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Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in London, England in the City of Westminster, and one of the world's most famous streets for shopping. With over 300 shops, it is the world's largest shopping street.
It runs for approximately a mile and a half from Marble Arch at the north east corner of Hyde Park, through Oxford Circus to St Giles' Circus, at the intersection with Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. Eastwards, the road then becomes New Oxford Street until it runs into High Holborn. West of Marble Arch, Oxford Street becomes Bayswater Road or the A40 which continues west towards Oxford. Oxford Street intersects with other famous London roads including Park Lane, New Bond Street and Regent Street.
The street follows the route of a Roman road which linked Hampshire with Colchester and became one of the major routes in and out of the city.
Between the 12th century and 1782 it was variably known as Tyburn Road (after the River Tyburn that ran just to the south of it, and now flows underneath it), Uxbridge Road, Worcester Road and Oxford Road. It became notorious as the route taken by prisoners on their final journey from Newgate Prison to the gallows at Tyburn near Marble Arch.
In the late 18th century, many of the surrounding fields were purchased by the Earl of Oxford, and the area was developed. It soon became popular with entertainers including tiger-baiters and masquerades. During the 19th century, the area became known for its shops and this has continued.
Oxford Street is a square on the British Monopoly board. It is part of the green set together with Regent Street and Bond Street.
Oxford Street is considered one of the world's best known shopping streets, home to major department stores and hundreds of smaller shops of which are predominately occupied by multiple retailers. It is the major shopping street in central London, though not the most expensive or fashionable. It is part of a larger shopping district with Regent Street, Bond Street and many smaller nearby streets. The other principal shopping area in central London is Knightsbridge, famous for Harrods department store.
(Source: London guide)
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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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