Piccadilly Circus, London Piccadilly Circus is a busy plaza in the heart of London at the junction of five major streets: Regent street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly and Covent Street. The Circus was created by John Nash as part of King George IV's plan to connect Carlton House with Regent's Park. Billboards The creation of the Shaftesbury Avenue in 1885 turned the plaza into a busy traffic junction. This attracted the first illuminated advertisements in London in 1895. The plaza used to be surrounded by billboards, creating London's version of Times Square, but currently only one building still carries large (mostly electronic) displays. Shaftesbury memorial fountain At the center of the Circus stands the Shaftesbury memorial fountain. It was built in 1893 to commemorate Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist known for his support of the poor. The nude statue on top of the fountain depicts the Angel of Christian Charity but was later renamed Eros. The fountain itself was made in bronze, but the statue is made of aluminum, at the time a novel and rare material.turkeyarena.com Piccadilly The name 'Piccadilly' originates from a 17th century frilled collar named piccadil. Roger Baker, the tailor who became rich making piccadils lived in the area. The word 'Circus' refers to the roundabout around which the traffic circulated. Piccadilly Circus today The Piccadilly Circus is now partly pedestrianized and a favorite place from where to access the nearby shopping and entertainment areas. Soho, Chinatown, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square are all within walking distance.