Downton Abbey - A Murder at Piccadilly

Downton Abbey - A Murder at Piccadilly (Illustration) World History Crimes and Criminals Fiction Geography

In 1924, people could travel by rail from York to London. One popular place to visit, in London, was Piccadilly Circus.

This image depicts a railway poster, from the 1920s, urging people to make the trip. In the image we see Piccadilly Circus.

In ITV's Downton Abbey series, Piccadilly is a part of an important story line. It was here that Green, Lord Gillingham’s valet, was killed when he somehow slipped into the path "of a bus or lorry." (As this vintage postcard from the 1920s shows, Piccadilly was a busy place—with many buses around—at the time Green was killed.)

A witness reported seeing Green "by the statue of Eros in Piccadilly." Through 1924, that statue (which began its life in the late-nineteenth century as "Anteros," so named by its sculptor, Alfred Gilbert) was located in the center of Piccadilly.

In 1925, however, the famous London landmark (also known as the "Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain," created to honor Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury—later, Lord Shaftesbury—for his many works of charity) was moved from the place where it stood when Green, Lord Gillingham's valet, died nearby.

Originally relocated to make way for a new Tube station, Eros was moved again after World War II. We see how it appears today via Diego Delso's photo (license CC BY-SA 3.0).

Was Green’s death an accident?  Was it murder?  

If it was murder, could Bates, Lord Grantham’s valet, be a suspect? He could be ... IF he traveled from York, to London, on the day Green died.

Why would Bates be a suspect? Did he have a motive to kill Green?  

Perhaps ... if he knew that Green had raped Anna, Bates’ wife.  

But ... did Bates know? If so, who told him?

Maybe no one told him ... maybe he simply examined the evidence and correctly reached his own conclusion?

About the name of the accident area ... why is Piccadilly also called "Piccadilly Circus?"

When it was built, around 1819, Piccadilly Circus connected Regent Street with Piccadilly. “Circus,” which is based on the Latin word for “Circle,” describes how the area appears ... as a round, open space (which just happens to be, in this case, a traffic junction).

Today Piccadilly Circus is still a very busy place for locals and tourists alike. Located in London’s West End, in the City of Westminster, it is close to shops and theaters.  It also remains a transportation hub.

Today, there is still a “Tube” station at Piccadilly. London’s Underground, the more official name for “The Tube,” is itself a major form of transportation which runs (among other places) through the heart of Britain’s capital.

See, also:

Downton Abbey - Highclere Castle

Downton Abbey Gets a Wireless

Downton Abbey - The Dowager and the Russians

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jan 24, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

Media Credits

LNER London Piccadilly Circus Railway Poster from the 1920s.


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"Downton Abbey - A Murder at Piccadilly" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 24, 2015. Jul 22, 2018.
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