Robert Baker was a well-known tailor with a shop on the Strand and ‘picadils’ made him a very wealthy man. In 1612 he built a large house in what is today’s Piccadilly and it was instantly nicknamed Piccadilly Hall.
The house was later demolished and the area became a busy thoroughfare and crossroads.
London County Council could not prevent this advertising even though most of the land was owned by the council. The reason the boards did not spread to other sides of the Circus was because the land granted by the council to John Nash in the 1800s was so tightly worded that it did not permit any advertising.
During World War 2 “Piccadilly Circus” was the code name used by the Allied Forces during the D-Day invasion as an assembly point for the fleet in the English Channel. It was also during the War that the soldiers called the ‘Ladies of the Night’ in this part of London ‘Piccadilly Lillies’.
And whether we are visitors to the city or Londoners, we cannot but stop and admire our very own ‘Times Square’.