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Shepherd's Bush (also Shepherds Bush) is an area of west London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, situated 4.9 miles (7.9 km) west of Charing Cross. Although it is primarily residential in character, its focus is the shopping area of Shepherd's Bush Green, the north side of which is home to the Westfield shopping centre, the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. The south side also has a smaller shopping centre, West 12, with a supermarket, cinema and gym. The main thoroughfares are Uxbridge Road, Goldhawk Road and Askew Road, all containing a large number of small and mostly independent shops, pubs and restaurants. Loftus Road in Shepherd's Bush is home to Queens Park Rangers.
It is bordered by Hammersmith to the south/south-west, Brook Green to the south/south-east, Holland Park (and then Notting Hill) to the east, Willesden and Harlesden to the north and by Acton and Chiswick to the west.
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The area's focal point is Shepherd's Bush Green (also known as Shepherds Bush Common), an approximately 8-acre (3.2 ha) triangular area of open grass surrounded by trees and roads with shops, with Westfield at its north western apex.
The Green is a hub on the local road network, with four main roads radiating from the western side of the green and three roads approaching its eastern apex, meeting at the large Holland Park Roundabout. This position makes it an important node of the bus network, with eighteen bus routes arriving there. It is also served by five London Underground stations (see Transport below); Shepherd's Bush (Central Line), White City (Central Line), Shepherd's Bush Market (Hammersmith & City Line), Goldhawk Road (Hammersmith & City Line) and Wood Lane (Hammersmith & City Line).
To the east, Shepherd's Bush is bounded by the physical barrier to movement of the West London railway line and the grade-separated West Cross Route (part of the aborted 1960s London Motorway Box scheme); the Holland Park Roundabout and the small Addison Bridge to the south are the only ways to cross this barrier from Shepherds Bush.
Most of the areas to the east of the barrier differ significantly in character, being associated with the more affluent Holland Park and Notting Hill; although the Edward Woods Estate just to the northeast of the roundabout is part of and managed by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and is therefore more closely associated with Shepherds Bush.
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Commercial activity in Shepherd's Bush is now focused on the Westfield shopping centre next to Shepherd's Bush Central line station and on the many small shops which run along the northern side of the Green.
Originally built in the 1970s with a rooftop car park and connecting bridge to the station, the older West 12 Shepherds Bush shopping centre was significantly redeveloped in the 1990s. The bridge was removed, and the centre now houses several chain stores, a 12-screen cinema, gym, pub, restaurants, a Bush Doctors and a supermarket.
The small shops continue along Uxbridge Road to the west for some distance, and another set of shops and restaurants line Goldhawk Road from the Green to the southwest. Many of these establishments cater for the local ethnic minority communities (see Demographics).
Running parallel to, and partly under, an elevated section of the Hammersmith and City Line there is a large permanent market, the Shepherd's Bush Market, selling all types of foodstuffs, cooked food, household goods, clothing and bric-à-brac.
The Westfield Group (with Hausinvest Europa) opened a shopping centre in October 2008, bounded by the West Cross Route (A3220, was the M41), the Westway (A40, previously A40(M)), and Wood Lane (opposite the BBC), A219 (also the old A40). This centre is branded "Westfield London" and was mainly constructed on the site of the Franco-British Exhibition (1908) and the 1908 Summer Olympics on land owned by London Underground. However, this area is considered by locals to be part of Shepherds Bush rather than its namesake, White City.
Office buildings 
As well as the offices within the BBC TV Centre at Wood Lane, opposite this is Network House, 1 Ariel Way, a 20,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) building that was let by Frost Meadowcroft on behalf of Westfield to Zodiak Entertainment in September 2009 and in Rockley Road is the 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2) Shepherds Building where Endemol another TV company are based and where Jellycat, a soft toy company, relocated their head office to in February 2010. The same building also houses Escape Studios, a digital art school providing computer graphics training for the visual effects industry in London.
The residential areas of Shepherds Bush are primarily located to the west of the Green, either side of Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road to the southwest, and about as far as Askew Road in the west. Much of the housing in this area consists of three- or four-storey terraces dating from the late 19th century, and subsequently divided up into small flats.
Shepherds Bush is also home to the White City Estate, a housing estate that was originally constructed in the 1930s and further extended after the war in the early 1950s. It was built on the site of the grounds of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition and close to the White City Stadium and has given its name to the northern part of Shepherds Bush which is now better known as White City.
The name Shepherds Bush is thought to have originated from the use of the common land here as a resting point for shepherds on their way to Smithfield Market in the City of London. An alternative theory is that it could have been named after someone in the area, because in 1635 the area was recorded as "Sheppards Bush Green".
Evidence of human habitation can be traced back to the Iron Age. Shepherd's Bush enters the written record in the year 704 when it was bought by Waldhere, Bishop of London as a part of the "Fulanham" estate.
Nineteenth century 
A map of London dated 1841 shows Shepherd's Bush to be largely undeveloped and chiefly rural in character, with much open farmland compared to fast-developing Hammersmith. Residential development began in earnest in the late 19th century, as London's population expanded relentlessly. In 1904 The Catholic Church of Holy Ghost and St Stephen, built in the Gothic style with a triple-gabled facade of red brick and Portland stone, was completed and opened to the public.
Twentieth century 
Just to the north of Shepherd's Bush. the White City Stadium was built in 1908 for the 1908 Olympics, and served as a sporting venue until 1985 when it was demolished and replaced by the BBC White City Centre.
During World War I a pioneering orthopaedic hospital, the Shepherd's Bush Military Hospital (now known as the Hammersmith Hospital), was built in Shepherd's Bush to care for wounded soldiers, largely thanks to the efforts of the noted surgeon Robert Jones. In 1916 the Joint War Committee awarded the hospital the sum of £1,000 to begin its work, soon followed in 1918 by a further grant of £10,000. The hospital was also supported by donations from the public. Part of the rehabilitation process involved putting the recovering patients to work in local shops, a policy which does not appear to have been entirely popular among the soldiers themselves.
Like other parts of London, Shepherd's Bush suffered from bomb damage during WWII, especially from V-1 flying bomb attacks (known as "doodlebugs" or "buzzbombs"), which struck randomly and with little warning.
On the 13th of April 1963 The Beatles recorded their first ever BBC broadcast at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush. The group returned in 1964 for a further recording. Lime Grove Studios was demolished in 1994 to make way for residential accommodation.
More recently, the Shepherd's Bush bus station is housed in the redeveloped Dimco Buildings (1898), Grade II listed red brick buildings which were originally built in 1898 as a shed for a London Underground power station. The Dimco buildings were used as a filming location for the ‘Acme Factory’ in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and later served as the interior of the British Museum in The Mummy Returns.
Significant communities of travellers from Australia and New Zealand exist in Shepherds Bush. Street names in the area suggest links to South Africa but these were inspired by places and personalities from the Boer War or by their proximity to the former position of the South Africa Pavilion in the White City exhibition area. There is a Polish community, with a community centre in nearby Hammersmith. Somali, West Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Irish, Moroccan and Afghan communities have a strong association with the area.
The common itself is served by five London Underground stations. Shepherd's Bush station, on the Central line at the eastern apex of the common, is the busiest, whilst Shepherd's Bush Market station on the Hammersmith and City line is about 600 m to the west (near the north-western corner of the green). The third station, Goldhawk Road station on the Hammersmith & City line, serves the south-western corner of the green. The primarily residential area to the west of the common, also recognised as part of Shepherd's Bush, is also served by White City and Wood Lane. This area of London is also served by eighteen bus routes.
The construction of a shopping centre at Westfield London has led to the development of two new transport hubs for the area. The "northern interchange" will consist of White City station on the Central line, a new bus station and Wood Lane station on the Hammersmith and City line . The two stations are a short walk apart.
The "southern interchange", comprises another new bus station, the redeveloped Central line station, and the new Shepherd's Bush railway station served by London Overground and Southern on the West London Line. The new station is approximately in the same location as the former Uxbridge Road station which closed in 1940. The opening of the new station was delayed because the platforms were built 18 inches too narrow, and had to be rebuilt.
Shepherd's Bush was also the proposed terminus of the West London Tram, an on-street light rail line running to Uxbridge via Acton, Ealing and Southall. This project was cancelled in 2007 in favour of an enhanced bus service and the development of Crossrail.
Commuter railway station 
Underground stations 
In Popular Culture 
Arts and Entertainment 
The junkyard in the sitcom Steptoe & Son was situated at the fictional 24 Oil Drum Lane, Shepherds Bush.
The BBC used to have many offices in Shepherds Bush, but many have now been closed or re-located. They included the Lime Grove Studios on the site of previous film studios Gaumont and Gainsborough Pictures. Sulgrave House, Threshold and Union Houses and Kensington House—now a hotel. The BBC's presence in the Bush is now concentrated in two huge sites on Wood Lane, Television Centre and the White City building. The Media Village was built next to the White City building in the mid-1980s on the former site of the White City Stadium. It is used by the BBC and other media companies including Red Bee Media (formerly BBC Broadcast, now a private company). Television Centre is the national home of BBC Television, and it is from there that BBC TV and radio news, the BBC website and a host of TV drama and light entertainment are broadcast.
The Bush Theatre is one of the most celebrated new writing theatres in the world. Situated on the green it has international reputation for discovering, nurturing and producing the best new theatre writers from the widest range of backgrounds, and for presenting their work to the highest possible standards. The Bush is widely acclaimed as the seedbed for the best new playwrights, many of whom have gone on to become established names in the entertainment industry, yet regularly return to our West London home.
The Shepherds Bush Empire, built in 1903, was bought by the BBC in 1953 and renamed Shepherds Bush Television Theatre. It was used as a TV studio for many years for such shows as The Old Grey Whistle Test, Wogan, That's Life!, Crackerjack, This is Your Life and others until 1991; it is now the Shepherds Bush Empire. BBC Television is still based at Television Centre in Wood Lane, while their other major site/building BBC — White City stands on the site of the stadium built for the 1908 London Olympic Games, also called White City.
Bush Hall is another, rather smaller, venue at 310 Uxbridge Road, built in 1905 as a dance hall. It predominantly showcases smaller acoustic performers 'on their way up', but has also been used by much better-known acts like R.E.M., Scissor Sisters and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for fan club shows.
Ginglik is an even smaller venue located underneath Shepherds Bush Green in a former Victorian toilet. It has featured events with bands, DJs and comedians including Jimmy Carr, Al Murray and Jerry Sadowitz. It announced in August 2008 that it was shortly to close, but it is still trading.
Shepherds Bush Walkabout is a popular music and live sports venue located on the western end of the green. It is part of a chain of Antipodean themed bars located throughout the United Kingdom, that specialises in music and sports from Australia and New Zealand, and caters to expatriates from those nations by providing food and beverages sourced from both countries. On Australian and New Zealand national holidays, big sporting events such as the Australian Football League grand final, and memorial days such as Anzac Day the Shepherds Bush Walkabout becomes very busy. The live music is usually a mixture of up and coming local acts, and cover bands who play Australian and New Zealand classic songs and contemporary popular music.
Some important rock and roll groups have roots in Shepherd's Bush. The Who infused much of their work with the youth culture of Shepherd's Bush during the 1960s and '70s. Steve Jones, guitarist of punk legends the Sex Pistols, was born in Shepherd's Bush, and Pistols drummer Paul Cook grew up here. The Clash's early work is infused with the culture of Shepherd's Bush and the Westway. Libertines and Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty moved to Shepherd's Bush at age 16. Tony Butler, bass-player with 1980s band Big Country and others, was born in Shepherd's Bush. Bands Bush and Symposium hail from Shepherd's Bush, the former taking their name from the area, with the first one picturing a tube station on their Machinehead music video.
In the Westfield shopping centre area at White City, the grade II listed Dimco buildings (1898), now redeveloped as a bus station, were used as the location for the ‘Acme Factory’ in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
In the Spring of 2004 actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rented a small property in Bulwer Street, off Wood Lane, where they prepared for their epic motorcycle journey Long Way Round.
In Arthur Machen's mystical novella A Fragment of Life (1904) the protagonist Edward Darnell and his wife Mary live in the imaginary Edna Road, Shepherd's Bush, before spiritual revelations lead them to move to Darnell's ancestral home in Monmouthshire, South Wales.
In Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere, the lead role, Richard, says "There are no shepherds in Shepherd's Bush. I've been there. It's just houses and stores and roads and the BBC. That's all." Hunter then replies "There are... pray you never meet them."
Shepherds Bush is home to Queens Park Rangers football club, who play their home games in Loftus Road. Olympic gold medal winner Linford Christie also grew up in Shepherds Bush and lived in Loftus Road as a child. A stadium on nearby Wormwood Scrubs is named "The Linford Christie Stadium" in his honour. Some of the football games in the 1908 Olympics were hosted in Shepherds Bush. Shepherds Bush F.C. were the local side till 1915.
There are a number of listed buildings in Shepherd's Bush, such as the Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion, originally built as a cinema in 1923 and now disused. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has created the Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area in order to promote the protection of local buildings of historic interest, and improve the character of the neighbourhood.
See also 
Shepherd's Bush Market, early morning, from the Uxbridge Road end. (September 2006)
- West 12 Official Site Retrieved March 2012
- 18 September 2009 (2009-09-18). "Shepherds Bush attracts Zodiak | News - print". Property Week. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- 26 February 2010 (2010-02-26). "Jellycat struts into Shepherds Bush | News - print". Property Week. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- Escape Studios website Retrieved 2011
- Walks Around the Bush: Three Walks Looking at the Local History and Architecture of Shepherds Bush (West London), Ivan Gibbons
- GCSE History of Shepherd's Bush Retrieved July 2011
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- 2020 Official website Retrieved December 2012
- Shepherd's Bush local blog Retrieved December 2011
- Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area Retrieved December 2011
- www.andyslaughter.co.uk Retrieved March 2012
- The Shepherd's Bush Blog Local Information and Debate Retrieved July 2011
- Shepherd's Bush Local Information Retrieved July 2011
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- Shepherds Bush Festival Retrieved July 2011
- History of Shepherd's Bush Retrieved July 2011
- Unofficial history of Lime Grove Studios Retrieved July 2011
- History of Gaumont-British and Lime Grove Studios Retrieved July 2011