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Founded1797 (1797)
FounderJohn Hatchard
Number of locations

Hatchards is a branch of Waterstones, and claims to be the oldest bookshop in the United Kingdom, founded on Piccadilly in 1797 by John Hatchard. After one move, it has been at the same location on Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason since 1801, and the two stores are also neighbours in St. Pancras railway station as of 2014. It has a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three Royal Warrants.


The oldest bookshop in the United Kingdom,[1][2] Hatchards was founded at 173 Piccadilly, London, by John Hatchard in 1797.[3] It moved within Piccadilly in 1801, to No.189–190; the site of the first shop was cleared in 1810 for the Egyptian Hall to be built. The second shop had a numbering change to 187, in 1820.[4] It still trades today from the same address, and Hatchard's portrait can be seen on the staircase of the shop.

It was founded with a collection of merchandise bought from Simon Vandenbergh, a bookseller of the 18th century.

Hatchards was acquired by William Collins, Sons in 1956. It was bought by Pentos in 1990, and Pentos was later acquired by Waterstone's.[5]


It has a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three Royal Warrants.[3] Oscar Wilde’s favourite bookshop, the writer signed his books sitting at the ground floor main table – today known as Oscar's table.[6]

Hatchards opened a new store in St Pancras railway station in 2014. The 2,000 sq ft store, opened at the beginning of August, and was located next door to a new (2013) branch of Fortnum and Mason, continuing a relationship that goes back over two centuries. In August 2019 this location re-opened in a larger space within the station.[7]



  1. ^ Peter Marcan, Directory of Specialist Bookdealers in the United Kingdom Handling Mainly New Books: With Appendices Listing Specialist Directories of Museums, Libraries, and Associations, page 6 (P. Marcan, 1982). ISBN 978-0950421131
  2. ^ Sandra L. Beckett, Crossover Fiction: Global and Historical Perspectives, page 212 (Routledge, 2009). ISBN 978-0-415-98033-3
  3. ^ a b "Hatchards". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  4. ^ Piccadilly, South Side, in Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1, ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1960), pp. 251-270 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vols29-30/pt1/pp251-270 [accessed 20 January 2016].
  5. ^ Christopher Hibbert; Ben Weinreb; Julia Keay; John Keay (23 March 2010). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. p. 388. ISBN 978-1-4050-4925-2.
  6. ^ "Unique Hatchards Editions - Hatchards Christmas Musings 2018". Hatchards. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  7. ^ "'Lighter, brighter' new Hatchards opens at St Pancras | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com.

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Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°08′17″W / 51.5084°N 0.1380°W / 51.5084; -0.1380