The Carreras Cigarette factory, Mornington Crescent area


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(51.5335 -0.1398, 51.533 -0.139) 


The Carreras Cigarette factory, Mornington Crescent area

This started life at the Acadia Works on City Road in the 19th century. It was a small business owned by Don Jose Carreras Ferrer who sold cigarettes, cigars and snuff out of small shops. A black cat began to curl up and sleep in the window of the shop near Leicester Square in Prince's Street and the shop became known locally as 'The Black Cat Shop'.

After the cigarette making machine was invented, the business required a large factory and moved to Hampstead Road between 1926 and 1928. It was designed by architect brothers, Marcus and Owen Collins with George Porri as their consultant. The black cat became the company's logo.

In 1959 the company merged with Rothmans and moved to Basildon, Essex. In the early 1960s the building became offices. The Egyptian décor was stripped away and the two cat statues removed. When the building got new owners in 1996, its former grandeur was restored.

The building was later called “Greater London House” having become an office building.


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1900 and 1950 mapping is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.