall somewhere in Piccadilly Circus. An urban myth says that anyone who tracks down all of the Rick Buckley’s noses attached to various buildings will have infinite wealth. A wall on the east side of the Great Windmill Street is a great place to start your collection!