The Story Behind The Soho Square Hut

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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In the middle of London’s Soho Square, which dates back to 1681, stands a half-timbered gardener’s hut. It looks like a Tudor construction, something that might have been built four or five hundred years ago, but was actually built in 1925 as an access point to the electricity substation beneath it.

 The hut made it through world war 2 unscathed, about three-quarters of the shed is filled with spades, wheelbarrows, and other gardening tools used to maintain the surrounding park. A separate door gives access to the remaining space, which contains the vertical shaft that was once used to access the substation and, later, the shelter. Today, both are accessed by a far more conventional entrance on the western side of the square.

 In 1992, the two-story hut was listed as a Grade II structure, ensuring its continued survival as a building of special architectural and historic interest. The cavernous 3,200-square-foot space beneath it, however, could once again take on a completely different role, from electricity substation to… trendy Soho restaurant?

The was put on the market in 2015 for £175,000, with Westminster Council offering a long lease on the shelter. It soon attracted interest from three restaurant groups, as well as gym and music venue operators. So far, however, the space beneath Soho Square remains vacant and hidden from view.