List of London Monopoly locations

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A board game with fake money
A standard British Monopoly board, featuring locations in London

The locations on the standard British version of the board game Monopoly are set in London and were selected in 1935 by Victor Watson, managing director of John Waddington Limited. Watson became interested in the board game after his son Norman had tried the Parker Brothers original US version and recommended the company produce a board for the domestic market.[1][2] He took his secretary Marjory Phillips on a day-trip from the head offices in Leeds to London and the pair looked for suitable locations to use.[3]

The London version of the game was successful, and in 1936 it was exported to Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,[4] becoming the de facto standard board in the British Commonwealth.[5] It became such a success in the UK that Waddingtons ran Monopoly competitions in locations depicted on the board; one such contest was held on platforms 3 and 4 of Fenchurch Street station.[6] The resulting board has been perennially popular around the world and the chosen locations have become familiar to millions.[7] Tourists from as far as Canada, Singapore and Saudi Arabia have been known to visit specific locations in London because of their presence on the Monopoly board.[5] In 2003, Watson's grandson (also called Victor Watson) unveiled a plaque at what is now a branch of The Co-operative Bank, the original location of the Angel, Islington, to commemorate the elder Watson's contribution to British popular culture.[8][9]

The set has been celebrated by the Monopoly pub crawl, which attempts to visit all the locations on the board and have a drink at a pub in each one.[10][11] The relative wealth of the various places has changed slightly. Whitechapel Road is now the cheapest (as opposed to Old Kent Road) but Mayfair remains the most expensive; in 2016 an estimate by loan provider West One showed the average house price on each was £590,000 and £3,150,000 respectively.[12]

Locations[edit]

The final list mixes well-known landmarks with relatively obscure locations. There appears to be no specific motivation for how they were chosen; when the travel writer Tim Moore searched the Waddingtons' company archives he did not uncover any relevant documentation.[13]

The light blue set are all part of the London Inner Ring Road, this section of which opened in 1756 as the New Road. From west to east the road runs as Euston Road to King's Cross, then Pentonville Road to the Angel, Islington.[14] The three streets in the purple set all converge at Trafalgar Square,[15] and the red set are all adjacent to each other as part of the A4 road, a major road running west from Central London.[16] The orange set is related to locations dealing with the police and law.[17] The yellow set has an entertainment and nightlife-based theme; Leicester Square is known for cinemas and theatres, Coventry Street for clubs and restaurants, and Piccadilly for hotels.[18] The streets in the green set have a background in retail and commercial properties.[19]

The stations were the four London termini of the London and North Eastern Railway, principally King's Cross, which served Waddingtons' home town of Leeds. Original Monopoly boards manufactured before the Transport Act 1947 and the nationalisation of the railways use this name on each title deed card; later boards showed "British Railways" instead.[20]

Some elements of the US board were unchanged, leading to apparent idiosyncrasies. The police officer on Go To Jail is wearing a New York City Police Department hat, not a Metropolitan Police helmet, while the car on Free Parking has a Whitewall spare tyre, which was uncommon in the UK. The term Community Chest was a welfare support system present in the Great Depression and has not been used in Britain.[21]

Note: the table excludes the non-specific "Go", "Jail", "Electric Company", "Free Parking", "Water Works" and "Go To Jail" squares. Chance and Community Chest squares are also omitted.
Colour Image Name Value House price (game) House price (2016)[12] Location Notes
Brown[a] Looking south along Old Kent Road from the Bricklayer's Arms Old Kent Road £60 £30 £813,000 SE1
SE14
The only location south of the River Thames; also the only one both outside and more than one tube stop away from the Circle line.[23]
Looking east on Whitechapel Road, near Whitechapel tube station and street market. Whitechapel Road £60 £30 £590,000 E1
Station King's Cross station frontage following restoration in 2014. King's Cross station £200 N/A £782,000 NW1 Principal services: Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley, Newcastle, York, Leeds
Light blue View of The Angel, Islington on the corner of Islington High Street The Angel, Islington £100 £50 £866,000 N1 The Angel is a former pub, not a street. It was a Lyons Corner House in 1935 and is reportedly where Watson and Phillips stopped for lunch.[24]
Junction of Euston Road and Euston Square Euston Road £100 £50 £1,080,000 W1
NW1
Pentonville Road, London, looking at a block of flats Pentonville Road £120 £60 £866,000 N1
Purple View of Pall Mall, London, with old buildings Pall Mall £140 £70 £1,380,000 SW1
Whitehall, featuring the Monument to the Women of World War II and the Cenotaph, near Big Ben Whitehall £140 £70 £1,390,000 SW1
The Playhouse Theatre on Northumberland Avenue Northumberland Avenue £160 £80 £1,280,000 SW1
Station The frontage of Marylebone Station, London Marylebone station £200 N/A £1,100,000 NW1 Principal services: Birmingham Snow Hill, Oxford, Sheffield Victoria (historic)
Orange Bow Street, looking north towards the former Bow Street Magistrates' Court Bow Street £180 £90 £1,280,000 WC2
View of Liberty department store on Great Marlborough Street Great Marlborough Street
(listed as Marlborough Street)
£180 £90 £2,480,000 W1 There is no actual Marlborough Street in this part of London; the square on the board was mis-named after the Marlborough Street Magistrates Court.[25]
Road sign at the end of Vine Street near Piccadilly Vine Street £200 £100 £1,700,000 W1 The shortest street on the board; it is 70 feet (21 m) long. Since Vine Street has no pubs, a typical Monopoly pub crawl visits the connecting Swallow Street instead.[26]
Red The Strand, looking towards Trafalgar Square and the Admiralty Arch Strand £220 £110 £2,160,000 WC2
View of Fleet Street, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background Fleet Street £220 £110 £1,080,000 EC4
Trafalgar Square, showing a fountain in the foreground and the National Gallery Trafalgar Square £240 £120 £1,280,000 WC2
Station Main entrance to Fenchurch Street station Fenchurch Street station £200 N/A £1,430,000 EC3 Principal services: Southend Central
Yellow Centre of Leicester Square, following redevelopment in 2012 Leicester Square £260 £130 £1,280,000 WC2
Looking eastwards on Coventry Street towards the Trocadero shopping centre Coventry Street £260 £130 £1,900,000 WC2
View of Piccadilly by the Meriden Hotel, looking towards Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly £280 £140 £2,000,000 WC1
Green Looking north along Regent Street, with Union Flags hung between buildings Regent Street £300 £150 £1,700,000 W1
Looking west along Oxford Street, with two buses and Selfridges department store Oxford Street £300 £150 £1,300,000 W1
New Bond Street, showing a zebra crossing across the road Bond Street £320 £160 £806,000 W1 There is no actual Bond Street; it is split into New Bond Street to the north and Old Bond Street to the south.[27]
Station Interior view of Liverpool Street station's main concourse Liverpool Street station £200 N/A £784,000 EC2 Principal services: Norwich, Cambridge, Stansted Airport, Southend Victoria
Dark blue View of Park Lane, showing Hyde Park and the Grosvenor House Hotel Park Lane £350 £175 £1,700,000 W1
Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, looking towards a luxury hotel Mayfair £400 £200 £3,150,000 W1 Not a street, but a location in London (between Piccadilly, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Park Lane). The most expensive square on the board, and in reality.[28]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Original British Monopoly boards have Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road in a dark purple group, rather than brown.[22]

Citations

  1. ^ Moore 2003, pp. 24–25.
  2. ^ Orbanes 2007, p. 85.
  3. ^ Humphreys 2010, p. 90.
  4. ^ Orbanes 2007, pp. 85–86.
  5. ^ a b Moore 2003, pp. 9–10.
  6. ^ Moore 2003, p. 7.
  7. ^ Brown, Matt (9 December 2016). "The Real Life Monopoly Board". Londonist. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Victor Watson". The Times. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Victor Watson, businessman – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "The Ultimate Monopoly Pub Crawl". The Daily Telegraph. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Noble, Will (30 June 2016). "7 Awesome London Pub Crawls". Londonist. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Colson, Thomas (16 November 2016). "Here's what a British Monopoly board would look like with today's house prices". The Independent. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  13. ^ Moore 2003, p. 24.
  14. ^ Moore 2003, p. 210.
  15. ^ Moore 2003, p. 45.
  16. ^ Moore 2003, p. 184.
  17. ^ Moore 2003, p. 131.
  18. ^ Moore 2003, p. 86.
  19. ^ Moore 2003, p. 241.
  20. ^ Moore 2003, p. 159.
  21. ^ Moore 2003, pp. 8–9.
  22. ^ "Great Britain Monopoly Game : Patent Applied For issue c. 1937". Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  23. ^ Moore 2003, p. 307.
  24. ^ Moore 2003, p. 44.
  25. ^ Moore 2003, p. 135.
  26. ^ Moore 2003, p. 148.
  27. ^ Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 81.
  28. ^ Cox, Hugo (11 November 2016). "Mayfair: London’s most expensive "village"". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 

Sources

External links[edit]