All photos of Leicester Square dated 2015-2016 are the actual ones and were taken with iPhone 5s.
In this gallery you will find photos of Leicester Square. The square was named after one of its owners Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester. He built a large house in the northern part called Leicester House from 1630-1635 and had plans to keep the previously common land from the inhabitants of St Martin in the Fields for his own use. The parishioners have appealed to King Charles I and members of the privy council made a decision that Lord Leicester had to keep the land open for them. During the 17th century, the area was quite fashionable and Leicester House even served as residence to heir apparent to Frederick, Prince of Wales at one point. From 18th century onwards, it started to build reputation for its popular entertainment scene.
In 1774, Ashton Lever purchased a lease to Leicester House and transformed the rooms into viewing galleries. There from 1785 till 1791, he hosted the first commercial public display of the artefacts that he collected over the years. The Leverian Collection contained natural history and ethnographic objects, such fossils, shells and animals such as birds, insects, reptiles, fish and monkeys, many of which were acquired from the voyages of Captain James Cook. Known as Holophusikon or Leverian Museum, a museum of natural curiosities, it was sold through a lottery to James Parkinson in 1786 and then sold off through a series of auctions in 1806.
1848 was an important year for English lawyers as Leicester Square becomes the subject of a landmark land-law case Tulk v Moxhay  41 ER 1143 that establishes that in certain cases restrictive covenants can run with the land.
In 1851, Leicester square housed Wyld’s Great Globe which contained a giant scale map of the Earth. It was constructed by James Wyld, a prominent map maker, who initially wanted it to be displayed at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace. The enormous globe, nearly 18.5 metres wide, accommodated a four-story staircase which the visitors could climb up to inspect the interior of the walls. The walls were decorated in plaster sculpted into mountain ranges and rivers, all completed to scale.
Paste a VALID AdSense code in Ads Elite Plugin options before activating it.
In 1854, The Alhambra was dominating the Leicester Square. It was a large theatre, originally known as The Royal Panopticon, which served as a patron to the popular entertainment acts, such as equestrian ballet, aerial displays, music hall, staged ballet and light opera, as well as patriotic demonstrations celebrating Britain’s military success. The building was demolished in 1936.
In 1874, Leicester Square was purchased by Albert Grant, said to be a flamboyant man, who generously donated the garden to city and paid expenses to lay out the garden. In the centre of the park, you can find a statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. Recent modernisation meant that the other four statues, which used to decorate the square, of a scientist Sir Isaac Newton, the first President of the Royal Academy Sir Joshua Reynolds, a pioneer of surgery John Hunter and a painter William Hogarth, were moved.
In 1884, The Empire Theatre of Varieties has been added to the Square’s entertainment scene. With two thousand seats, it hosted many ballets, as well as comic operas. It was the first theatre to screen film and it remains a large cinema to this day, as well as a casino.
As a matter of fact, Leicester Square holds an important spot for cinema goers. Vue cinema, as well as three Odeon cinemas, Prince Charles Cinema (two metres down the alley in the northern part of the square) are all located in Leicester Square. An exceptional amount of high profile movie premieres take place here throughout the year.
At Leiceister Square, you will also find hotels and restaurants, a giant casino called the Hippodrome, recently opened gigantic M & Ms sweets store, as well as many kiosks selling half price theatre tickets.