St Anne’s Court, W1F

Road in/near Soho, existing between 1680 and now

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Road · Soho · W1F ·

St Anne’s Court is an alleyway that connects Dean Street and Wardour Street.

Parts of St Anne’s Court can be dated back to the late seventeenth century.

Sites in St Anne’s Court included the "model lodgings" designed by William Burges in 1864-66 for the banker and philanthropist Lackland Mackintosh Rate, for whom Burges subsequently work at Milton Court, Dorking, Surrey. At St Anne’s, Rate wanted a commercial rental property. The result was a series of thirty lodging rooms to be let to artisans. The building was of brick with cast-iron piers. Crook describes the result as "Burges’s favourite thirteenth-century French, pared to the bone." The building has subsequently been demolished.

Sites also include the Trident Studios and the 1970s science fiction bookshop Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed. In the 1980s, a basement in St Anne’s Court was home to Shades Records, a store specialising in extreme forms of Heavy Metal such as "Death Metal" and "Thrash Metal". As the only such store in the country, it played a particularly important role in the growth of those music genres in the UK.

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Soho is a world-famous area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London.

The name "Soho" first appears in the 17th century. Most authorities believe that the name derives from a former hunting cry. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, used "soho" as a rallying call for his men at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685, half a century after the name was first used for this area of London. The Soho name has been imitated by other entertainment and restaurant districts such as Soho, Hong Kong; Soho, Málaga; SOHO, Beijing; SoHo (South of Horton), London, Ontario, Canada; and Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires. SoHo, Manhattan, gets its name from its location SOuth of HOuston Street, but is also a reference to London’s Soho.

Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation as a base for the sex industry in addition to its night life and its location for the headquarters of leading film companies. Since the 1980s, the area has undergone considerable gentrification. It is now predominantly a fashionable district of upmarket restaurants and media offices, with only a small remnant of sex industry venues.

Soho is a small, multicultural area of central London; a home to industry, commerce, culture and entertainment, as well as a residential area for both rich and poor. It has clubs, including the former Chinawhite nightclub; public houses; bars; restaurants; a few sex shops scattered amongst them; and late-night coffee shops that give the streets an "open-all-night" feel at the weekends. Record shops cluster in the area around Berwick Street, with shops such as Phonica, Sister Ray and Reckless Records.
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