Strand, London

Strand (or the Strand)[lower-alpha 1] is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster, Central London. It runs just over 34 mile (1,200 m) from Trafalgar Square eastwards to Temple Bar, where the road becomes Fleet Street inside the City of London, and is part of the A4, a main road running west from inner London.

Strand
Strand at Charing Cross in 2008, looking towards Trafalgar Square and Admiralty Arch
Location in Central London
Part ofA4
Maintained byTransport for London
Length0.8 mi[1] (1.3 km)
Postal codeWC2
Nearest Tube station
Coordinates51.5114°N 0.1190°W / 51.5114; -0.1190

The road's name comes from the Old English strond, meaning the edge of a river, as it historically ran alongside the north bank of the River Thames. The street was much identified with the British upper classes between the 12th and 17th centuries, with many historically important mansions being built between the Strand and the river. These included Essex House, Arundel House, Somerset House, Savoy Palace, Durham House and Cecil House. The aristocracy moved to the West End during the 17th century, and the Strand became known for its coffee shops, restaurants and taverns. The street was a centre point for theatre and music hall during the 19th century, and several venues remain on the Strand. At the east end of the street are two historic churches: St Mary le Strand and St Clement Danes. This easternmost stretch of the Strand is also home to King's College, one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. In addition to the current Somerset House, other important structures include the Royal Courts of Justice and Australia House.[3][4][5][6][7]

Several authors, poets and philosophers have lived on or near the Strand, including Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Virginia Woolf. The street has been commemorated in the song "Let's All Go Down the Strand", now recognised as a typical piece of Cockney music hall.