Liberty of London

Yesterday, we went off to London to see the Christmas lights switch on Regent Street.

But first, we went into Liberty of London, which is often just referred to as Liberty.

Liberty of London. Source: Taken by author.
Liberty of London. Source: taken by author.

It’s quite another luxury department store, but it has been around longer than Selfridges. The founder was called Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, and he opened his store with just three staff members in 1875.¹ While the business was growing and expanding, the poor founder died seven years before the completion of his shops. He believed he could change the shopping of homewares and fashion² during the Victorian era.

I found a bust of him inside…

Bust of Liberty. Source: Taken by self.
Bust of Liberty. Source: Taken by self.

… along with a plaque…

Plaque of Liberty. Source: Taken by author.
Plaque of Liberty. Source: taken by author.

I think it’s wonderful that these historic entrepreneurs have created these stores, whose stores are still going, because they give us much pleasure today. It’s lovely there’s a bust and plaque in store, which celebrates their being (note to self: must hunt out Selfridge’s bust).

The beautiful building is, sadly, not really original Tudor. It’s revival Tudor, but it’s lovely anyway, with all the carvings and the wooden timber-frames. It’s lovely to have different architecture to look at in London. It looks like a grand stately home, while it feels very intimate and cosy inside. Apparently, Liberty wanted customers to feel that they were exploring someone else’s home,³ so he kept the sizes of the interconnecting rooms small, while including fireplaces, and cushions to sit on.

Inside Liberty. Source: taken by author.
Inside Liberty. Source: taken by author.

So, if you are ever in London, go along to Selfridges & Co., and Liberty of London. They give extreme historic insights of London, while tempting you to stay all day, even if you don’t buy anything.

No pressure to do so.

Harry Selfridge would most likely encourage you to browse anyway, while I have no idea what Liberty would say…

Mind you, he’s probably tell you to sit on the cushioned window seat, and have a cup of tea!

¹ Liberty, Early History, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_(department_store)#Early_history
² Liberty London, The History of Liberty, http://www.liberty.co.uk/AboutLiberty/article/fcp-content
³ Time Out, Liberty, http://www.timeout.com/london/shopping/liberty
Advertisements

One thought on “Liberty of London”

Penny for your thoughts...?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s