- For the racehorse, see, Shaftesbury Avenue (horse)
Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in central London, England, named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, that runs in a north-easterly direction from Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford Street, crossing Charing Cross Road at Cambridge Circus. From Piccadilly Circus to Cambridge Circus it is in the City of Westminster and from Cambridge Circus to New Oxford Street it is in the London Borough of Camden.
Shaftesbury Avenue was built in the late 19th century (1877–86) by the architect George Vulliamy and the engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette to provide a north-south traffic artery through the crowded districts of St. Giles and Soho. It was also part of a slum clearance measure, to push impoverished workers out of the city centre although the street's construction was stalled by legislation requiring rehousing some of these displaced residents, overcrowding persisted. Charles Booth's Poverty Map shows the neighbourhood makeup shortly after Shaftesbury Avenue opened. It is generally considered the heart of London's West End theatre district, with the Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud and Queen's theatres clustered together on the north side of the road between Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross Road. At the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road there is also the large Palace Theatre. Finally, the north-eastern end of the road has another large theatre, called the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Shaftesbury Avenue is also the beginning of London Chinatown. The number of Chinese business on the Avenue has been on the increase and on the ground level alone in Aug 2007, there are 2 traditional Chinese medicine practices, 5 Chinese restaurants, 3 Chinese supermarkets, 3 Chinese travel agents, 2 Chinese Mobile phone outlets, 1 Chinese cake shop, 2 Chinese Hair salons, 1 Chinese fishmonger, 1 Chinese Newsagent, 1 Chinese bureau de change and 3 Chinese banks.
Shaftesbury Avenue was the birthplace of Cat Stevens.
Shaftesbury Avenue is a film location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (films).
Shaftesbury Avenue is mentioned in the Dire Straits song Wild West End.
Shaftesbury Avenue is also mentioned in Eugene McGuinness' song Wendy Wonders.
- Shaftesbury Avenue, volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2, Survey of London, 1963
- London Sights and Attractions - Shaftesbury Avenue, talkingcities.co.uk, 2006
- Chinese business directory, Spectrum Radio, Aug 2007
- Hopes of immortality, New Statesman, Nov 2001
- Shaftesbury Avenue London W1 — TourUK information
- Survey of London — detailed architectural history
- Lyric Theatre
- Apollo Theatre
- Gielgud Theatre
- Queen's Theatre
- Palace Theatre
- Shaftesbury Theatre