The Abbey Road Crossing – Has it Moved?

If you want to more about the Abbey Road Crossing, and other Beatles sites in London , come on my Beatles London Walks or virtual tours – for more info go to https://beatlesinlondon.com/

I’ve been asked so many times on my tours, and on here, whether it is true that the famous Abbey Road Crossing is not the one the Beatles posed on, but has been moved several metres. Some taxi driver tell their customers it is the crossing some 100 metre down Abbey Road from the Studios!

The confusion was made even worse when the crossing received ‘listed’ status from English Heritage in 2010. Their report said

“It has been suggested that the crossing was slightly moved to the south east in the 1970s, closer to the junction with Grove End Road. However, comparison between the cover photograph and its present location suggests that it may have been moved a little to the north…”

Neither is true – the crossing is in EXACTLY the same place it ever was! Photographic evidence shows this.

Here is a recent photo of the crossing, the things to note here is the square fire hydrant at the front of the third white strip from the right.

Compare with this picture of the Beatles on Abbey Road. The fire hydrant is in the same place as the recent photo.

Another clue is the manhole cover on the left of the picture, on the pavement, just above the crossing. Here is a pic taken by Linda McCartney of the Beatles on the crossing. The manhole cover is between Paul and Ringo.

For completists, although the crossing itself hasn’t moved, the positioning of the white stripes did change for a while, only to be put back in the same position later. Here is former head of Abbey Road Studios, Ken Tounsend, on the crossing, around the late 70s/early 80s. Note in this photo the fire hydrant is not on a while stripe – but still there nonetheless, as is the manhole cover.

Read more about the Abbey Road Crossing in my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London – now available in print, and on Kindle. We cross Abbey Road four days a week on my London Beatles Walks. More details at http://www.beatlesinlondon.com/

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7 thoughts on “The Abbey Road Crossing – Has it Moved?”

  1. John Wilson says:

    Hi Richard I would like to come on your Beatles walk sometime as I am a Beatles fan.
    I am from Glasgow but have lived in Portsmouth for 25 years and come to London three or four times a year and always visit Abbey Road and the building at 3 Seville Row.
    Thanks. John Wilson.

    1. Hi John – good to hear from you. I do Beatles tours 5 days a week. Full details are at http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

      I hope to meet you on a tour soon!

      Richard Porter

  2. Steve says:

    How come certain people are saying it was moved, when photographic evidence suggests it hasn’t ?

    1. Yes, even English Heritage said it might have moved, when they listed it! I have a feeling there was an April Fools joke a while ago that must have stuck. Then again, Paul is dead too :>)

  3. Cheryl says:

    Good to see you again. I remember the time we net up during Paul’s 90 tour in London. Apart from that, how are you?

    1. HI Cheryl

      Good to catch up with you again :>) I’m fine. Last saw Paul in December, when Ringo and Ronnie Wood joined him onstage. Pretty good gig that :>) Keep in touch :>)

  4. Peter Harrison says:

    Hi. Thank you so much for putting, in my mind, the position of the Abbey Road zebra crossing confusion to bed, once and for all. I live nearby in Cricklewood NW2 and pass down through Abbey Road and over the zebra crossing many times each week. For years I’ve believed the misinformation that it had been moved a good few yards towards the fork with Grove End so I’ve been saying to myself, ‘Shame but ah . . that’s not the REAL Beatles Abbey Road crossing anymore is it’. Now I actually feel elated knowing, thanks to you, that it positively IS the real deal, the hallowed ground where my lifelong heroes walked so famously, now 50 years ago. I was 17yrs old when they stepped on that zebra crossing and like many of my generation I felt that over 8 years we’d all been on a journey together. We were all raised during the reign of The Beatles and through their profound influence shared a bond. It was a beautiful thing. Now, half a century later – knowing the position of that humble zebra crossing IS genuine – means a great deal to me. It indisputably marks a tangible ground our mentors once all shared. A place that brings us together. A place that fans from across the universe can now all come together. Thanks.

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