Harrods

Department store in/near Knightsbridge, existing between 1851 and now

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Department store · Knightsbridge · SW1X · Contributed by The Underground Map
November
14
2013
Harrods Department Store frontage as viewed along Brompton Rd at night (2012)
Credit: David Liff

Harrods is an upmarket department store located in Brompton Road in Knightsbridge.

The store occupies a five-acre site and has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments making it the biggest department store in Europe. The UK's second-biggest shop, Selfridges, Oxford Street, is a little over half the size with 540,000 square feet of selling space.

The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique — All Things for All People, Everywhere. Several of its departments, including the seasonal Christmas department and the Food Halls, are world famous.

Harrods founder Charles Henry Harrod first established his business in 1824, aged 25. The business was located south of the River Thames in Southwark. The premises were located at 228 Borough High Street. He ran this business, variously listed as a draper, mercer and a haberdasher, certainly until 1831. During 1825 the business was listed as 'Harrod and Wicking, Linen Drapers, Retail', but this partnership was dissolved at the end of that year. His first grocery business appears to be as ‘Harrod & Co.Grocers’ at 163 Upper Whitecross Street, Clerkenwell, E.C.1., in 1832. In 1834 in London's East End, he established a wholesale grocery in Stepney, at 4, Cable Street, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the vice of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park, Harrod took over a small shop in the district of Brompton, on the site of the current store. Beginning in a single room employing two assistants and a messenger boy, Harrod's son Charles Digby Harrod built the business into a thriving retail operation selling medicines, perfumes, stationery, fruit and vegetables. Harrods rapidly expanded, acquired the adjoining buildings, and employed one hundred people by 1880.

However, the store's booming fortunes were reversed in early December 1883, when it burnt to the ground. Remarkably, in view of this calamity, Charles Harrod fulfilled all of his commitments to his customers to make Christmas deliveries that year—and made a record profit in the process. In short order, a new building was built on the same site, and soon Harrods extended credit for the first time to its best customers, among them Oscar Wilde, Lillie Langtry, Ellen Terry, Charlie Chaplin, Noël Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Sigmund Freud, A. A. Milne, and many members of the British Royal Family.

On Wednesday, 16 November 1898, Harrods debuted England's first 'moving staircase' (escalator) in their Brompton Road stores; the device was actually a woven leather conveyor belt-like unit with a mahogany and 'silver plate-glass' balustrade.Nervous customers were offered brandy at the top to revive them after their 'ordeal'.

The shop's 330 departments offer a wide range of products and services. Products on offer include clothing for women, men, children and infants, electronics, jewellery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau, pets and pet accessories, toys, food and drink, health and beauty items, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, home appliances and furniture.

Up to 300,000 customers visit the shop on peak days, comprising the highest proportion of customers from non-English speaking countries of any department store in London. More than five thousand staff from over fifty different countries work at Harrods.

The department store was purchased by the Fayed brothers in 1985. Harrods was then sold to Qatar Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar in May 2010.

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VIEW THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge was originally a small hamlet, between the villages of Chelsea (Chelsey), Kensington (Kensing town) and Charing. In the time of Edward I, the manor of Knightsbridge appertained to the abbey of Westminster. It was named after a crossing of the River Westbourne, which is now an underground river.

Knightsbridge is notable as an ultra-expensive residential area, and for the density of its upmarket retail outlets. Fourteen of Britain's two hundred most expensive streets are in the district.

Knightsbridge is leafy, especially considering its location at the heart of London. It is home to many of the world's richest people, and has some of the highest property prices in the world. In February 2007, the world's then most expensive apartment at One Hyde Park, sold off plan for £100,000,000, and was bought by a Qatari Prince, and another apartment at the same place in February 2009, of almost the same price was bought by an Afghani Prince.

The principal landowners in the area are the Duke of Westminster and Earl Cadogan. The two areas of aristocratic landholdings can be distinguished: red-brick Queen Anne Revival buildings are mostly to be found on the Cadogan Estates, whereas white stucco-fronted houses are mostly found on the Grosvenor Estate, built by Thomas Cubitt.

Knightsbridge station opened on 15 December 1906 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line). When opened, the platforms were accessed in the standard manner by four lifts and an emergency staircase connecting to parallel passageways and bridges to midway along the platforms. The original station building designed by Leslie Green was located on Brompton Road a short distance west of its junction with Knightsbridge and Sloane Street.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Blandel Bridge:   The bridge over the Westbourne at Sloane Square was called Blandel Bridge and was later renamed Grosvenor Bridge.
Burton Court:   
Christ Church CofE Primary School:   Voluntary aided school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 4 and 11.
Garden House School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
Hill House International Junior School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 4 and 13. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
Holy Trinity CofE Primary School:   Voluntary aided school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Hyde Park:   
Knightsbridge:   Knightsbridge was originally a small hamlet, between the villages of Chelsea (Chelsey), Kensington (Kensing town) and Charing. In the time of Edward I, the manor of Knightsbridge appertained to the abbey of Westminster. It was named after a crossing of the River Westbourne, which is now an underground river.
Knightsbridge School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 2 and 13.
Marlborough Primary School:   Community school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Metropolitan Borough of Westminster:   The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster was a metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.
More House School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 11 and 18. Admissions policy: Selective (grammar).
Saint Thomas More Language College:   Voluntary aided school (Secondary) which accepts students between the ages of 11 and 16. Admissions policy: Comprehensive (secondary).
Sloane Square:   Sloane Square station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway when the company opened the first section of its line.
Speakers’ Corner:   Speakers’ Corner is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park.
St Nicholas Preparatory School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
St Paul’s Church:   St Paul’s Church is an Anglican church of the Anglo-Catholic tradition located at 32a Wilton Place.
Sussex House School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 8 and 13.
The Fascination of Chelsea: The Royal Hospital:   Written by G. E. MITTON in 1902. Edited by Sir Walter Besant.
The Serpentine:   The Serpentine is a 40-acre (16 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park.
Violet Melchett Children’s Centre:   This is a children’s centre.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Albert Gate, SW1X · Alexander Square, SW3 · Alpha Place, SW3 · Anderson Street, SW3 · Ann’s Close, SW1X · Antiquarius, SW3 · Basil Mansions, SW3 · Basil Street, SW1X · Basil Street, SW3 · Beauchamp Mansions, SW3 · Beauchamp Place, SW3 · Beaufort Gardens, SW3 · Belgrave Mews West, SW1X · Blacklands Terrace, SW3 · Bowater House West, SW1X · Bowater House, SW1X · Bradbrook House, SW1X · Bray Place, SW3 · Britten Street, SW3 · Brompton Place, SW3 · Brompton Road, SW1X · Brompton Road, SW3 · Brompton Road, SW7 · Brompton Square, SW3 · Bull’s Gardens, SW3 · Burnsall Street, SW3 · Bywater Street, SW3 · Cadogan Gardens, SW3 · Cadogan Gate S.W 1, SW1X · Cadogan Lane, SW1X · Cadogan Place, SW1X · Cadogan Square, SW1X · Cadogan Street, SW3 · Carriage Drive, SE21 · Carriage Drive, SE22 · Cavalry Square, SW1W · Cavalry Square, SW3 · Caversham Street, SW3 · Chapel Street, SW1X · Charles II Place, SW3 · Chelsea Cloisters, SW3 · Chelsea Manor Gardens, SW3 · Chelsea Manor Street, SW3 · Chelsea Manor Studios, SW3 · Chelsea Towers, SW3 · Cheltenham Terrace, SW3 · Chesham Mews, SW1X · Chesham Place, SW1X · Cheval Place, SW7 · Cheyne Place, SW3 · Chipperfield House Sutton Estate, SW3 · Christchurch Street, SW3 · Christchurch Terrace, SW3 · Clabon Mews, SW1X · Colebrook Court, SW3 · Cottage Place, SW3 · Cottage Place, SW7 · Coulson Street, SW3 · Crescent Place, SW3 · Culford Gardens, SW3 · Culross Street, W1K · Danube Street, SW3 · Denyer Street, SW3 · Donne Place, SW3 · Draycott Avenue, SW3 · Draycott Place, SW3 · Draycott Terrace, SW3 · Duke of York Square, SW1W · Duke Of York Square, SW3 · Dunraven Street, W1K · Duplex Ride, SW1X · East Road, SW3 · Egerton Crescent, SW3 · Egerton Gardens Mews, SW3 · Egerton Gardens, SW3 · Egerton Terrace, SW3 · Ellis Street, SW1X · Elystan Place, SW3 · Elystan Street, SW3 · Ennismore Mews, SW7 · Ennismore Street, SW7 · Fairholt Street, SW7 · First Street, SW3 · Flood Street, SW3 · Flood Walk, SW3 · Franklins Row, SW3 · Frederic Mews, SW1X · Glebe Place, SW3 · Glynde Mews, SW3 · Godfrey Street, SW3 · Groom Place, SW1X · Grosvenor Crescent, SW1X · Grosvenor Cresent, SW1X · Grove Cottages, SW3 · Halkin Arcade, SW1X · Halsey Street, SW3 · Hans Crescent, SW1X · Hans Crescent, SW3 · Hans Cresent, SW1X · Hans Place, SW1X · Hans Road, SW1X · Hans Road, SW3 · Hans Street, SW1X · Harriet Street, SW1X · Harriet Walk, SW1X · Harrods Green, HA8 · Hasker Street, SW3 · Herbert Crescent, SW1X · Holbein Mews, SW1W · Hyde Park Place, W2 · Hyde Park, W2 · Ives Street, SW3 · Ixworth Place, SW3 · Jefferson House, SW3 · Jones Street, W1K · Joubert Mansions, SW3 · Jubilee Place, SW3 · Kimbolton Row, SW3 · King’s Road, SW3 · Kings Road, SW1W · Kings Road, SW3 · Kingston House North, SW7 · Kinnerton Place South, SW1X · Kinnerton Street, SW1X · Kinnerton Yard, SW1X · Knight’s Bridge, E20 · Knightsbridge Barracks, SW7 · Knightsbridge Court, SW1X · Knightsbridge Green, SW1X · Knightsbridge, SW1X · Knightsbridge, SW3 · Lancelot Place, SW7 · Lennox Gardens Mews, SW1X · Lennox Gardens, SW1X · Lincoln Street, SW3 · Little Chester Street, SW1X · Lower Sloane Street, SW1W · Lowndes Square, SW1X · Lowndes Street, SW1X · Lucan Place, SW3 · Markham Square, SW3 · Markham Street, SW3 · Marlborough Street, SW3 · Milner Street, SW3 · Montpelier Mews, SW7 · Montpelier Square, SW7 · Montpelier Street, SW3 · Montpelier Street, SW7 · Montpelier Walk, SW7 · Montrose Court, SW7 · Moore Street, SW3 · Mossop Street, SW3 · Motcomb Street, SW1X · New Ride, SW1X · New Ride, SW7 · North Carriage Drive, W2 · North Terrace, SW3 · North Terrace, SW7 · Oakley Gardens, SW3 · Oakley Street, SW3 · Old Barrack Yard, SW1X · Ormonde Gate, SW3 · Ovington Gardens, SW3 · Ovington Square, SW3 · Ovington Street, SW3 · Paradise Walk, SW3 · Park Close, SW1X · Park Lane, W1J · Park Lane, W1K · Park Mansions, SW1X · Park Street, W1K · Park Towers Hotel, SW1X · Parkside, SW1X · Pavilion Road, SW1X · Pelham Street, SW3 · Peninsular Tower, SW7 · Petyward, SW3 · Policeman’s Walk, W2 · Policeman’s Walk, W2 · Pont St Mews, SW1X · Pont Street Mews, SW1X · Pont Street, SW1X · Porters Lodge, SW3 · Princes Gate, SW7 · Radnor Walk, SW3 · Ralston Street, SW3 · Raphael Street, SW1X · Raphael Street, SW7 · Rawlings Street, SW3 · Redburn Street, SW3 · Relton Mews, SW7 · Rich Lane, SW5 · Robinson Street, SW3 · Rosemoor Street, SW3 · Rosetti Studios, SW3 · Rossetti Studios, SW3 · Rotten Row, SW1X · Rotten Row, SW7 · Royal Avenue, SW3 · Royal Hospital Road, SW3 · Rutland Gardens, SW7 · Rutland Gate Mews, SW7 · Rutland Gate, SW7 · Rutland Street, SW7 · Sedding Street, SW1W · Sedding Street, SW1X · Shawfield Street, SW3 · Sloane Avenue, SW3 · Sloane Court East, SW1W · Sloane Court East, SW3 · Sloane Court West, SW3 · Sloane Gardens, SW1W · Sloane Square House, SW1W · Sloane Square, SW1W · Sloane Street, SW1X · Sloane Terrace, SW1X · Smith Street, SW3 · Smith Terrace, SW3 · South Carriage Drive, SW1X · South Carriage Drive, SW7 · Sprimont Place, SW3 · St Catherine’s Mews, SW3 · St Lukes Street, SW3 · St. Leonard’s Terrace, SW3 · St. Loo Avenue, SW3 · Stackhouse Street, SW1X · Studio Place, SW1X · Symons Street, SW3 · Tedworth Gardens, SW3 · Tedworth Square, SW3 · Terrace Walk, SW3 · The Gateways, SW3 · Tite Street, SW3 · Trevor Place, SW7 · Trevor Square, SW3 · Trevor Square, SW7 · Trevor Street, SW7 · Tryon Street, SW3 · Upper Brook Street, W1K · Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K · Walkway, SW7 · Walpole Street, SW3 · Walton Street, SW3 · Wellington Square, SW3 · West Eaton Place Mews, SW1X · West Halkin Street, SW1X · West Road, SW3 · West Road, SW5 · Whitehead’s Grove, SW3 · Whitehead’s Grove, SW3 · Whiteheads Grove, SW3 · Wilbraham Place, SW1X · William Mews, SW1X · William Street, SW1X · Wilton Crescent, SW1X · Wilton Mews, SW1X · Wilton Place, SW1X · Wilton Row, SW1X · Wiltshire Close, SW3 · Woodfall Street, SW3 · Woods Mews, W1K · Yeomans Row, SW3 ·
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Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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