Shopping, Style and Suffrage
Harrods, Fortnum & Masons, Selfridges & Liberties are iconic institutions that embody our vision of Victorian & Edwardian style and elegance.
The arrival of these stores marked the start of a new age of consumerism and critically played a fundamental part in establishing the importance of the female consumer within society. And it was through these two elements that the stores played a surprising role in propelling the social changes of that time.
Join Elisha from the Hidden History team, who has researched the social impact of the departments stores as part of her MA, as we explore the history of some of the cities most loved shopping locations and the wider impact they had. The four department stores are dispersed across Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Carnaby and St James’s making walking between them unrealistic. As such we have not laid this out as a walking tour. Instead we have presented the four department stores as independent pieces with a fifth piece outlying their role in the Suffragette movement as an introduction.
Each of the audio guides digs into the stores history and how it fitted into and helped facilitate the social change of that time. The combination of the audio guides alongside visiting each of the stores, will give you a new insight into how the stores helped shape the world we live in today and freedoms we enjoy.
If the weather is good and you want to see London streets, then a day (it will take you a whole day!) spent walking between the stores will be a great mini adventure! If however, you want to take advantage of the public transport then you should factor in around 3-5hrs to visit all of the stores. The time will vary depending on how much time you want to spend browsing the stores.
Elisha is a public historian with a focus on Fashion and its reflection on social change.
The team recording the audio introductions in the studio.
This is not a walking tour but an audio introduction to each of the department stores.
Approx a day
Frequently Asked Questions
The West End of London is full of history and places to see. Our top things to see close to each store are:
- Harrods – Visit Hyde Park for a Harrods picnic! The food hall has an awesome bakery where you can pick up sandwiches and sausage rolls (some of the best in London in our opinion!). Hyde Park is just up the road and makes a great place for lunch.
- Fortnum & Masons – St James Square is a hidden up oasis that should not be missed and you also have the Burlington Arcade close by as well. Selfridges – is located close to Marble Arch, which was the original entrance to Buckingham palace before being moved in 1851.
- Liberties – Just down the road is the Carnaby Street, which was the shopping destination during the 1960’s. If you love fashion and style then a visit to Carnaby Street will not disappoint.
Store: Harrods Closest Tube Station Knightsbridge
Store: Fortnum & Masons Closest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus
Store: Selfridges Closest Tube Station: Bond Street
Store: Liberties Closest Tube Station: Oxford Street