Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning "circle", is a round open space at a street junction.
Piccadilly now links directly to the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue, as well as the Haymarket, Coventry Street (onwards to Leicester Square), and Glasshouse Street. The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas in the West End. Its status as a major traffic junction has made Piccadilly Circus a busy meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right. The Circus is particularly known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side, as well as the Shaftesbury memorial fountain and statue, which is popularly, though mistakenly, believed to be of Eros. It is surrounded by several notable buildings, including the London Pavilion and Criterion Theatre. Directly underneath the plaza is Piccadilly Circus tube station, part of the London Underground system.
Piccadilly Circus has a London Underground station located directly beneath Piccadilly Circus itself, with entrances at every corner. Located in Travelcard Zone 1, the station is on the Piccadilly line between Green Park and Leicester Square and on the Bakerloo line between Charing Cross and Oxford Circus.
The name 'Piccadilly' originates from a seventeenth-century frilled collar named a piccadil. Roger Baker, a tailor who became rich making piccadils lived in the area. The word 'Circus' refers to the roundabout around which the traffic circulated. However, it's not a roundabout anymore.
During 2017, the current six advertising screens will be combined into one large ultra-high definition curved Daktronics display, turning the signs off during renovation for the longest time since the 1940s. The current signs were switched off on 16 January 2017, with the new screen expected to take their place in the autumn.