About Shakespeares Head
The Shakespeare's Head was built in 1735. It was originally owned by Thomas and John Shakespeare, distant relatives of the poet William Shakespeare. The pub overlooks Carnaby street, once the site of an 18th century street market and now one of the world’s most famous shopping precincts. Dominating its northern end is the pub's inn sign which is a reproduction of Martin Droeshout’s portrait of Shakespeare when the poet was at the pinnacle of his genius. On another part of the building is Shakespeare's life-size bust which appears to be gazing down on the busy street below. Close examination of the bust will show one of the poet's hands is missing. This was lost during World War 1 when a bomb was dropped nearby! The pub is situated on Great Marlborough Street which was built at the beginning of the 18th century and named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. The street has had many distinguished residents including scientists, actresses, physicians and painters - Charles Darwin lived here between 1837 and 1838.By the middle of the 19th century most of the houses on Carnaby Street were in the hands of tradesmen and shopkeepers. By the 1960's Carnaby Street had its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary and was described as a place for fashionable clothing of young people.