London Wiki
Borough City of Westminster
District Theatreland
Length -
Number Range -
Type Residential and Commercial
Post Code WC2
Adjacent Streets Strand

Aldwych is a throughfare in the City of Westminster in London. The road is a crescent, connecting to The Strand at both ends. At its centre it meets the Kingsway. Along its length are the Waldorf Hilton hotel, the Indian High Commission, the Australian High Commission at Australia House, the Aldwych Theatre, the Novello Theatre and prominently BBC's Bush House and the London School of Economics. Nearby in the Strand is the now-disused Aldwych tube station.

Waldorf Hilton on Aldwych

A statue of 19th century prime minister Gladstone, installed in 1905, is situated here, near St. Clement Danes church.

The name derives from the Old English eald and wic meaning 'old settlement', the name later being transferred to the street and district. It was recorded as Aldewich in 1211. In the 7th century an Anglo-Saxon village and trading centre named Lundenwic ("London settlement") was established approximately one mile to the west of Londinium (named Lundenburh or "London Fort" by the Saxons) in what is now Aldwych, probably using the mouth of the River Fleet as a trading ship and fishing boat harbour. It was 'rediscovered' in the 1980s after extensive excavations were reinterpreted as of an urban character by archaeologists Alan Vince and Martin Biddle working independently. Recent excavations in the Covent Garden area have uncovered the extensive Anglo-Saxon settlement. The excavations show that the settlement covered about 600,000 square metres, stretching from the present-day National Gallery site in the west to Aldwych in the east. As the focus of the city was moved back to within the old Roman walls, the older settlement of Lundenwic gained the name of ealdwic: "old settlement".

On February 18, 1996, an improvised high explosive device detonated prematurely on a Number 171 bus travelling along Aldwych, killing Edward O'Brien, the IRA operative transporting the device and injuring four others.

Nearby is the Aldwych Theatre, built in 1905 and currently showing the Dirty Dancing Musical.

See also Aldwych Station

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