Features History of the Area

The Post Building is sited between five of London’s liveliest neighbourhoods. Looking out from its rooftop is a patchwork of history.

At the intersection of Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Soho, Fitzrovia and Holborn, The Post Building is sited between five of London’s liveliest neighbourhoods. Looking out from its rooftop is a patchwork of history—church spires, cultural institutions and modern skyscrapers—offering glimpses into the multi-storied streets below. 

To the north is leafy Bloomsbury, home to London’s arts, culture and science. A centre of academia and learning, the neighbourhood houses three of London’s giants: The British Museum, the University of London campus and the Wellcome Collection. 

Bloomsbury lives in peaceful coexistence with Covent Garden, its somewhat more chaotic, diverse and commercially driven neighbour. Yet the development of both areas can be traced back to the same family. The Covent Garden district was granted to the 1st Earl of Bedford by Henry VII and remained within the family for nearly 400 years. From aristocratic dwelling to bustling market to London’s swanky theatre land and entertainment district, the neighbourhood has lived through many chapters since its humble beginnings as a convent garden owned by Westminster Abbey.

Covent Garden has had its licentious periods, yet they pale in comparison to its neighbour Soho, which sits just across the alleys of St Giles (as depicted by William Hogarth in Gin Lane). Soho was actually constructed for the aristocracy in the 17th century. They all moved west following a bout of cholera in the 19th century, paving the way for the grime, vice and nocturnal goings on it has become a global byword for today: ‘Sohos’ can today be found everywhere from Hong Kong to New York. But in actual fact, the original Soho is nowadays the home of entertainment, media and music. 

Above Soho is Fitzrovia, a cosier, residential enclave home to the BT Tower and the Robert Adam-designed Fitrzoy Square. Like the fifth neighbourhood on the doorstep of The Post Building—the district of Holborn—Fitzrovia has substantial commerce dotted with old city squares. 

Holborn was first paved at the order of Henry V in 1417. It was the main throughfare bringing in prisoners from the Tower of London to the public gallows at Tyburn (near Marble Arch today). Appropriately, Holborn is now the home of the nation’s law system.

Times have changed and the districts continue to transform. The unique mixture of these five neighbourhoods has served as one of the city’s most defining characteristics and lives on in them today. These five areas each have unique histories, which merge at the very centre of London at The Post Building.