The Roundhouse is situated on Chalk Farm Road in Camden Town, close to Chalk Farm tube station. Built in 1846, this enormous 3300 capacity venue is extremely versatile, hosting musicals, art installations, award shows and various other events.
The Roundhouse served a number of purposes prior to its present incarnation as a venue. It was originally built as a turntable engine shed and was known as the Great Circular Engine House. It’s been a gin distillery and a warehouse. It began its initial tenure as a cultural centre in 1964, when it opened as an arts venue entitled Centre 42. Despite its official name, it was generally still referred to as The Roundhouse.
Immediately after its 1964 opening, the Roundhouse quickly became a cutting-edge hangout for the counterculture, with some of the biggest names in music and theatre performing there in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Some of the legendary performers who have graced the Roundhouse stage include Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Ramones, The Clash and Motorhead. It eventually closed in 1983 due to a lack of funds and lay empty for a number of years.
The building was purchased in 1996 by philanthropist Torquil Norman. He established the Roundhouse Trust in 1998 which eventually led to the venue’s redevelopment. A number of high profile performances took place over the next two years in order to raise funds and awareness for the venue.
The fully renovated Roundhouse opened in 2006. Contemporary music artists, plays, orchestras and circus performances have all been seen at the Roundhouse since its reopening.