Speakers’ Corner

Neighbourhood in/near Marble Arch, existing until now

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Speakers’ Corner

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Neighbourhood · * · W1K ·
October
22
2017

Speakers’ Corner is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park.

Speakers’ Corner is found close to the site of Tyburn gallows, where public hangings took place between 1196 and 1783. Legend has it the origins of Speakers’ Corner lie in the tradition of granting last words to those condemned to die.

Speakers here may talk on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful. Contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice the police tend to be tolerant and therefore intervene only when they receive a complaint. On some occasions in the past, they have intervened on grounds of profanity. Historically there were a number of other areas designated as Speakers’ Corners in other parks in London (e.g., Lincoln’s Inn Fields Finsbury Park, Clapham Common, Kennington Park, and Victoria Park).

Though Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner is considered the paved area closest to Marble Arch, legally the public speaking area extends beyond the Reform Tree and covers a large area from Marble Arch to Victoria Gate, then along the Serpentine to Hyde Park Corner and the Broad Walk running from Hyde Park Corner to Marble Arch.

Public riots broke out in the park in 1855, in protest over the Sunday Trading Bill, which forbade buying and selling on a Sunday, the only day working people had off. The riots were described by Karl Marx as the beginning of the English revolution.

The Chartist movement used Hyde Park as a point of assembly for workers’ protests, but no permanent speaking location was established. The Reform League organised a massive demonstration in 1866 and then again in 1867, which compelled the government to extend the franchise to include most working-class men.

The riots and agitation for democratic reform encouraged some to force the issue of the "right to speak" in Hyde Park. The Parks Regulation Act 1872 delegated the issue of permitting public meetings to the park authorities (rather than central government). Contrary to popular belief, it does not confer a statutory basis for the right to speak at Speakers’ Corner. Parliamentary debates on the Act illustrate that a general principle of being able to meet and speak was not the intention, but that some areas would be permitted to be used for that purpose.

Since that time, it has become a traditional site for public speeches and debate, as well as a major site of protest and assembly in Britain. There are some who contend that the tradition has a connection with the Tyburn gallows, where the condemned man was allowed to speak before being hanged.

Although many of its regular speakers are non-mainstream, Speakers’ Corner was frequented by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, C. L. R. James, Walter Rodney, Ben Tillett, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah and William Morris. Its existence is frequently upheld as a demonstration of free speech, as anyone can turn up unannounced and talk on almost any subject, although always at the risk of being heckled by regulars.


Main source: Wikipedia
Further citations and sources




NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Church of the Annunciation The Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch, is a Church of England parish church designed by Sir Walter Tapper. It is a Grade II* listed building.
Churchill Hotel The Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill is a five star hotel located on Portman Square.
Marble Arch Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble faced triumphal arch.
Metropolitan Borough of Westminster The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster was a metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.
Odeon Marble Arch The Odeon Marble Arch (known as the Regal 1928-1945) was a cinema located opposite Marble Arch monument at the top of Park Lane, with its main entrance on Edgware Road.
Orchard Court Orchard Court is an apartment block off of Portman Square in London. Known in French as Le Verger, it was used during the Second World War as the London base of F section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
Somerset House, Park Lane Somerset House was an 18th-century town house on the east side of Park Lane, where it meets Oxford Street, in the Mayfair area of London. It was also known as 40 Park Lane, although a renumbering means that the site is now called 140 Park Lane.
Speakers’ Corner Speakers’ Corner is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park.
St Georges Fields St George’s Fields are a former burial ground of St George’s, Hanover Square, lying between Connaught Street and Bayswater Road.
Tyburn Tyburn was a village of Middlesex close to the current location of Marble Arch and the southern end of Edgware Road.
Western Marble Arch Synagogue The Western Marble Arch Synagogue is a Jewish place of worship in central London.

NEARBY STREETS
Albion Close, W2 Albion Close dates from around 1830.
Albion Mews, W2 Albion Mews is a cobbled cul-de-sac that is approached through an entrance under a building on Albion Street.
Albion Street, W2 Albion Street was laid out over the Pightle field in the late 1820s.
Aldford Street, W1K Aldford Street is named after Aldford, a property on the Grosvenor family’s Cheshire estates.
Archery Close, W2 Archery Close is a street in Paddington.
Balderton Flats, W1K Balderton Flats is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Balderton Street, W1K Balderton Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Balfour Mews, W1K Balfour Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Balfour Place, W1K Balfour Place is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Berkeley Mews, W1H Berkeley Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Bilton Towers, W1H Bilton Towers is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Brown Hart Gardens, W1K Brown Hart Gardens is a road in the W1K postcode area
Brunswick Mews, W1H Brunswick Mews is a road in the W1H postcode area
Bryanston Street, W1C Bryanston Street is a road in the W1C postcode area
Bryanston Street, W1H This is a street in the W1H postcode area
Bryanston Street, W2 Bryanston Street is a road in the W2 postcode area
Clenston Mews, W1H Clenston Mews is a road in the W1H postcode area
Connaught Place, W2 Connaught Place is a street near to Marble Arch.
Connaught Square, W2 Connaught Square was the first square of city houses to be built in the Bayswater area.
Connaught Street, W2 Connaught Street is a street in Paddington.
Culross Street, W1K Culross Street is a road in the W1K postcode area
Duke Street, W1U Duke Street is one of the streets of London in the W1U postal area.
Dunraven Street, W1K Dunraven Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Edwards Mews, W1U Edwards Mews is a road in the W1U postcode area
Frederick Close, W2 Frederick Close is a street in Paddington.
George Street, W2 George Street is a road in the W2 postcode area
Granville Place, W1H Granville Place is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Great Cumberland Place, W1 Great Cumberland Place is one of the streets of London in the W1 postal area.
Great Cumberland Place, W1H Great Cumberland Place is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Green Street, W1K Green Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Grosvenor Square, W1A Grosvenor Square was developed by Sir Richard Grosvenor from 1721 onwards.
Hampden Gurney Street, W1H Hampden Gurney Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Hampshire House, W2 Residential block
Hyde Park Place, W2 Hyde Park Place is a street in Paddington.
Jones Street, W1K Jones Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Kendal Street, W2 Kendal Street is a street in Paddington.
Lees Place, W1K Lees Place is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Lumley Street, W1C Lumley Street is a road in the W1C postcode area
Lumley Street, W1K Lumley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Marble Arch, W1H Marble Arch is a major road junction in the West End, surrounding the monument of the same name.
New Quebec Street, W1H New Quebec Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
North Audley Street, W1K North Audley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
North Carriage Drive, W2 North Carriage Drive is a road in the W2 postcode area
North Row, W1K North Row is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Old Quebec Street, W1 Old Quebec Street is a road in the W1 postcode area
Old Quebec Street, W1H Old Quebec Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Orchard Court, W1H Orchard Court is a road in the W1H postcode area
Orchard Street, W1H Orchard Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Orchard Street, W1K Orchard Street is a road in the W1K postcode area
Oxford Square, W2 Oxford Square is a road in the W2 postcode area
Oxford Street, W1C Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, and as of 2012 had approximately 300 shops.
Park Lane, W1C Park Lane is a road in the W1C postcode area
Park Lane, W1J Park Lane is a road in the W1J postcode area
Park Lane, W1K Park Lane is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Park Steps, W2 Park Steps is a street in Paddington.
Park Street, W1K Park Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Park West Place, W2 Park West Place is a street in Paddington.
Park West, W2 Park West is a street in Paddington.
Picton Place, W1U Picton Place is one of the streets of London in the W1U postal area.
Policeman’s Walk, W2 Policeman’s Walk is a road in the W2 postcode area
Porchester Place, W2 Porchester Place is a street in Paddington.
Portman Mews South, W1H Portman Mews South is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Portman Square, W1H Portman Square is a square, part of the Portman Estate, located at the western end of Wigmore Street, which connects it to Cavendish Square to its east.
Portman Street, W1C Portman Street is a road in the W1C postcode area
Portman Street, W1H Portman Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Portsea Mews, W2 Portsea Mews is a street in Paddington.
Portsea Place, W2 Portsea Place is a street in Paddington.
Providence Court, W1K This is a street in the W1K postcode area
Quebec Mews, W1H Quebec Mews is a road in the W1H postcode area
Red Place, W1K Red Place is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Reeves Mews, W1K Reeves Mews is a road in the W1K postcode area
Rex Place, W1K Rex Place is a road in the W1K postcode area
Seymour Mews, W1H Seymour Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Seymour Street, SE18 A street within the SE18 postcode
Seymour Street, W1H Seymour Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Seymour Street, W2 Seymour Street is a street in Paddington.
Shepards Place, W1K Shepards Place is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Shepherds Place, W1K Shepherds Place is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
South Audley Street, W1K South Audley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
South Street, W1K South Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Stanhope House, W2 Residential block
Stanhope Place, W2 Stanhope Place is a street in Paddington.
Stourcliffe Street, W1H Stourcliffe Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Upper Berkeley Street, W1H Upper Berkeley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Upper Brook Street, W1K Upper Brook Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K Upper Grosvenor Street is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.
Wigmore Street, W1H Wigmore Street is one of the streets of London in the W1H postal area.
Woods Mews, W1K Woods Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1K postal area.


Marble Arch

Marble Arch station was opened on 30 July 1900 by the Central London Railway.

Like all the original stations on the CLR, Marble Arch was served by lifts to the platforms but the station was reconstructed in the early 1930s to accommodate escalators. This saw the closure of the original station building, designed by the architect Harry Bell Measures, that was situated on the corner of Quebec Street and Oxford Street, and a replacement sub-surface ticket hall opened further to the west. The new arrangements came into use on 15 August 1932. The original surface building was later demolished.

The platforms, originally lined in plain white tiles, were refitted with decorative vitreous enamel panels in 1985. The panel graphics were designed by Annabel Grey.

The station was modernised in 2010 resulting in new finishes in all areas of the station, apart from the retention of various of the decorative enamel panels at platform level.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Portman Square, W1H
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