Harrods, the building
Did you realise that the famous Harrods department store is one of London’s main tourist attractions? When you look at the size of this wonderfully decorated building, both inside and out, that isn’t surprising. It actually covers five acres of ground and has seven floors comprising 1,000,000 ft2. The Harrods building we see today was built between 1901 and 1905 and was commissioned by the owner, Richard Burbridge. In the former building, Burbridge had the very first moving staircase in London installed in 1898? And what about all those light bulbs that light up Harrods in the dark; how many are there? The answer is more than 12,000. Harrods, the history
Today”s magnificent department store is a far cry from the first shop opened in Stepney, East London by Charles Henry Harrod – it was a grocery shop and tea merchants. Harrods moved to Brompton Road, Knightsbridge in 1849.
After the great exhibition, at Crystal Palace, in 1851 Knightsbridge became very busy and Harrods Stores did a roaring trade. Charles’s son took over and expanded the store, which soon became known for the excellent service received by customers and its quality products.
Richard Burbridge took over Harrods in 1894 and he had the expanding store rebuilt twice – in 1894 and from 1901 to 1905. Odd Harrods fun facts
A silver replica of Harrods is on display on the store’s lower ground floor. This was a gift from Gordon Selfridge when he lost a bet with the Harrods managing director, of which store, Harrods or Selfridge’s, would make more profit in 1927.
A number of animals are associated with Harrods. A cobra was used to guard a pair of sandals with a price at £62,000 due to their diamonds and sapphires. Noel Coward, writer and playwright bought an alligator in Harrods Pet Shop one Christmas. A baby elephant was also sold by Harrods as a present to Ronald Reagan.
The motto of Harrods is Omnia Omnibus Ubique which means “All Things for All People, Everywhere”. Visitors to...
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