Swan & Edgar

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Swan & Edgar Ltd building, Piccadilly Circus

Swan & Edgar Ltd was a department store, located at Piccadilly Circus on the western side between Piccadilly and Regent Street[citation needed] established in the early 19th century. The premises were rebuilt and integrated in 1910-20 to a design by Sir Reginald Blomfield with the interior designed by Murray Adams-Acton. It became a popular place of assignation for Londoners for many generations. The store sold very high quality goods[1] including the popular Merrythought teddy bear. The shop-front was one of the West End businesses targeted by the Suffragettes in their window-breaking spree on 21 November 1911. The store was hit in the last Zeppelin raid on London in 1917.

In 1927 the business was taken over by the Drapery Trust and later still by the Debenham Group, which closed it in 1982 because of the high cost of modernization. The building lay empty for a few years until it became the flagship UK store for Tower Records. In 2003 it was bought by Richard Branson of the Virgin Group and became a Virgin Megastore. The Virgin name disappeared in 2007 and was replaced by Zavvi but Zavvi went into receivership in 2009. The Sting, a fashion department store with branches in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, opened in the building in July 2010.[2]


The Feathers public house at 43 Linhope Street, Marylebone was renamed the "Swan & Edgar" in honour of this former department store.[3]


  • Maurice Corina (1978). Fine Silks and Oak Counters: Debenhams, 1778-1978. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-134910-9. 
  1. ^ Judith Flanders, The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens, London
  2. ^ The Sting Opens In Piccadilly Circus Today
  3. ^ Williams, Oscar. "Bid to save the Swan & Edgar, Marylebone’s pint-sized pub, from being converted into a home". West End Extra. New Journal Enterprises Ltd. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 

Coordinates: 51°30′35″N 0°08′07″W / 51.50985°N 0.13523°W / 51.50985; -0.13523