Survey of London: Oxford Street Volume 53 Andrew Saint

Survey of London
Publication date:
14 Apr 2020
Paul Mellon Centre
440 pages: 286 x 222mm
380 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:


An authoritative and richly illustrated investigation into Britain’s most famous shopping street

Oxford Street is among the world’s great shopping streets, renowned for its department stores and the vitality of its crowded sidewalks. As a thoroughfare, Oxford Street goes back to Roman times. It was formerly known under the earlier name of Tyburn Road and was notorious as the route of the condemned to the gallows near the site of the present Marble Arch. This exceptional book is the latest in the famous Survey of London series, and the first to focus on a single street. It offers new insights into the growth of shops and shopping in the British capital, as well as a wealth of data, photographs, and drawings illuminating the buildings and activities that have given Oxford Street character. Written in the accessible prose that is a hallmark of the Survey of London, it is handsomely designed in the Survey’s house style and illustrated with 385 photographs and drawings with most previously unpublished.

Andrew Saint is an architectural historian and the former general editor of the Survey of London.

“[A] bravura exercise in social and cultural history, topography and architecture.”—Gillian Darley, The Guardian

“[A] wonderful enterprise of a very English kind (like the Oxford English Dictionary)”—Christopher Howse, Telegraph

“This brilliant volume traces the development of modern retail, the architectural ambition, the lost masterpieces and the sheer eclectic verve of the West End’s premier avoidable site…[T]here is nothing quite like it.”—Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times

“Admirably comprehensive, like all the Survey’s volumes, elegantly written and beautifully illustrated with well-chosen photographs and invaluable, specially drawn ground plans, this book is a major contribution to our understanding of the social and architectural history of this most varied of cities.”—Geoffrey Tyack, The Georgian


“This is a magnificent book at every level… Andrew Saint…is to be congratulated. Erudition worn lightly complemented by an illustrative treat, the volume cannot be recommended too highly.”—Paul Finch (Editorial Director of the Architects’ Journal), World Architecture Festival Newsletter

"This richly detailed investigation, brings together data and details of the street’s history, offers insights into the buildings and businesses that have left their mark on the area, and includes over 385 photographs and drawings, many previously unpublished."—Helene Parry, Fitzrovia News