Marylebone

CITATION NOTE:
This guide to the streets of Marylebone is largely based on the Survey of London’s chapter dealing with the area of south east Marylebone and published with the permission of the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/research/survey-london/south-east-marylebone

Smaller segments are derived from the various conservation areas classed as under Marylebone by the City of Westminster: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/conservation-areas

Further material is gleaned from the out-of-print Old and London London publication held at British History Online: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol4/pp441-467

Some Wikipedia articles were used in some articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marylebone


Marylebone east of the Tyburn River belonged to the Manor of Tyburn, which was in existence by the time of Domesday Book. Estimated at about 600 acres, the manor then belonged to Barking Abbey and ran as far north as St John’s Wood. The hamlet of Tyburn, originally so called, lay by the manor’s southern edge, where the stream crossed Oxford Street some way east of that ancient thoroughfare’s junction with Watling Street–Edgware Road. A small church dedicated to St John the Evangelist was built here, supposedly in the reign of King John or the early thirteenth century. It occupied a site on the stream’s east bank, identifiable today with the narrow block at 350–352 Oxford Street between the two arms at the bottom of Marylebone Lane.

Later in the thirteenth century Robert de Vere, 5th Earl of Oxford, who had inherited the manor through his wife, Alice de Sanford, built a manor house half a mile to the north of Tyburn village, on the site where the Conran shop now stands near the top of Marylebone High Street.

Following a decree of 1400, a new church dedicated to St Mary, still small, was built across the street from the manor house in a better-protected location than its predecessor down by the main road. From the 1460s at the latest it began to be known instead as Marybourne, Marybone or Marylebone, the ‘Marybone’ form finding most favour until well into the eighteenth century.

Adam and Eve Inn

 

All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street

The brick church and lofty spire of All Saints, together with the twin clergy and parish buildings that front it towards Margaret Street, comprise a renowned monument to Victorian religion and architecture. Exuberant and compact, the group was built in 1850–2 by John Kelk to designs by William Butterfield, yet the interior of the church with its painted reredos by William Dyce was not completed and opened till 1859. The whole was sponsored as a model project by the Ecclesiological Society, chiefly through Alexander Beresford Hope, though only a modicum of the banking money that paid for it came from him. Butterfield continued to embellish and alter All Saints throughout his lifetime, and it is always regarded as his masterpiece. Among decorative changes to the interior since his death, the foremost were those made by Ninian Comper between 1909 and 1916. Recent restorations have reinforced Butterfield’s original vision of strength, experimental colour and sublimity.

All Saints Convent and School, Margaret Street

The Anglican women’s religious order of the Society of All Saints, informally the Sisters of the Poor, operated from the south side of Margaret Street, opposite All Saints Church after 1856. Their former premises, later occupied by the Jesus Centre, include a chapel of 1860 by G. E. Street at the back and the convent building (Nos 82–83) at the front, rebuilt to Ernest Willmott’s design in 1914.

All Souls Church

All Souls, Langham Place, built in 1822–4, is one of the showpieces of John Nash’s redesign of this area of the capital, providing a vista up Regent Street where the road needed to curve to the left to line up with Portland Place.

By 1820 Regent Street and Langham Place were well advanced. So Nash already had a clear sense of how the new church should stand, ‘facing the entrance to Langham Place and central to Chandos Street the Portico advancing westward from the East side of the New Street so that it be a central Object from Oxford Street along the New Street. From the nature of the bend of the Street’, he wrote, ‘the portico and Spire will together form an object terminating the vista from the Circus in Oxford Street – the Spire (I submit) as the most beautiful of forms is most peculiarly appropriate to a Church – the Portico I have made circular as taking up less of the passage of the Street at the same time that it is most consonant to the shape of the Spire’.

Consecration took place on 25 November 1824, when the Rev. Dr John Hume Spry, the first-appointed rector for the district, preached. The name All Souls is said to have been chosen in part because it offered a measure of ‘gratuitous accommodation’ for the whole parish, the poor included. The total cost was not much short of £20,000, of which the parish found a little under half including the extra cost for the foundations. The Commissioners paid the rest, while the Crown donated the site.

On 8 December 1940 a land mine blew out all the doors and windows, lifted the roof and caused the main ceiling to collapse, smashing most of the choir stalls and pews. The congregation moved to St Peter’s, Vere Street, for the next decade. In 1944 much of the spire was taken down for safety’s sake. Much exterior replacement in new Bath stone then took place, and some of the main roof beams were strengthened. The internal restoration was largely a reinstatement, but the organ (which had escaped serious damage) was rebuilt and the console brought down to ground level.

All Souls Place

All Souls Place, a short cul-de-sac in the shadow of All Souls Church, originated in the eighteenth century as a mews or back-way off Edward Street. Early on it was called Edward Yard or Court and later, until 1879, Edward or Edwards Place.

The south side of All Souls Place, largely taken up by the backs of buildings in Riding House Street, was mostly redeveloped in the early twentieth century for the Radium Institute.

Ashland Place

Aybrook Street

 

Banqueting House Ground

The Banqueting House Ground was the northernmost part of the City’s Conduit Mead estate, from the bulk of which it was separated by Oxford Street. Bounded east by Marylebone Lane, west by the Ay Brook (as this stretch of the Tyburn was known), it was crossed from north to south by the City’s aqueduct from Paddington and Marylebone to Cornhill, dating back to the early thirteenth century. This was fed by the Tyburn and various springs. As well as the main pipeline through the site, there were several conduits or cisterns and subsidiary pipes and drains. Historically, hunting and feasting accompanied the mayor’s periodic inspections of the conduits, so a banqueting house was built at the Oxford Street end of the ground in 1565, above two cisterns. Eventually this became redundant and derelict and in 1736 a contractor undertook to arch over the cisterns, demolishing the house to leave just the cut-down external walls as abutments to the new vaults.

With the development of the greater part of Conduit Mead and the general spread of building north of Oxford Street the potential of the Banqueting House Ground, bringing in £14 a year as pasture, was obvious. In autumn 1770, as the current lease neared its end, George Dance prepared his plan for ‘laying it out to Build on’.

The Hon. Edward Augustus Stratford of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, from 1777 the second Earl of Aldborough was living in Dean Street, Soho, when in June 1771 his petition for a renewable building lease (the type favoured by the Corporation) came before the Common Council and was referred to the City Lands Committee. Stratford refers to a ‘contract’ of 31 July, but it was not until November that he formally agreed to take a lease. It was for the City’s standard term of 61 years, at £160 rent after two peppercorn years, renewable every fourteen years at a fine of £800.

Agreement was reached with the parish Paving Commissioners for small exchanges of ground along Marylebone Lane to improve the site at the Oxford Street junction. This was part of a quid pro quo arrangement whereby the City agreed to the Commissioners cutting down and arching over a conduit in Oxford Street which obstructed traffic. At the corner of Oxford Street and Gee’s Court a scrap of City ground intended to have been let to John Jee or Gee for widening the entry was added to Stratford’s holding, Jee having died. More important was Stratford’s securing a lease of ground held by Edmund Pepys, a Bloomsbury lawyer, on Sir Thomas Edwardes’ estate west of the river, a substantial strip which gave scope for a more spaciously planned development. Some deal with Edwardes was evidently struck, but Stratford does not seem to have acquired the freehold. Possibly this was to do with alleged encroachment by the City on Edwardes’ ground along the Ay Brook, complained of by him in 1765 but seemingly left unresolved – Thomas Smith referred in 1833 to Edwardes’ ‘unaccountable apathy’ over this encroachment, for which compensation ‘has recently been made’.

Leases from the City and Pepys were signed in May 1772. A series of building under-leases followed immediately for the seven houses in the eastern terrace in ‘Stratford Street’.

Stratford and his lessees agreed to arch in the Ay Brook and lay drains to it from the houses at their own expense. Covering-in of the brook does not seem to have been completed until 1779.

Meanwhile the Corporation got on with re-routing the aqueduct so as not to interfere unduly with the houses. In addition to Stratford Place, complete or nearly complete by the summer of 1774, two shops west of Stratford Place Mews (161 and 162 Oxford Street) were built, plus a warehouse behind. At the back of Poulett’s No. 19, an underground vaulted passage 12ft high and wide connected the two parts of the mews, which together followed the line of the Ay Brook.

Stratford Place must have cost much more to build than the £40,000 stipulated, and in the absence of sufficient takers much of the cost fell on Stratford himself.

In 1781 a scheme was reported for a ‘grand opening… directly in a straight line’ from Stratford Place to Berkeley Square, straightening out and widening the crooked north end of Davies Street. This was an acknowledgement that Stratford Place occupied a somewhat isolated position, cut off from the most fashionable addresses in the West End north and south of Oxford Street. The project was mentioned again a year later, but nothing came of it. The realignment was eventually carried out in 1898–1900.

Baker’s Mews

Baker’s Mews was named for Edward Baker, a family friend of the Portman family

Baker Street

Baker Street is named after builder William Baker, who laid out the street in the 18th century.

The street is famous for its connection to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who lived at a fictional 221B Baker Street address on the north of the street.

Barrett Street

Barrett Street was named – after Thomas Barret, local 18th century landowner

Beaumont Mews

After Sir Beaumont Hotham, local leaseholder in the late 18th century.

Beaumont Mews stands on the site of a livery stable and coach-houses. It was entirely rebuilt in the years around 1900, and most of the present buildings were built after the Second World War.

Beaumont Street

After Sir Beaumont Hotham, local leaseholder in the late 18th century.

Most of Beaumont Street, is on the site of Marylebone Gardens and was laid out for building soon after the gardens closed in 1776. By then the southern part, still open ground at the time of Rocque’s map (surveyed 1738–44), was already partly developed, and the whole of the area was fully built up by the end of the century. It is a quiet neighbourhood, mostly residential and medical-institutional, extensively rebuilt since the Second World War and retaining very little fabric earlier than the 1890s.

Beaumont Street was mostly built up from the late 1780s, when leases were granted to the Thomas Neales, senior and junior, and John White, among others. Its route, including the return to Marylebone High Street, is foreshadowed in the layout of Marylebone Gardens as shown on Rocque’s map. The street was touted as being in as ‘pleasant and as healthy a situation as in the country’. But many Beaumont Street houses, especially at the north end, were no more than terraced cottages, and must always have been of modest description.

From an early date there were shopkeepers and professionals, including a cheesemonger, lady perfumer, surgeon, bookseller-stationer, and teacher of writing and accounting, whose manuscript collection was open to the public.3 Residents in the 1790s–1800s included a botanical painter, Christian Brown; the sporting painter and journalist Benjamin Marshall; and a celebrated harpist, Anne-Marie Krumpholtz – her presence here perhaps connected with the Wimpole Street harp manufactory of J. Elouis, whose swell harps were of the type advocated by her late husband, the composer Johann-Baptist Krumpholtz.

In the course of the later nineteenth century Beaumont Street lost any cachet it once had, descending socially.

Already in the mid 1880s, as original leases came up for renewal, Beaumont Street was being improved along the same lines as other Portland Estate streets, the houses modernized, with attics raised to full-height storeys and the fronts sometimes embellished with cornices and balconies or balconettes. In other cases, shops were put back to residential use. In the late 1880s a ‘Medical & Surgical Home’ opened at Nos 56–58, and it is likely that various lodging houses were already acting as nursing homes, as suggested by the death in 1868 at No. 56 of the writer Eyre Evans Crowe, following an operation. Nursing homes proliferated so that by 1913, in a neighbourhood ‘honeycombed’ with them, Beaumont Street ‘probably holds the most, for at least thirty of its houses are devoted to invalids’.7

Inter-war plans by the Howard de Walden Estate to rebuild Beaumont Street in orderly phases were hampered by the Depression, and several houses were destroyed in the Second World War. All the original houses have now gone, apart from No. 28 and No. 1, which escaped complete rebuilding in the early 1920s and was done up, with a new shopfront, for a pharmaceutical chemist and medical-spray manufacturer.

Post-war, Beaumont Street has seen much high-class redevelopment for private residential and medical use, much of it on the pre-war pattern of blocks rather than terraces or individual houses.

Bentinck Street

Bentinck Mews and Bentinck Street were named after William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, who inherited the local estate after marrying Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland in 1734

Bentinck Street, all on Portland ground, was built up in the early to mid 1760s, mainly under William Franks and Thomas Huddle. The surviving original houses, variously altered, are Nos 8–10, leased to Franks in 1761, and No. 1, leased to Thomas Bird in 1763. No. 9 was occupied in 1854–60 by the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, which moved there from Queen Square. Much of the street was rebuilt in the early 1900s, mostly as houses. Flats were allowed only on the less-favoured sites at the Marylebone Lane end – Bentinck Mansions and No. 11. This rebuilding is all in the rather grandiose manner favoured by the Howard de Walden Estate, in orangey brick with profuse stone detail, shaped gables and bow windows. W. Henry White was the architect for the row at Nos 17–23, of 1901–2. The flats at No. 11, extending to the rear at 90–92 Marylebone Lane, were built at the same time for William Wooder of the Coachmakers’ Arms adjoining, recently rebuilt by him with the same architects, Bird & Walters.95

For a short street, Bentinck Street has quite a roster of notable former residents: the historian Edward Gibbon, who wrote much of his magnum opus at No. 7; James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institute (No. 9); Frédéric Chopin (No. 10); Charles Dickens (No. 18). Adam Buck, miniaturist and portrait painter, lived in the street in 1813–20. From the late nineteenth century the houses were increasingly occupied as nursing homes or their lower floors by the medical profession. The maisonette at No. 5, belonging to Victor Rothschild, was shared by Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt among others during the Second World War, acquiring subsequent notoriety as a centre of espionage and debauchery. The missing murder suspect Lord Lucan was born at No. 19.

Berkeley Mews

Berkeley Mews is named after Henry William Berkeley, who inherited the local Portman estate via his mother.

Berners Estate

The limits of the main part of the estate were Oxford Street on the south, Wells Street on the west and Riding House Street on the north, the eastern boundary running between Newman Street and Rathbone Place. To the north, a narrow strip along the whole west side of Cleveland Street also formed part of the estate, representing an old line of access to the original fields or closes. The Berners–Allsopp Estate today owns only a scatter of properties in Berners and Newman Streets.

In late medieval times the land which became the Berners estate was called Newlands. Together with the access track from the north, ‘le Lane’ (Wrastling or Wrestling Lane in later documents, ‘The Green Lane’ on Rocque’s map of c.1745), it was an outlying Marylebone fraction of lands belonging to the leper hospital of St Giles, otherwise in that parish. After the Dissolution the close was sold to John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, and by him to (Sir) Wymond Carew. Its ownership can then be traced in extant deeds via the Downes family (1563–72) to John Graunge senior and junior (1572–1610) and hence via John and Robert Lloyd (1610–31) and further brief owners in 1637 to Sir Francis Williamson of Isleworth, serjeant at arms, who issued a long lease to Clement Billingsley in 1646.

In 1654 Josias Berners bought the close from Williamson along with Billingsley’s interest. Berners was a resident of Clerkenwell with legal training with a connection with the New River Company (retained by later generations of his family).

At the time of the purchase, the land was described as occupied by two messuages, but seven further messuages had recently been built there, ‘now or late in the occupation of George Wells or tenants’ They probably lay off the existing track later known as Wells Street.

Josias Berners was dead by 1663. A little development took place during the lifetimes of his son James and grandson William. It included the leasing in 1685 of two acres to the New River Company for a pond enclosed by a brick wall, one of several ponds in the fields between Tottenham Court Road and Edgware Road supplying the new West End houses in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Four years later a Mr Bullamore undertook to add a three-storey house over a cistern, and a 12-horse stable. The company bought the two acres in 1710, and also acquired Marchant’s Waterworks, which had a reservoir at the north end of Rathbone Place; it sold the land back to the Berners in 1737. By 1713 the enclosure was known as the Bowling Green, late Bullamore’s, and was tenanted by James Horsely or Worsley, victualler, so presumably a place of public resort. It was reached from Wells Street.

The first William Berners died in 1712. By the time his son William (1710–83), came of age in the early 1730s, the opposite Soho frontage of Oxford Street had been built up, along with the smaller Rathbone property just east of Newlands.

Westwards, development on the Cavendish–Harley estate was in full swing and creeping along the west side of Wells Street. Building on Newlands might have started before, were it not for William Berners junior’s minority. As it was, the value of his Marylebone property leapt over his lifetime, allowing him to buy the Woolverstone estate overlooking the Orwell near Ipswich.

On the eve of development, Newlands consisted of two main closes of about twelve acres each: the northern one reached from Wrastling Lane or the top of Wells Lane, the southern one facing Oxford Street (or Tyburn Road), and bisected by a footpath running through it from south-east to north-west towards Marylebone village, known as Marylebone Passage, a short stretch of which survives west of Wells Street. The northern close, described as garden ground, had been taken in 1716 on a short lease by Edward Huddle, gardener. In 1732 Thomas Huddle, gardener, presumably Edward’s son, renewed the lease of this field for thirty years, with liberty to dig for brick earth, gravel and sand. This may mark the start of the younger Huddle’s career as a brickmaker and developer, lasting till his death in 1768. Huddle was brother-in-law to Francis Goodge, who with his brother William owned and developed the neighbouring land around Goodge Street.

In 1738 Thomas Huddle entered into agreement with William Berners for developing the southern close, where he had a garden and cowyard. This related to the entire 655ft frontage towards Oxford Street and the ground behind, to a depth of 100ft, and provided for the building of a sewer along Oxford Street and the creation of three north–south streets. These were to become Newman Street, Berners Street and Wells Street. Though the existence of Wells Lane dictated the line of Wells Street, their exact position was left to Huddle, who sensibly aligned them with the existing Great Chapel, Wardour and Berwick Streets on the south side of Oxford Street. The name Newman derives from Newman (now Quendon) Hall, Essex, where William Berners was living when development began.

Huddle had already started on four houses at the Newman Street corner of Oxford Street when the agreement was signed. Up the new streets, no progress northwards was made. The rest of his land was still largely given over to diggings for bricks.

In 1747 Huddle took extra ground on the east side of Newman Street just north of Marylebone Passage, but may not have developed it immediately. In due course Huddle’s Passage, later Perry’s Place, was built on back land here. A hiatus followed, broken only when the Middlesex Hospital negotiated a 999-year lease for their future site, taking a hunk out of the northern end of the estate. The hospital was planned on axis with the top of Berners Street, yet to be laid out, so doubtless there was a clear line in mind. It could be reached at first only via the Goodges’ land in St Pancras to the east.

Concerted development on the Berners estate kicked off in 1758–9, with fresh agreements both for the south end of Newman Street, some again involving Huddle, and for the north-west sector, where Mortimer Street on the Cavendish–Harley estate was extended east to Goodge Street, under the name Charles Street. Around this time an overall plan for the rest of the estate must have been made. The only wholly new street envisaged was Suffolk Street (now Nassau Street), plotted northwards out of Charles Street west of the Middlesex Hospital to meet Union Street (now Riding House Street), the estate’s northern boundary. Otherwise the plan protracted existing alignments, as with another east–west line on Cavendish–Harley property, Castle Street, which was driven through from Wells Street to Newman Street as Castle Street East (now Eastcastle Street). Mews were allowed for behind all the north–south streets, notably the long and regular Berners Mews, equidistant between Berners and Newman Streets.

Between 1758 and 1772 William Berners signed a series of building agreements covering the whole of his property apart from the future Cleveland Street. From over two hundred mid-Georgian houses on the estate only nine survive (six in Newman Street, three in Nassau Street).

The houses built on the Berners estate ran through the gamut of larger mid-Georgian terrace house types. The best houses came mostly in the middle of the long terrace runs. Nearer the cross streets they tended to be smaller, and were sometimes shops or pubs.

Berners Mews

The longest mews in the area has always been Berners Mews, running between Berners Street and Newman Street north of Eastcastle Street. Its southward continuation is now Berners Place, formerly Newman Mews. Back premises in this area must always have blended domestic stabling with manufacturing and commerce, with the latter quickly predominating nearer to Oxford Street. Neither retains much character.

Berners Street

Berners Street, smart in its early years, after 1765 lost its shine.

Berners Street boasted wealthy residents by virtue of its width and deep plots serviced by mews.

These streets enjoyed some fifty years as fashionable addresses, attracting no dukes or marquesses but a sprinkling of peers and baronets, two bishops, fair numbers of the untitled landed classes and parliamentarians and, above all, the Marylebone staple of high-ranking military men, colonial administrators, East India merchants and investors, upper civil servants, City bankers, placemen, lawyers, doctors and their families. Owner William Berners and his descendants were shrewd enough, however, to avoid ever living on their property. Typical among early occupants of the better houses was James Alexander, later Earl of Caledon, a wealthy Irishman with India trade interests. Alexander was the first occupant of 25 Berners Street (1773–6), furnishing it with the help of the fashionable firm of Mayhew & Ince.

Berners Street was host to major musical instrument makers, who first appeared there around 1790, probably migrating from Soho alongside music publishers and engravers. Making instruments and publishing music often went together, as with Boosey & Co. (first in Holles Street, later in Regent Street) or Rudall, Carte & Co. (Berners Street). In a later form of diversification, the grander piano makers and dealers of Wigmore Street opened recital rooms.

Bingham Place

Bingham Place was named after Bingham in Nottinghamshire, where local landowners the dukes of Portland owned property.

Bird Street

After Thomas Bird, local 18th century bricklayer

Blandford Street

After Blandford Forum, Dorset, where the local Portman family had a seat

Boarded House

In the fields a little to the north of the Adam and Eve hostelry on Oxford Steet, stood the Boarded House, renowned from the 1680s until the 1720s for the baiting of bears and yet more exotic animals such as leopards, panthers and African tigers. It was also here that the celebrated James Figg , a prize-fighter, promoted sword contests and trials of strength, in which he himself sometimes fought, and other entertainments.

The amusements at Figg’s were varied – it was said that “women here could have ‘sets-to’ in a manner marvellous to behold”. One advertisement of the time announces that “Mrs. Stokes, the City Championess, is ready to meet the Hibernian Heroine at Figg’s.”

After 1725 Figg’s performances generally took place at the ‘amphitheatre’ he had built behind his pub, the City of Oxford, on the Oxford Road. The Boarded House was demolished in 1735.

The Boarded House stood close to the proposed path of Mortimer Street, near to the junction with Wells Street. Its demolition cleared the way for Mortimer Street to go ahead.

Bolsover Street

The smartest of the local streets socially up to about 1820 was Norton Street, named after the village of Norton on the Duke of Portland’s Welbeck Abbey estate in Nottinghamshire. It was renamed Bolsover Street in 1858.

After about 1825 this area sank into decline, to the point that Norton and Upper Norton Streets with Cirencester Place became the local focus of a wider outcry against prostitution that hit the London headlines in 1857. The panic seems to have been instigated by a rash of unexplained murders, plus a growing incidence of street-walkers on Portland Place, ‘one-half Frenchwomen of the worst description’. Thomas Garnier, rector of Holy Trinity, investigating on behalf of local churches and a ‘Marylebone Representative Council’, came up with the statistic that there were 130 to 140 brothels in these particular streets, involving 900 to 1,000 women or one in twelve of the population. The figure, ridiculed by some, gained credence.

A flurry of prosecutions and name change to Bolsover Street – unusually, on the petition of Norton Street residents – followed in 1858 before things died down.

Once-artistic Bolsover Street was dismissed by an Edwardian commentator as ‘now a dull macadamised street in whose houses upholstering, steel-cutting, etc., are carried on’.21 Much of the west side became back premises of addresses in Great Portland Street, notably the massive Portland Court of 1905–11 between Clipstone and Carburton Street (pages ###), while the east side was restored to some dignity and respectability in the early years of George V’s reign by a group of neo-Georgian hostels for working women, Bentinck House, Chadwickham (Ills 24/6–7) and St Clement’s House (see Select Gazetteer below). In Patrick Hamilton’s pre-war novel of pubs and prostitution, The Midnight Bell, Bolsover Street is still a place of multi-occupation, poverty, ‘evil and deliberate stagnation’. It ‘starts off with tall and newly erected buildings, but soon dwindles down into the drab and decayed slum which actually it is’.22

Unified property management in this district collapsed once the Howard de Walden Estate sold off its easternmost holdings piecemeal in 1922–3. It fell to St Marylebone Borough Council and the LCC to concert a post-war strategy for clearance and renewal, given years of stagnation and an above-average level of bomb damage. The LCC’s planning policy, supported by the borough, was to allow office and workshop development up to Clipstone Street but to zone the district further north for rehousing the dwindling population. On those grounds one commercial application for planning consent was refused in 1949. Redevelopment, much of it for the Holcroft Court housing scheme, transformed the area in the 1960s and thereafter.

Bridford Mews

Bridford Mews was named after Bridford in Devon, by association with the nearby Devonshire Street.

Broadcasting House

Commanding the chicane that links Portland Place to Regent Street, Broadcasting House is the pale, ethereal Pollux to the Langham Hotel’s earthy Castor. Opened in 1932, the original Broadcasting House has since 2012 formed the south-west wing of an extensively rebuilt and extended New Broadcasting House – a spanner-head in plan, occupying the whole site bounded by Portland Place, Duchess Street, Hallam Street and All Souls Place, and swallowing up the western arm of Langham Street.

It was built at a time of rapid development in broadcasting. ‘Wireless telephony’ had been used only for experimental or military purposes until 1920, when the first regular radio broadcasts in Britain were had made from a hut at the Marconi Company’s aircraft division at Writtle in Essex, augmented later the same year by transmission from Marconi House on the Strand. As licencees proliferated, the Postmaster-General, who had responsibility for licensing all forms of mass communication other than newspapers, orchestrated a collaborative venture by the principal wireless manufacturers in an attempt to avoid the anarchy of the airwaves in the United States, where competing transmitters were going up unconstrained. In October 1922 six of the principal wireless-equipment manufacturers – Marconi, British Thomson-Houston, Metropolitan Vickers, General Electric, Radio Communication and Western Electric – floated the British Broadcasting Company Ltd, which was to have two years’ exclusive broadcasting rights in the UK.

Bridford Mews.

Until 1934, Bridford Mews was called Williams Mews, named after David Williams, the painter-glazier who developed the adjacent west side of Hallam Street (then Charlotte Street) in the late 1770s. Nothing survives of the early buildings.

Broadstone Place

Named after Broadstone, Dorset, where local landowners the dukes of Portland owned property

Brown Street

Named after Mr Brown, local 19th century builder

Browning Mews

Named after the poet Robert Browning, who married local resident Elizabeth Barret

Brunswick Mews

After the Brunswick Chapel, formerly located near here on Upper Berkeley Street

Bryanston Mews East, Bryanston Mews West, Bryanston Place, Bryanston Square and Bryanston Street – after Bryanston in Dorset, where local landowners the dukes of Portland owned property

Bulstrode Place

After local landowners the Bentinck family, who also owned land at Bulstrode Park in Buckinghamshire

Bulstrode Street

After local landowners the Bentinck family, who also owned land at Bulstrode Park in Buckinghamshire
Bulstrode Street east of Marylebone Lane, on the Duke of Portland’s estate, was laid out around 1763, the name being taken from the duke’s Buckinghamshire seat. It was built up under an agreement taken out by William Franks with fairly large houses, three of which survive (Nos 3–7). The western portion, on the Hinde estate, was laid out in the later 1780s as William Street, retaining its separate identity until 1928, when the whole street was renumbered.

Bulstrode Street’s eighteenth-century residents included Admiral Sir Charles Knowles, 1st Bt, sometime head of the surveying branch of the Russian navy, and another distinguished naval officer, Sir George Collier. Later residents include the politician brothers Richard and John Hely-Hutchinson (later successive Earls of Donoughmore) at No. 4. After Richard’s death in 1825, the house was occupied by the zoologist Edward Turner Bennett and his brother the botanist John Joseph Bennett.

The large Portland estate houses were well adapted to multi-occupation and institutional use and by the end of the nineteenth century several were occupied as apartments and nursing homes; No. 4 was a Home for Governesses and Ladies. The clothing trade had also made an appearance. William Street, too, was largely residential, but with businesses including a watchmaker’s and a surgical-boot maker’s. As this suggests, it was not among the better-class streets, and in 1911 was judged unsuitable for a nursing home because of nearby pubs and the ‘rather noisy and disreputable’ character of Marylebone Lane.

The north side of the original Bulstrode Street is now entirely taken up by the Marylebone Hotel, largely purpose-built.

Cabbell Street

The street was named after George Cabbell, local landowner in the 1790s.

Candover Street

York Street had been named after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of King George IV. York Street was renamed Candover Street in 1886.

Castlereagh Street

After Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, Lord Castlereagh, prominent politician of the 17th – 18th centuries

Cato Street

Named by landowner John Harcourt, in allusion to the Roman Cato; it was changed for a period to Horace Street (after the Roman poet) owing to the notoriety of the Cato Street conspiracy, but the original name was restored

Cavendish Mews North

Cavendish Mews North is named after Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, father of Henrietta Harley, Countess of Oxford and Countess Mortimer, who married Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, landowner.

Cavendish Mews South,

Cavendish Mews North is named after Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Cavendish Place

Cavendish Place today is a short, rather anonymous road linking Regent Street with Wigmore Street via the north side of Cavendish Square. It was laid out as part of Mortimer Street, but this far end was cut off psychologically when Regent Street was created in the 1810s–20s. The present name was chosen in 1859 to articulate its comparatively high status and residential character adjacent to Cavendish Square. The south side had been built up in the 1760s with houses (later numbered 1–11) but none survive and the present fabric there is entirely twentieth-century and commercial. The north side was open ground until 1751, when George Mercer built large corner houses at either end, stone-fronted with pediments, as if aspiring to be on Cavendish Square, which they almost were. At the corner with Edward Street, the eastern house was lost to the formation of Regent Street but its western equivalent survives as No. 14. Lord Foley acquired the intervening frontage from Mercer in 1753, to add to the grounds of Foley House and with the intention of developing along the street front. But only one house with a large garden went up (the present No. 12), and not until 1768–70, after Foley’s death. Another house (No. 2) had been added by 1790 and from around 1800 the remaining frontage was clogged up by warehousing, workshops and stables associated with a coach-making yard run by the Thomson family on the south side of the street. These were replaced in the 1850s by the present Nos 4–10.

Cavendish Square

Central Institute for Swedish Gymnastics

The former gymnastics institute at 16–18 Paddington Street dates from 1910–11, and was the last high-class redevelopment in the street before the First World War brought its improvement under the Howard de Walden Estate to an end. It was commissioned by Allan Broman, a Swede who had practised in London since the mid 1880s in the field of ‘medical gymnastics’ and massage – in modern terms physiotherapy.

The building opened in October 1911 as the Central Institute for Swedish Gymnastics, offering a men’s one-year training course. The Institute and the South-Western Polytechnic in Chelsea (which opened a one-year course in 1908 and also taught women) were the only places in England then providing such training.

In 1915, Broman having turned his attention to training army recruits, the building became a hospital for British soldiers under the auspices of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, initially for 30–40 men, then as a 24-bed officers’ hospital, employing Swedish-style physiotherapy. In 1917 the Swedish War Hospital was taking casualties direct from the Front. After the war, the institute seems to have resumed, but in 1920 Broman sold the premises to the London County Council as its teacher-training College of Physical Education. Five male and five female instructors were initially employed, together with a resident caretaker and session pianist. The college was latterly run by the Inner London Education Authority, but with ILEA’s abolition in 1990 closed, and in 1992 the building was acquired for a Greek and Greek-Cypriot cultural centre, the Hellenic Centre, opened in 1994.

Chandos House

Constructed in 1769–72, Chandos House pre-dated by just a few years the three London townhouses which are Robert Adam’s undisputed masterpieces of the genre – 20 St James’s Square (1771–4), Derby House in Grosvenor Square (1773–4, now demolished), and Home House at 20 Portman Square (1775–7). Taken together, thought Sir John Summerson, these four represented ‘perhaps, the highest point of imagination and artistry in the handling of the London house’.

It was not built for a patrician client with a long purse but speculatively, via the Adam brothers’ construction company William Adam & Co., and at a time when their finances were badly overstretched. Its dual function was to showcase their design talents and entice a purchaser of sufficient status to help attract fashionable society to the housing they were planning in Mansfield Street and Portland Place. Nonetheless its interior is of outstanding quality and important in Robert Adam’s development as a decorative artist, in places harking back to the freer, rococo manner that characterized his work of the earlier 1760s, in others displaying the shallower geometry that was the hallmark of his mature style. Some ceilings embody a hybrid of the two.

The site was part of the area covered by James Adam’s 1767 building agreement with the Duke of Portland, along with Mansfield Street, General Clerk’s house and the lower half of Portland Place. Sandwiched between Clerk House and Foley House, the Chandos House plot had originally been reserved as part of the northward continuation of Chandos Street, abandoned with the building of Foley House in the 1750s. Although narrow in relation to its depth, the plot was sufficiently wide (at 49ft) for a generously sized house, with its own stables and coach-house behind, and it commanded an uninterrupted view towards Cavendish Square.

From 1816 the house was underlet to the Austrian ambassador, the spectacularly rich Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy. Extravagant entertainments were routinely held, choking the neighbouring streets with carriages until the early hours – at one fête and ball in 1825 supper for 800 was laid on after a night of dancing, served in four sittings of 200 a time, before dancing resumed at dawn. On this occasion every room was festooned with floral displays and a temporary conservatory erected behind the house, forming ‘an amphitheatre of flowers’. Esterházy left England in the early 1840s, to be followed at Chandos House by successive Austrian ambassadors until 1866; a dinner guest in 1848 was Prince Metternich, then in enforced exile.

The embassy left Chandos House in 1866, to be replaced before the end of the year by Richard Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, who had a new lease from the Portland Estate. His first wife, the duchess Caroline, threw open the newly repaired house to 700 guests for a first assembly in July 1867. She died in 1874, and in 1875–80 the duke was in India with his daughters as Governor of Madras. Back in England, he did not return to Chandos House until 1886 or 1887, by which time he had remarried and renewed active interest in domestic politics as Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. Meanwhile the house had been occupied in 1876–81 by Sir Edward and Lady Dering, then by a succession of short-term tenants including Lord and Lady Lytton (1881) and Quintin Hogg (1883–4).

In 1963 Chandos House was solf to the Royal Society of Medicine, which was keen to expand but as yet unable to extend its main building at 1 Wimpole Street. The Adam interiors were renovated and opened in 1967 for receptions, concerts, and meetings, with some rooms given over to offices for the RSM and other medical bodies; the staircase landing and drawing-room floor were reinforced with steel to take the anticipated extra weight. In 1970 a members’ hotel (the Domus Medica) was opened at 10 Duchess Street. By 1986 the RSM had begun to plan for the refurbishment and extension of its Wimpole Street headquarters, and Chandos House was sold to raise funds.

Eventually the Howard de Walden Estate bought back the lease and with the architects Donald Insall Associates and ESA Ltd restored the building in 2002–5. The RSM reacquired the lease, and began to hire out Chandos House for functions, the bedrooms being used as overnight accommodation for members.

Chandos Street

After the Duke of Chandos, who built a mansion nearby in the 1710s.

Queen Anne Street and Chandos Street were conceived in the 1710s as part of the layout for the Cavendish–Harley estate, but little had been accomplished as to their development before the bursting of the South Sea Bubble in 1720 and consequent chilling of the financial waters. Things began to pick up again in the 1750s, but the two streets – projected to run respectively much further east and north than they do – were then curtailed by the building of Foley House in its spacious grounds. Visually, the result is a single street with a right-angle turn, where stone-faced Chandos House looks down to Cavendish Square.
On the north side of Queen Anne Street, the reservoir called Marylebone Basin was dug in 1725 on the line of present-day Mansfield Street, partly on ground leased by the first Duke of Chandos and essentially his project. For a relatively few years the area around the south end of the Basin possessed a character of its own, relating more to the sometimes disorderly traditions of Marylebone as a place of resort and entertainment than to the coming rank and file of streets in all their residential respectability.

Lord Foley built Foley House and his plans for expansion gobbled up what could be become a logical street pattern. Foley built an entrance to his house on Chandos Street. With its further extension east blocked, Queen Anne Street became Queen Anne Street West, its counterpart beyond Foley House becoming Foley Place (now Langham Street) and Queen Anne Street East (now Foley Street).

Chapel Place

Chapel Place took its name after the nearby St Peter, Vere Street church, formerly a chapel of ease

Chapel Street

Leading south from Henrietta Street on one side of the Oxford Chapel was Chapel Street, later Chapel Court and now Chapel Place, dating largely from the 1722. Chapel Street is a narrow street and when it reaches Oxford Street at its south end, it is a simple passage.

Chiltern Street

Chiltern Street was named after nearby Marylebone station, from where train to the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire depart.

Circus Mews

The street to which it adjoins, Enford Street, was formerly supposed to lead to a circus (in the junction sense). However it was never built.

Clarke’s Mews
The mews was named after William Clarke, local 18th century landowner

Clenston Mews

Clenston Mews was named after Winterborne Clenston in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land

Cleveland Street

Cleveland Street perpetuates an old track marking the former parish border, now the boundary between Westminster and Camden.

Its oldest name, recorded by 1632, was Wrastling Lane. That is how it is regularly termed in early deeds for the Berners family, which came into possession of a strip all down the lane from the Farthing Pye House at the north end along with Newlands Close in 1653. On Rocque’s map it is labelled The Green Lane and shown as of some breadth at the north end, tapering towards the south. Two drawings by Samuel Grimm depict the southern end of the lane near Middlesex Hospital in 1772, when it was in a scruffy but still semi-rural state. The name Cleveland Street comes from one of the titles of the Fitzroy family, who began developing their Southampton estate on the St Pancras side towards the top of the lane from the 1770s, not long after the creation of the New Road eased access to this end.

The outline of the street pattern in this area probably came about in the 1760s, when building on Portland-owned land began creeping east from Great Portland Street and north from Upper Marylebone Street, as this end of New Cavendish Street was known. Its eastern limit was set by a strip of Berners property along the west side of Wrastling Lane/Green Lane, and its northern edge by the New (Marylebone–Euston) Road, newly laid out in the 1750s. The street grid was probably devised by Richard Norris, an architect-builder who is named as the Duke of Portland’s surveyor in deeds of 1778 for houses in Norton Street (now Bolsover Street) and Upper Charlton Street, a lost street which ran west of present-day Clipstone Mews.

The one established building was the Farthing Pye House, shown on Rocque’s map at the corner of Wrastling Lane and the track which preceded the New Road. This hostelry, with a walled garden, was the ancestor of the present Green Man at 383 Euston Road, and was frequented in mid-Georgian times by ‘many opulent freeholders’. In the 1690s the area around was known as the Farthing Pye-house fields.

Though some building on the southern and western fringes began in the 1760s, the main thrust of development took place after 1775. Leases were issued in quantity between 1776 and 1779; after a dip, things picked up again in 1790–3. According to Thomas Smith, the outbreak of war in 1793 led to “a long delay in the completion of the neighbourhood”. Those few plots still empty at the time of Horwood’s map of 1799 had been filled by the time of its second edition in 1813. The system was for larger developers to agree for a chunk of land, subcontracting some plots to smaller builders and subletting others to craftsmen who had helped them as they went along.

A gap for a new street on the line of Wrastling Lane, between the Middlesex Hospital and the parish boundary, had been left when the north side of Charles (now Mortimer) Street was built up in 1766. Agreements must be presumed between the Portland and the Berners representatives, allowing the various new east–west Portland streets – Union Street (Riding House Street), Queen Anne Street East (Foley Street), Upper Marylebone Street (New Cavendish Street), Clipstone Street, Carburton Street, and Buckingham Street (now Greenwell Street) – to open into the lane.

Under the agreed arrangements, leases for terrace houses along ‘Upper Newman Street’ were granted between about 1788 and 1791. Most of these houses are gone now.

A terrace now numbered 139–151, originally Buckingham Place which had been built around 1792–3. The George and Dragon at the north end of this terrace, 151 Cleveland Street, is festively stuccoed, an embellishment that may date from alterations in 1861 or 1879. It retains its original Georgian height, its neighbours having probably all been raised a storey in the later nineteenth century. At that time the George and Dragon changed hands frequently, often for large sums, as was then common for pubs: £5,600 was paid for an 18-year term in 1872, while figures of around £15,000 were exchanged in 1897–8, when it had the asset of a new Berners lease. At the southern end of this terrace, a block of Berners estate artisan flats dating from 1891 at 127–133 Cleveland Street and 17–18 Carburton Street had replaced what was probably similar housing to Nos 139–151 on these sites.

A passage between 139 and 141 Cleveland Street originally led to a back-court of thirteen pokey cottages on Portland land, created around 1793–4 by the surveyor-builder Thomas Piper of Howland Street, and known as Cambridge Place. From 1852 these two rows of cottages were replaced by schools for the parish of Holy Trinity, Marylebone Road.

Today it is a street of sudden breaks and contrasts in which large, sometimes brutish institutional buildings alternate with low flats and shops of sundry dates. Interspersed between these, three corner pubs of engagingly different character – from south to north, the King and Queen, the Tower Tavern and the George and Dragon – help to enliven the west side. In a such a densely populated district, pubs flourished. Besides the surviving examples along Cleveland Street was the City of Hereford, opposite the Middlesex Hospital on the corner of Riding House Street, ‘doing a large trade at extremely liberal profits’ by the late 1840s. Done up ‘at enormous expense’ at that time, it had been rebuilt or remodelled when photographed in the 1880s. The site was redeveloped in the 1920s for the hospital’s new biochemistry institute.

Around the same time, under an agreement with William Gowing, carpenter, building began on a short frontage of Bedford property next south. Southwards again lay land owned by the Goodges where development was well advanced, e.g. in the surviving Goodge Place, developed in the late 1760s under Jacob Leroux. The most substantial early building on the St Pancras side of the road was the still surviving workhouse of St Paul’s, Covent Garden (1775–7), later the Strand Union Workhouse.

The name Cleveland Street applied originally only to the north end, sometimes known as Upper Cleveland Street. When the Berners Estate got round to developing its frontage along the Marylebone side from the late 1780s, this stretch was initially referred to as Upper Newman Street. But the name never took hold at the north end; in the early nineteenth century the west-side houses here above Carburton Street were known as Buckingham Place, Cleveland Street, borrowing the original name of the northernmost side street, Buckingham (now Greenwell) Street.

The name Upper Newman Street was also applied at first to the stretch south of Carburton Street, but very soon, around 1800, that name was discarded. All the addresses to the north of Union (now Riding House) Street were then added to Cleveland Street, while below that line both sides of the street were designated Norfolk Street. Along this southernmost quarter of the street the Berners family owned property on both sides; the Marylebone–St Pancras parish boundary ran in a tapering line behind the houses on the east, but was adjusted in 1900 to bring that frontage into what is now Camden. The whole line of the road was consolidated as Cleveland Street and renumbered in 1867.

Clipstone School

No board school was ever built in eastern Marylebone, as the Victorian children of the district were deemed to be well enough supplied by the various church schools or the Portland British Schools, Little Titchfield Street. In 1909 the London County Council tried to close the Portland school on the grounds of its inadequacies and transfer its pupils to Barrett Street much further west. After failing to win support for this move, the authority had to rethink school accommodation against the background of a falling local population. Its response was to plan a new school closer to the St Pancras border, shut the Portland School and convert Barrett Street into a trade school. A site between Clipstone Street and Upper Marylebone (now New Cavendish) Street, occupied mainly by the Fitzroy Works (furniture workshops), was duly earmarked in 1911 for a three-storey elementary school plus handicraft centre, for 768 children.

Erected by Henry Lovatt Ltd and opened in August 1914, the school took in children from the Portland, Barrett Street and Trinity Church of England schools, all of which closed for elementary teaching. Some forty per cent of the intake were said to have been of Jewish origin from the outset. The building was a routine performance by the LCC’s school architects, set end on between the two streets, with the top storey alone roughcast under high hipped roofs with an overhang. When Upper Marylebone Street changed name in 1936, it became Clipstone School. It suffered war damage and closed as an elementary school after the war. Adapted as an extension to the Barrett Street trades college and then briefly as part of the Sidney Webb Training College, it made way in the early 1960s for the science and engineering buildings of what is now the University of Westminster.

Clipstone Street

In 1860 the Bishop of London inaugurated an iron church in Clipstone Street, for the benefit of the ‘negligent population thickly inhabiting that neighbourhood’, but it was short-lived. In the 1870s the district from the top of Bolsover Street down to Foley Street remained rife with poverty and vice, described by Michael Sadleir in his historical novel Forlorn Sunset.

In Gissing’s New Grub Street (1891), the home of the impoverished writer Harold Biffen was a lodging house garret in squalid 1880s Clipstone Street, from which he manages to rescue the manuscript of his novel Mr Bailey, Grocer as the building burns.

In 1951 the St Marylebone Planning Committee identified two blocks north of Clipstone Street as the place to make a start and approved ‘tentative proposals’. Flesh was put on these bones in 1954, in the guise of a scheme to be built in six stages, housing some 750 people in 250 flats consisting of eight eight-storey blocks at 200 persons per acre; the site was to be unified by shutting the north end of Hanson Street, formerly Upper Charlton Street. William Moss & Sons built the scheme in 1968–71. The main block was christened Holcroft Court, after the playwright and radical Thomas Holcroft, who died in Clipstone Street.

Cramer Street

Namaed after the violinist Wilhelm Cramer, who lived near here

Crawford Mews

Named after Tarrant Crawford in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

Crawford Place

Named after Tarrant Crawford in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

Crawford Street

Named after Tarrant Crawford in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

Cross Keys Close

Named after the former Cross Keys tavern here, named for local 18th century street developer Philip Keys

David Mews

Named after David Porter, builder of the nearby Montagu Square

Dean’s Mews
Thought to be named for a Catholic college formerly located here.

De Walden Street

De Walden Street – after Baroness Howard de Walden, local landowner.

De Walden Street originated as Little Chesterfield Street, and were built up from about 1763 with small houses, those chiefly involved being William Franks and John Sarson. Little Chesterfield Street, hardly more than a footway, was widened for rebuilding in 1861–2 by setting back the northern frontage, and renamed New Chesterfield Street.

Devonshire Close

Named after local landowners the Cavendish family, who had a branch which became the dukes of Devonshire.

This was Devonshire Mews East until 1934.

It was laid out in the 1770s. A large timber yard (in the centre south) was first leased to Hepburn and James Hastie. The Cape of Good Hope public house, on the site of No. 49, was situated near the mews entry from Devonshire Street until 1932, with its entrance to the south. Nineteenth-century reconstruction of the timber yard created Cape of Good Hope Mews, which came to be owned by Dickins & Jones. That, in turn, was replaced in 1926–7 by the neo-Georgian complex at Nos 19–28, a development of flats over garages by the London and West End Property Development Corporation Ltd to designs by Burdwood and Mitchell, architects. LCC opposition to densification of what it viewed as working-class dwellings, an increase from thirty habitable rooms to fifty-two, forced some compromise.

Devonshire Mews North.

Named after local landowners the Cavendish family, who had a branch which became the dukes of Devonshire.

The most distinctive side of this small cul-de-sac is that to the east (Nos 1 and 2). It was redeveloped with 13–18 Devonshire Street by William Willett Ltd to designs by the architect Amos Faulkner in 1910–11 and 1919–20 (Ill. 32). Opposite is a short row, wholly rebuilt since 1890 with a motor garage going in at No. 6 in 1908, and substantially reconstructed since 2009 at either end (Nos 3 and 6).

Devonshire Mews South.

Named after local landowners the Cavendish family, who had a branch which became the dukes of Devonshire.

Laid out in the 1770s and 80s, these mews retain a good deal of nineteenth-century building, the brickwork now painted white and pastel shades. With regular sett paving and nearly all uniformly two-storied, they are as picturesque as any local competitor. They are also the most eccentrically numbered. Mostly quite standard, as elsewhere the stable and coach-house buildings saw garage use prior to post-war conversion to residential apartments. Nos 97 and 107 are early rebuildings with external stairs. No. 11 was converted in 1948, and No. 47 is a neo-Georgian cottage of 1950, by Basil Hughes and Bonfield, architects. No. 4 followed in 1953–4 (Elliott Son & Boyton, architects). Nos 109 and 111 were converted in 1961 and 1966 respectively. No. 99 is an early twentieth-century oddity, flats with a recessed central external staircase.

Devonshire Mews West

Named after local landowners the Cavendish family, who had a branch which became the dukes of Devonshire. The kink in this long, asphalted mews reflects the former boundary of the Portland estate.

Devonshire Place Mews

Named after local landowners the Cavendish family, who had a branch which became the dukes of Devonshire.

Devonshire Place

The name commemorates the Cavendish dukedom. Many original houses survive in Devonshire Place – grand terraces still convey a strong sense of late-Georgian urbanity.

After a lull for a decade, builder and Portland Estate surveyor John White took over the competition of housing in Devonshire Place during 1786. Devonshire Place was pictured in the European Magazine in 1799, where the recently completed ‘piles of building’ were described as ‘uniting beauty with convenience’. The street became fashionable.

Devonshire Place Mews

The west side of this now asphalt-paved mews is taken up with the backs of houses in Beaumont Street, with their integral garages, and part of the Conran Shop development in Marylebone High Street. The regular east side – its buildings now mostly painted off-white – was first built around 1790, to serve John White’s houses at 25–40 Devonshire Place, with identical numbering.

Devonshire Row Mews.

No. 7 is an isolated gem amid plain garages, of red brick with a curvaceous parapet over the date 1904. It was built for C. H. Waterlow, of the printing family, who lived at 86 Portland Place, to designs by the architects George Head & Company; Watson Brothers appear to have been the builders. The three-bedroom flat above garages has the unusual grace note of a balcony recessed under an arch.

Devonshire Street

In the 1770s and early 80s, John White and his associate Thomas Collins completed Harley Street’s northern reaches, including Weymouth Street and Devonshire Street.

The far west end of Devonshire Street, laid out in the mid 1790s, was for a time known as New Devonshire Street. In nearly all these cases clauses in building agreements stipulated that as far as possible tradesmen should follow the form of houses already constructed.

Charles Babbage, from 1815 till 1827 resided at 5 Devonshire Street, where he conducted experiments on the magnetic effects of rotation with his friend John Herschel.

By the 1850s lodging and boarding houses had become common and were to become increasingly so as the century wore on. It was in rented rooms in a Devonshire Street lodging house (No. 26) that Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning stayed on their brief return from Italy in 1851.

The heyday of mews-side houses was the early 1900s, up to the outbreak of war in 1914, during which period some dozen examples were erected in local streets. A few more were added in the late 1910s and 20s and then a remarkable group was commissioned by Bovis Ltd in the 1930s from three eminent modern architectural practices: 39 & 40 Devonshire Street (Burnet, Tait & Lorne, 1930–3), 22 Weymouth Street (Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and Adrian Gilbert Scott, 1934–6) and 39 Weymouth Street (G. Grey Wornum, 1935). This says much for the good taste and connections of the Gluckstein and Joseph families who oversaw the Bovis firm’s rise to prominence in the 1920s and 30s.

Devonshire Terrace

Devonshire Terrace was a row of three houses on the west side of Marylebone High Street, demolished in the late 1950s for Ferguson House in Marylebone Road. Woodward’s Court or Mews, following the line of an alley called Park Passage, was part of the same development, undertaken by John White in 1778. The houses were originally numbered in the High Street but were also known as the Terrace, becoming Devonshire Terrace by request of the householders in 1824. For many years thereafter the neighbourhood address was given as York Gate, Regent’s Park, pretentiously dissociating the houses from their High Street location.

No. 1, to become famous as the home of Charles Dickens, was substantially built by May 1778 when White obtained his lease from the Duke of Portland, and he raised £1,000 on the property that August. The plot originally extended further west than in Dickens’s day, covering the sites of two later houses: Church House, later known as Devonshire Lodge, and Church Cottage (respectively 15 and 17 Marylebone Road), both built on an under-lease granted by the then lessee Edward Eyre to the surveyor Thomas Rogers in 1789. White sold No. 1 in 1780, along with the adjacent coach-house and stable in Woodward’s Mews, and in 1792 it was bought by the architect John Johnson, who lived there until 1804. It was briefly the childhood home of George Du Maurier; advertised to let in December 1837, the house stayed empty until taken by Du Maurier’s father, recently moved to London from Brussels, in late 1838 or early 1839.

The next tenant was Dickens, whose London home it was from December 1839 to November 1851, in which period he wrote The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, Martin Chuzzlewit, A Christmas Carol and The Chimes, Dombey & Son and David Copperfield. When his lease expired he moved to a larger house, in Tavistock Place, the family having grown in the interim: five Dickens children were born at Devonshire Terrace, and one of them, Dora, died there.

Dickens’s association with No. 1 was never forgotten. It was among the first three houses to be approved for commemorative plaques by the LCC in 1903 and was by then an established place of pilgrimage for American tourists. Although altered, it retained many features from Dickens’s day, including a gate on the stairs traditionally said to have been kept locked to prevent the children coming down to distract him from writing. But the LCC failed to support calls to save it when threatened by redevelopment, for which permission was first given in 1936. In 1945 revived plans prompted letters to The Times and calls for action to the borough and county councils. The borough council was not bothered. J. H. Farrar of the LCC, who inspected the house in 1947, concluded that it had ‘no particular architectural claims’, and that the case for preservation as Dickens’s home was fatally weakened by alterations and the fact that 48 Doughty Street had already been saved by the Dickens Fellowship. Ten years later, with office redevelopment ready to go ahead, a joint report by the LCC Architect and Valuer damned Devonshire Terrace as belonging to ‘the cheaper class of development of the period, with commonplace doorways and internal details’; altered, and presenting ‘unsightly’ backs to the churchyard. There was little public protest, most of the objections to demolition being on account of the loss of the rehearsal studios rather than of a house hugely significant in English literary history. The matter was raised in the Commons by the Labour MP Kenneth Robinson, to no avail. Henry Brooke, minister for Housing and Local Government, agreed with the LCC that no preservation order should be made.

Items salvaged from the house included the ‘Jupiter’ keystone from the entrance, now at the Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street, and an Adam-period chimneypiece, inlaid with Sienna marble, advertised by T. Crowther & Sons in 1958

Dorset Street

Dorset Street is named after the county of Dorset, where the local Portman family owned much land.

Duchess Mews

By association with the dukes and duchesses of Portland, local landowners, possibly specifically Dorothy, Duchess of Portland.

It was built up in the late eighteenth century to serve the adjoining new houses in Portland Place and Mansfield Street. Unusually, the mews buildings have always been numbered to match those of these houses. They follow the usual pattern of conversion or rebuilding for motor garaging in the early twentieth century, invariably as part of lease-renewal arrangements, and adaptation of the upper floors as desirable private residences, with various later rounds of improvement and if possible enlargement. Past occupants include the actress Pat Kirkwood, who had a flat here during the Second World War; and William Craven-Ellis, of the surveyors Ellis & Sons, a former Conservative MP whose London base was here at the time of his death in 1959. Duchess Mews was sufficiently characterful to appear in the 1960s–70s television series The Avengers as the location of John Steed’s flat.

Duchess Street

By association with the dukes and duchesses of Portland, local landowners, possibly specifically Dorothy, Duchess of Portland.

Dunstable Mews

It is unknown why this is named Dunstable Mews. Prior to 1935 it was Upper Wimpole Mews

Durweston Street

Named after Durweston, Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land

Easleys Mews

Named after Abraham Easley, 18th century landowner.

Eastcastle Street

Edward’s Mews

After Edward Gray, local 18th century leaseholder.

Joseph Rose ran a ‘Manufactory and Exhibition of Architectural Ornament’ in Edward’s Mews in the 1700s.

Edward Street

Edward Street was a former street, predating the redesign of Regent Street’s northern extension beyond Oxford Circus. It had been named after Edward Harley in 1726 and had some houses in place along with stables and yards.

William Wilton, a prolific developer on the Cavendish–Harley estate, opened a papier-mâché factory in Edward Street, no doubt partly providing finishes for local houses.

Edward Street was largely demolished to make way for (Upper) Regent Street.

Enford Street
Named after Enford, Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

The street was formerly known as Circus Street.

Fitzhardinge Street
Named after Viscount Fitzhardinge, relative of Henry William Berkeley, local landowner.

Foley Street

Foley Street and Langham Street were originally known as Queen Anne Street East.

Beyond Great Titchfield Street, Foley Street carries Langham Street’s alignment on up to Hanson Street, then twists away slightly so as to meet Cleveland Street at right angles.

By the 1850s estate maps show trade workshops in many of Foley Street’s back yards. In the late 1850s a place of assembly known as the Portland Rooms was tucked behind 32 Foley Street. Its chequered history over some four decades of existence embraced dancing entertainments, prosecutions for harbouring prostitutes, and meetings of many kinds, notably by labour groups and the short-lived Deutscher Club.

A general reconstruction began in the centre of Foley Street around 1897, when the York Minster at No. 17 on the west corner of Ogle Street was rebuilt.

A bomb put paid to the York Minster during the Second World War.

Outside the Crown & Sceptre, the underground men’s conveniences, disused for many years, were reopened in 2013 as a coffee shop. The conveniences, which replaced a surface urinal in the middle of the road, were built in 1906 under the Borough Surveyor, J. P. Waddington. The ornate iron cage over the entrance was made by Gomme’s Forge, Princes Risborough; the sanitary ware, slightly Art Nouveau in style, by Doulton & Co.

Forset Street

Named after Edward Forset (or Forsett), surveyor with the department of works, who owned land here in the 16th – 17th century.

French Gardens

The ‘French Gardens’ covered an area between the High Street and the north-west corner of Marylebone Gardens – in approximate modern-day terms, the block bounded by Marylebone High Street, Beaumont Street and Devonshire Street – and perhaps extending along the north side of Marylebone Gardens as well. J. T. Smith recalled ‘a narrow winding passage, with garden-palings on either side’, which ran from north of the field entrance to Marylebone Gardens to the High Street. Off this passage were ‘numerous openings into small gardens, divided for the recreation of various cockney florists, their wives, children, and Sunday smoking visitors’. The address French Gardens may have included various High Street buildings with rights of access through Marylebone Gardens, among them a tenement occupied by the sculptor Michael Rysbrack. A Mrs Nichols who died at the French Gardens in 1766 was said to have lived there for 36 years, and the name (although not appearing in the ratebooks until 1769) was still in general use in the mid 1780s. Later deeds refer to the French Gardens as behind property in the High Street, notably the Marybone Coffee House at No. 44. There was probably some commercial horticulture, for in 1777 a sale was held there of plants and equipment, ‘the property of a florist’.

Garbutt Place

The name Paradise Place took over most of the street once called Grotto Passage. It became known as Paradise Place after the name of a row of cottages. The street was renamed Garbutt Place in 1937, after the Vestry clerk W. H. Garbutt.

George Street

George Street was named after king George III, reigning king when the street was built.

The eastern end of George Street was originally called Charles Street and was laid out by John Bayley between 1790– 4. It was named after Charles Hinde, a son of Jacob and Anne Hinde.

Gildea Street

Gloucester Place and Gloucester Place Mews – after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Gloucester, son of King George II.

Glanville Mews

Glanville Mews (also known as Granby Mews or Pritchard’s Yard) was laid out behind 29–34 Rathbone Place.

Gosfield Street

Gosfield Street began as George Street, so called either after its main builder, George Mercer, or in honour of the Hanoverians, perhaps both. The present name was substituted in 1886.
Leases were being issued in 1762 for houses along both sides. The present No. 23, long and low, seems to have started off as stabling for the Horse and Groom. It became a school in 1836, originally for the girls of All Souls and Trinity parishes. A large top-lit schoolroom behind was probably added then, access remaining via a passage from Great Portland Street. The school, which served 442 girls and infants in 1871, closed in 1908. Further down the street cowsheds occupied the site of the present Nos 32–33 in the 1840s, no doubt serving a dairy; in due course they gave way to the warehouse of a chutney importer. The majority of the Gosfield Street houses were rebuilt in 1896–8 as flats.

The 1901 census reported Gosfield Street was reported as containing 26 German-born residents, 19 born in France, 9 in Austria-Hungary, 5 each in the United States and Switzerland, 4 in Italy, and 3 each in Russia, Belgium and the Argentine. Many of the Germans were tailors or waiters in hotels and restaurants.

Granville Place

Probably after Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, prominent Victorian politician

Gray’s Yard

After Edward Gray, local leaseholder of the 18th century.

Great Castle Street

Great Cumberland Mews

Named after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II.

Great Cumberland Place
Named after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II.

It was formerly Tyburn Gate, after the brook that ran here.

Great Portland Street

Great Portland Street was combined from existing and planned streets – John Street, Bramton Street and Portland Road.

The original layout for the Cavendish-Harley estate was made in 1719 – north of Mortimer Street it was called Bramton Street (after a Harley property in Herefordshire) and south of there called John Street, after John Holles, Duke of Newcastle.

Building began in the 1720s at the Oxford Street end of John Street, over the charmingly named Dung Field, and continued slowly north until by the 1750s, the northern section had nearly reached the future site of Marylebone Road. Linking two major thoroughfares, the road became the major route between them until the arrival of Regent Street.

Margaret Cavendish Harley married William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland in 1734 and this union was celebrated with the renaming of the street as Great Portland Street.

In 1756 the Act for building the New Road from Paddington to Islington also stipulated a side road to connect the New Road with Great Portland Street. Portland Road was laid out and in 1757 and became part of Great Portland Street in 1863. John Street merged with Great Portland Street in 1858.

Great Portland Street became mainly a commercial street with shops of no great architectural merit. The street had a number of public houses and starting in the 1850s, the new Central Synagogue brought an influx of Jewish families.

The National Dental Hospital was established in Great Portland Street in 1861. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital moved to Great Portland Street in the 1870s and in the same decade, the Western Skin Hospital came to Great Portland Street. But while the Orthopaedic Hospital retains an outpatients’ clinic – the rest are gone.

Coach-making had become established in the 1760s but much later the road became famous as the centre of the motoring trade. Indeed in 1921, the street publicised itself as ‘the Motor Market of the World’ where any make of car in existence could be bought. While the very first Underground railway in 1863 had a Great Portland Street station (though originally called Portland Road), when the station was rebuilt in 1920s, there was a motor showroom above the ticket hall. In 1921 Great Portland Street was claimed as ‘the Motor Market of the World’, where any make of car in existence might be obtained. Its motoring emphasis faded away in the 1930s and 1940s. The garment industry meanwhile thrived but itself, facing cheap imports, contracted by the 1960s.

Great Titchfield Street

The half-mile long Great Titchfield Street is the second longest street in the area.

Great Titchfield Street was used by street traders from about 1850, and by the 1890s food was being sold there from stalls and barrows to a poor population of some 20,000. Despite local opposition and prosecution of costermongers for obstruction, the market, centred on the Foley Street junction, survived well into the twentieth century.

Titchfield refers to the Titchfield estate in Hampshire, which came to the Dukes of Portland (from 1716 also Marquesses of Titchfield) through the first duke’s marriage in 1704. The first part of the street to be developed in 1738, between Oxford Market and Mortimer Street, was originally plain Titchfield Street. ‘Great’ is first recorded in 1739, after the street was taken further north and Little Titchfield Street had been laid out. The stretch north of New Cavendish Street was Upper Titchfield Street until around 1820, when it became Cirencester Place, and it remained separately numbered until 1872, when it was amalgamated with Great Titchfield Street and the whole street was renumbered.

A large fire in 1825 destroyed workshops and their contents in the centre of the block bounded by Great Titchfield Street, Margaret Street, Wells Street and Mortimer Street.

The south end of the road, between Market Place and Oxford Street, hitherto called Market Street, was merged with Great Titchfield Street in 1906.

The southern end of Great Titchfield Street was one of the strongholds of the garment industry, which colonised the streets north of Oxford Street after 1910.

Great Woodstock Street

The development of Great Woodstock Street was begun about 1760 by Jacob Leroux, further houses being built in the mid 1780s, but none of the original houses survive. The east side was rebuilt with Italianate houses in the mid 1860s, the west side in 1900 or shortly thereafter by Matthews Brothers with Brendon House and Treborough House, a pair of mansion-flat blocks probably designed by H. J. Hollingsworth.

Great Woodstock Street was a fairly poor address from the late eighteenth century until redevelopment. One noteworthy resident was the statuary William Whitelaw, who died there aged 60 in 1824; his works was in Bath Place, New Road, where the business was carried on by John and James Whitelaw. The building of Treborough and Brendon Houses helped bring Great Woodstock Street into line with Nottingham Place socially. Former residents there include Sir Warren Fisher, permanent secretary to the Treasury and head of the Civil Service, who lived at Treborough House in the 1920s–30s; and the psychoanalyst Montague David Eder, who lived at Brendon House, where he died in 1936.

Grotto Passage
Grotto Passage once ran through the district but only an alley forming the north end has kept this name.

The Great Grotto of Marylebone came into being in 1738 in a garden behind some new houses on Marylebone High Street, on one and a half acres of pasture. It had been opened by an artist called John Castles. Castles created elaborate displays from seashells and filled the grotto with them, charging 2/6 per ticket to see it. It became “a celebrated place of fashionable resort”, with a member of the royal family paying a visit.

The opening of the Grotto had been coordinated with the reopening of Marylebone Gardens to cater for a higher-quality clientele with music and promenading. The Grotto closed in 1772, after the death of Castles and the only trace left behind was the street name. Grotto Passage followed the northern part of its western boundary. Houses on the Grotto ground fronting the street were built in 1785.

As time went on, poverty became concentrated around Grotto Passage and Paradise Street, where the Great Grotto had stood. Grotto Passage was among the worst concentrations of overcrowding in the area. When a Ragged School and Refuge was established in 1846, the name of Grotto Passage became synonymous with bad housing.

The Grotto Ragged and Industrial School had opened to provide education and moral direction to the children of the Marylebone poor. Its building dates from 1860. The site remained a children’s home until well into the 20th century.

There was much agitation about poverty and landlord complacency in the 1880s. The worst developments were courts shut off from the street by a wall with a common entrance door, lined with one-room deep houses without back yards or back windows, or any sanitation beyond shared privies with cesspits, and perhaps shared wash-houses and dust-holes for ash. Along Grotto Passage was a series of such courts, built over the yards or gardens of houses in Paddington Street and the High Street.

Harrison’s Place comprised seven two-room houses containing 47 people, who shared a couple of privies draining into another belonging to Grotto Place, a row of cottages to the north. In the ten houses comprising Eccleston’s (otherwise Eagleton’s) Buildings, 129 people occupied the 24 (out of 26) inhabited rooms, which relied on a single cesspit. Such squalor, in the committee’s view, was the fault of the ground landlord; but here as elsewhere the original problem was perhaps loose drafting of eighteenth-century building leases, which enabled lessees to build such slums over yards and gardens without sanction – combined with the almost limitless demand for the very cheapest accommodation.

Just before Christmas 1858, an inquest jury was shocked on going to Eccleston’s Buildings to view the body of a woman who had lived there in a single room with her elderly husband and two grown-up children, refusing to go into the workhouse despite extreme poverty. She was lying in the corner where she had presumably died; the husband, close to death, was lying in another corner: the jurymen ‘were glad to beat a hasty retreat from the vitiated and poisonous atmosphere’. The fetid room was, in the coroner’s opinion, fit only for one person to live in: it was ‘a dreadful case, he never saw a worse’. Poverty was such that in the winter of 1860–1 families in and around Grotto Passage were reportedly starving.

The Duke of Portland offered to widen Grotto Passage in 1861, which may have been done when the first new houses were built there a couple of years or so later. In 1868 the medical officer of health, responding to sensational claims in the Evening Standard, inspected this and other poor areas in the vicinity house-by-house and concluded that most were reasonably clean and sanitary, with no overcrowding. Grotto Place was declared unfit for habitation by the medical officer in 1873.

In Grotto Passage, Octavia Hill began her London-wide efforts towards housing-management reform. After the Portland Dwellings Company asked for her advice about the selection of tenants for Ossington Buildings, the Estate refocused efforts on Grotto Passage.

Most of the Grotto Passage area was redeveloped with blocks of improved dwellings from the late nineteenth century, leaving the old essentially pedestrian street layout.

Hallam Mews

This mews was named after Henry Hallam, 19th century historian who lived nearby.

Hallam Street

Hallam Street was named for Henry Hallam, who lived in nearby Wimpole Street.

Twenty acres of Conduit Field began to be developed after the 1760s by the Hope–Edwardes estate.
The renaming took place in 1905 but Hallam Street had been laid out in the 1770s – the southern section was Duke Street and the northern section had been Charlotte Street.

There were some shops in the turn of the nineteenth century and many houses were turned into lodging houses, beginning in the 1830s, leading to a decline in the status of the street.

Little remains of the original developments of either Duke Street or Charlotte Street – Hallam Street is now mostly twentieth-century buildings, predominantly blocks of service flats – often single-bedroomed without kitchens but with basement restaurants and servants.

Hampden Gurney Street

After Reverend John Hampden Gurney, rector of St Mary’s, Bryanston Square in the mid-19th century

Hanson Street

The section of Hanson Street south of New Cavendish Street began in the 1760s as Ogle Street (after the Cavendish earldom of Ogle), while present-day Ogle Street was called Ogle Court or occasionally Ogle Square until about 1820, when it became Upper Ogle Street. Ogle Street (i.e. Hanson Street) was renamed Saville Street in the 1840s. Saville Street and its continuation north of New Cavendish Street, hitherto Charlton Street were merged under the name Hanson Street in 1935.

The two ends of Hanson Street, running between Foley Street (formerly Queen Anne Street East) and New Cavendish Street (Upper Marylebone Street) were in existence by 1763–4, but it was mainly built up a little later.

Saville Street frequently appeared in Victorian newspapers as a hotbed of crime, ranging from stabbing, theft and indecent assault to suicide. In 1893 a tenant sent his daughter out to buy carbolic acid, and drank it, shouting from the window ‘I’m not dead but I soon will be’.

Shortly after that began the systematic rebuilding of Hanson Street with small blocks of flats.

Hanway Place

Joseph Girle died in 1677 and his Marylebone properties were divided between his children. A portion of Girle’s property – that portion west of the Castle Inn – came to his granddaughter, whose husband Major John Hanway started building Hanway Place from about 1721.
Numerous stout bollards now line the approach to Hanway Place, which was widened in 1881–3, followed by the redevelopment of the buildings on its north side in 1882–4.

Hanway Street

Hanway Street is an ancient lane cutting behind the major crossroads of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. It dates back to at least 1600 and by the mid-18th century was completely built up and closely associated with the coaching inns which congregated at the crossroads.
Joseph Girle was one of the instigators of building development in Soho Fields, where in 1673 he took a lease of 19 acres and obtained authority to build there.

The south-eastern portion of Girle’s estate – a small holding comprising around eighteen tenancies, including Girle’s brewery and outbuildings on Oxford Street – passed via his daughter Rebecca to her husband Major John Hanway, a Board of Ordnance chief engineer. Hanway seems to have retired to Girle’s house in Oxford Street but, presumably conscious of Rathbone’s nearby development, he also set about leasing ground for building from 1718, firstly with modest houses of 15–16ft frontage in and around Hanway Street and later also in John’s Court (now part of Hanway Place).

Some redevelopment of overcrowded courts took place in the 1880s and the estate (by then known as the Greene Estate from one of its co-owners) was sold off in parcels in 1926 and 1932.

The narrow byway of Hanway Street is a vestige of irregular development unique in Marylebone. When the engineer Major John Hanway, who was used to overseeing building projects, began leasing plots for houses here, they lined a street running in an arc across his triangle of land so as to avoid existing yards to its north and south, and to connect with the two major roads to its east and south (now Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street).

In May 1718 Hanway granted a building lease for five houses to William Thomas, a Soho bricklayer. Richard Townsend, the blacksmith who built 1–5 Rathbone Place, took on other houses in Hanway Street, including the Fountain Alehouse, facing Oxford Street (on the site of the present No. 50), and a large brick house into which Hanway himself appears to have moved; Townsend lived next door. The date 1721 was given on a cornerstone with the name of the new street.

Little of this early development appears to survive today as the area was comprehensively rebuilt between c.1850 and 1920. This redevelopment was of a mixed character – small shops on Hanway Street, large shops, offices, commercial buildings and the Oxford Music Hall (later rebuilt as the Cannon Cinema) on Oxford Street and semi-industrial buildings on Rathbone Place.
Small Italian-run refreshment rooms and Spanish bars arrived in Hanway Street by the 1920s and 30s.

The influential architect Cedric Price was among those who enjoyed the seedy glamour of Hanway Street, which he likened in 1973 to ‘a film set of old London’. By the 1980s second-hand vinyl outlets had joined the Spanish bars and late-night clubs. Vinyl Experience painted the façade at No. 20 with characters from Yellow Submarine (removed in 2013). Casablanca Records, next door at No. 22, continued under its owner Tim Derbyshire as ‘On The Beat’ until its closure in 2014. Another vinyl shop at No. 36 closed in 2013 to be replaced by a Vinyl Bar and nightclub in 2015.

Harp Close Estate

Harp Close, belonged to the Girle family. The one substantial development here along Oxford Street was the brewery built sometime in the third quarter of the seventeenth century by Joseph Girle senior, and two public houses associated with it, the Castle, a coaching inn, and the George.

Further north, on Girle’s land, lay Marchant’s Waterworks, earliest of several reservoirs or ponds reliant on the springs rising through the gravel at points all along the southern fields of Marylebone parish. The Berners family, which since 1654 had owned the 25 acres next west, known as Newlands, with an access lane from the north, leased a small area for similar purposes to the New River Company in 1685. The largest such project was the Duke of Chandos’s Marylebone Basin of the 1720s. None proved successful in the long run and the sites were duly built over.

Harcourt Street

After John Harcourt, local landowner and resident in the 18th century.

Harley Place

Harley Place was named after Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland, Lady Margaret Harley, wife of the duke of Portman, the landowner.

Harley Street

Harley Street extends from Cavendish Square to Marylebone Road.

Most of the land belonged to the Portland Estate and today’s successor, the Howard de Walden Estate and around 1716, a street called Chandos Street was begun. Nearby was a street called Harley Street. In 1726, it was decided to swap the names – so Harley Street became Chandos Street and Chandos Street was called Harley Street.

Along its length, there was an existing inn called the Half Way House opposite a track which led to Marylebone village.

In 1719, it was joined by a new inn called the Blue Posts which was situated where 35 Harley Street now is, on the corner of Queen Anne Street. Harley Street could not continue south for a few years since the Blue Posts was in its way.

In the financial slump that followed the South Sea Bubble, growth was slow. A pair of small houses was built in 1723 next to the Blue Posts (later 31 and 33 Harley Strteet). A bath house came next on the site of 29 Harley Street, fed by the City of London’s conduit.

Harley Street was largely built up only after 1750. The two blocks between Weymouth Street and Marylebone Road was originally called Upper Harley Street until 1866 when the whole street was combined and renumbered. The Duke of Wellington was living here, at 11 Harley Street, on the future site of no.34) in the early 1800s.

In exchange for other land, The Crown gave its land on the west side of Upper Harley Street to the Portland Estate, but kept land on the east side to build Nash’s Park Crescent. The street north of Devonshire Street was at first to be called Ulster Street and to cross over the New Road into the park, but in the event the Harley Street name prevailed.

By 1830 there were 145 houses in Harley Street and one pub – The Turk’s Head.

In 1840, out of 103 houses in Harley Street, 37 had East India Company connections and 13 had slave-owning links with the West Indies. There were twenty MPs living in Harley Street at this date.
Harley Street then became the centre of private medical care in London. It was next to Cavendish Square, the heart of the upper-class section of Marylebone – the further south on Harley Street and thus nearer to the square, the better the medical address. There were about ten doctors in 1840 but almost 300 by the time of the First World War.

Harrowby Street

Harrowby Street was named after Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby, early 19th century politician, by association with the Cato Street conspiracy at which he would have been killed had it succeeded

Heart Hospital

The Heart Hospital, which occupies most of the east side of Westmoreland Street, is part of University College London Hospital NHS Trust, and houses cardiac services transferred in the early 2000s from the now-demolished Middlesex Hospital in Mortimer Street. The history of cardiac treatment on the site, however, goes back to 1913–14, and the erection of a specially designed hospital building for what was then called the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Paralysis.

The hospital was founded in 1857 by Dr Eldridge Spratt in Margaret Street, moving from there to Newman Street in 1869 and Soho Square in 1874. Plans to move to an existing larger building were announced in 1909, but this fell through and it was decided to build something designed specifically for the purpose. The Westmoreland Street site had been vacant for years when late in 1911 the hospital approached the Howard de Walden Estate. Building, by Prestige & Co. Ltd, began in January 1913, and the new stone-fronted building, designed by Harold Goslett, with Adams & Holden as consultant architects, was opened in January 1914 by the hospital’s patron Prince Arthur of Connaught.

During the First World War, the building was a major centre for medical examination of army recruits. In the Second, it housed a first-aid post, but the hospital itself decamped to Maids Moreton Hall near Buckingham, which had been hastily secured on a yearly tenancy at the time of the Munich crisis, and was retained as the hospital’s ‘country branch’. The hospital’s post-war expansion under the NHS saw the construction of a south wing in the early 1960s on the site of old houses, and the annexation of old houses to the north. It was proposed to rebuild these as a north wing in 1965–6, but the scheme was vetoed by the Ministry of Health on cost grounds and what followed was a series of relatively makeshift solutions, culminating in the building of an additional floor on the old houses about 1980. Meanwhile, in 1968 the new Department of Health and Social Security had decided that the hospital should in due course join the Brompton Hospital in establishing a cardio-thoracic centre in Fulham Road, so that the hospital’s days in Westmoreland Street seemed numbered. In response to this, in 1971 proposals were made for the takeover of the buildings for a private heart hospital by a consortium of specialists, including Donald Ross, who in 1968 had carried out there the first heart transplant in the UK. In fact the National Heart Hospital remained at the site until 1991, though by that time much of the site was unoccupied, the remainder being maintained for out-patient services.

In 1994 the hospital buildings (which included Nos 47 and 49–52 Wimpole Street and premises in Woodstock Mews) were bought by Gleneagles Hospital (UK) Ltd, and in 1996–7 they were variously rebuilt or refurbished, reopening as a private cardiac hospital. The original building of 1913 was demolished behind the façade, while the north and south wings were completely rebuilt.

Henrietta Place

Running east–west from the bottom of Cavendish Square to Marylebone Lane, this was known as Henrietta Street until renamed in 1938.

It was named after the Cavendish Holles estate heiress Lady Henrietta Harley, who was from 1724 Countess of Oxford. Houses aimed firmly towards the upper echelons of society were erected by the early 1730s. All of the original houses were demolished, but a typical room from the street is preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The steward of the Cavendish-Holles estate between 1721 and 1745 was William Thomas. He lived in Henrietta Street after 1725.

Anne Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington’s mother, lived at 3 Henrietta Street for many years until her death in 1831.

Hinde Mews

Hinde Mews was called after Jacob Hinde, husband of Anne Thayer, who inherited this land from her father Thomas Thayer.

Hinde Mews provided a buffer between the best part of the estate and the poor district to the south, very much an Irish colony by the mid nineteenth century. For about twenty years until 1869 or 1870 this district was served by Hinde Mews Ragged School, one of five such establishments in the area between Cavendish and Portman Squares, Oxford Street and Marylebone Road. The school was founded in 1840 at Oxford Buildings on the south side of Oxford Street, moving to Gray’s Yard off James Street in 1845, thence to a converted stable in Hinde Mews. The ragged schools, it was noted in 1858, each had their speciality. At Hinde Mews, in a ‘peculiarly gin-drinking district’, it was temperance, and a Band of Hope was begun there in 1853. Later a penny savings bank was also set up. In 1870 the school crossed Oxford Street again to Davies Mews before returning to Gray’s Yard as part of Gray’s Yard Ragged School, reopened two years later in new premises with a ragged church.10 Some of the poorest property near Hinde Mews, in and around the top of James Street, was cleared in the 1870s along with most of the mews and subsumed into Mandeville Place. All that remains of Hinde Mews is the narrow entrance section off Marylebone Lane.

Hinde Street

Conduit Field had consisted of twenty acres. It lay east of ground belonging to the Portman estate and extended to the Tyburn to its east and Oxford Street to its south. It was owned by Sir Thomas Edwardes and later his son-in-law John Thomas Hope. North of Conduit Field, and bordering the west of Marylebone Lane, were the four acres of Little Conduit Close. The freehold of this was inherited by a Mr Jacob Hinde from Mrs Hannah Thayer. Little Conduit Close was then developed from the 1770s onwards with Hinde Street and Thayer Street being the main thoroughfares.

The larger Conduit Field was developed a decade earlier and was a grid independently designed with many dead ends planned where better planning might have continued the surrounding streets into the Edwardes’ land. Seeing the inconsistencies, the St Marylebone Paving Commissioners intervened and Bentinck Street on the Portland estate was extended as Hinde Street through the Little Conduit Close to Manchester Square. Wigmore Street also on the Portland estate was extended, originally as Edward Street, through the Edwardes’ estate towards Portman Square.

Manchester Square was already a high-class area and Hinde Street began in the same manner with many aristocratic residents. Hinde Street’s development was only completed in 1810 when Hinde Street Methodist Chapel was built.

During the nineteenth century, music and medicine began to take over. During 1933, Henry Brandon developed Hinde House consisting of flats and businesses.

Hinde Street Methodist Church

Hinde Street is ‘one of the best–known churches in British Methodism’, with a distinguished history of preaching and mission work associated with well-known figures including Jabez Bunting, Adam Clarke, William Punshon and Donald Soper. The present church was built in 1886–7 to replace the original Hinde Street Chapel of 1809–10. This had been built following the formation of the West London Circuit in 1807, to replace a small building in Chandler (now Weighhouse) Street, Mayfair, then the most westerly Wesleyan chapel in London. That year, under the leadership of Wesley’s disciple Henry Moore, circuit superintendent, a committee was set up to acquire the Hinde Street site and build a chapel there.

Holcroft Court

Holcroft Court was a large scheme of local-authority housing in eastern Marylebone (1968–71).

Holles Street
The street was built before 1725 and named for landowner Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles.
Early property advertisements emphasised the ‘advantageous’ situation of Holles Street near to the chapel, with views of both Hanover Square and Cavendish Square.

By the end of the 1720s, twenty-seven houses had been built with no mews. Holles Street, just north from Oxford Street, was a desirable address.

In 1831, Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of the Netherlands, sister-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, lived in Holles Street with her son Prince Louis-Napoléon (later Emperor Napoleon III of France) during a stay in London.

In 1788, the poet George, Lord Byron was born in Holles Street, his mother Catherine having rented rooms there a month earlier.

Homer Street

Homer Street was named by local landowner John Harcourt, either in honour of the ancient Greek poet Homer or his neighbour Edward Homer, possibly both.

Jacob’s Well Mews

Jacob’s Well Mews was originally called Jacob’s Mews and named for Jacob Hinde. It was laid out by John Bayley in 1792. As a young boy, Michael Faraday lived in the mews from 1796 onwards and the family stayed on until 1809. Jacob’s Mews was renamed Jacob’s Well Mews around the turn of the 1800s – the pub called the Jacob’s Well had been built by then on the corner of George Street and the mews.

James Street

The northern continuation of James Street, leading to Hinde Mews, was developed in the 1770s by Samuel Adams.

Jason Court

Known as John’s Court until 1895, Jason Court marked the boundary between the Portland and Hope-Edwardes estates, along the course of the Ay Brook (River Tyburn).

Most of the initial development were outbuildings for housing on Marylebone Lane and this thoroughfare has changed much over the centuries. Nothing remains of cottages built here between 1777 and 1792. Similarly, late nineteenth and early twentieth century building which replaced them have gone too

Originally this was a poor courtyard – the 1841 census lists 62 residents in 1841.

John Prince’s Street

Princes Street was renamed John Prince’s Street in 1953, after the master builder who prepared the layout plan for the Marylebone estate.

First begun in 1723, twenty-six houses were built by the end of that decade and nearly all them contained shops on the lowest floor by 1800. There were two pubs: the Phoenix, south of the entrance to Phoenix Yard on the west side, and the King’s Head, on the east side.

Kendall Place
After William Kendall, local builder and timber merchant in the 18th century.

Kenrick Place

After William Kenrick, local lecturer and writer in the 18th century.

Langham Hotel

When it opened in 1865, the Langham was London’s largest hotel and among its biggest buildings – a prime example of what at the time were dubbed ‘monster’ or (more kindly) ‘grand’ hotels. Following the railway station hotel boom of the 1850s, the Langham was a significant novelty in that it was not associated with a London terminus, a severance untried before save at the Westminster Palace Hotel of 1858, near Parliament, which was not a success. The Langham’s site – formerly occupied by the Nash mansion known as Langham Place or Mansfield House, with gardens fronting the open vista of Portland Place – must have excited developers for some time, and was generally regarded as suitable for a hotel for its qualities of openness and healthfulness. Distance from a railway station could be a virtue, but this was still a bold speculation that looked to American rather than local precedents.

The hotel opened in June 1865 with the Prince of Wales and 2,000 others in attendance to see London’s most splendid hotel: spread over ten floors, 156ft in height, and half as big again as the Grosvenor Hotel of 1862. It aimed ‘to suit all from princes to the middle-classes’.

Under the first manager, Charles Schumann, formerly of the Great Northern Hotel, the Langham seemed a success. But it was unlucky in its timing. The crash of 1866 squeezed credit and the company had to be wound up and re-launched by its creditors in 1868 as a new entity, though with the same name and many of the old shareholders among some ‘new blood’ on the Board. This time profit and handsome dividends ensued. The new chairman was Henry James Rouse, and the manager was an American, James M. Sanderson, who helped attract an American clientele, for whom, it was said the hotel was a reminder of their own country. Americans, including luminaries such as Longfellow, feted in 1868, and Mark Twain who came later, remained a mainstay of the business. The staff included ‘persons qualified to converse in every language, from pure “Yankee” to “High Dutch”’. The most famous early resident was Marie Louise de la Ramée, the novelist Ouida, who held such extravagant court without paying her bill that she was evicted in 1870.

Later, musicians were attracted by the proximity of the Queen’s Hall. Visiting composers included Dvoŕák, Sibelius, Janáček and Delius.

Broadcasting House was an obvious wartime target, and the Langham was badly damaged by raids in September and December 1940. The north-east corner behind the tower was destroyed and much of the rest flooded, forcing the hotel to close. In 1941 the BBC took over parts as offices and a canteen. The Langham Hotel Company kept the Bolivar Restaurant going until 1955, after which 1–1A Chandos Street became the BBC Club. The salle à manger became the BBC Reference Library, the Palm Court a conference hall, the ground-floor bow-windowed room a self-service staff canteen, and the kitchen a carpentry workshop. Redevelopment was again in the offing, the Land Securities Investment Trust having a scheme in hand for the whole block in 1953–51; demolition was still intended in 1959.

The BBC finally bought the Langham in 1965 and kept it fully occupied until the 1980s, when redevelopment was deemed the best means of funding a new BBC Radio Centre. This scheme faltered and reconversion to hotel use by Hilton International followed in 1987–91.

Langham Place

Langham Place is the address of All Souls Church, with the Langham Hotel opposite that church and Broadcasting House next door.

Two years before she died in 1755, the owner of the Cavendish Holles estate, the Countess of Oxford granted permission to her husband’s first cousin Thomas Foley, Baron Foley of Kidderminster, to build a large house called Foley House. Completed in 1758 by Stiff Leadbetter, this is now roughly the site of the Langham hotel.

Edward Street was a former street, predating the redesign of Regent Street’s northern extension beyond Oxford Circus. It had been named after Edward Harley in 1726 and had some houses in place along with stables and yards.

Many properties on the west side of Edward Street between Margaret Street and Mortimer Street (now Cavendish Place) were the backs of houses on the east side of Cavendish Square. North of these building was a ‘papier maché’ factory making ornaments.

A large house called Foley House halted any northwards extension of Edward Street short of Queen Anne Street. Foley House had been built in 1755 by its lease owner Lord Foley at odds with the planned grid design of new Marylebone streets.

Foley House, was located off of Chandos Street, and faced northwards towards countryside and the hills of Hampstead beyond. Its owner did not want his situation disturbed. Foley had an informal right of veto over any adjacent development. As it was, his leasehold of 38 acres stretched beyond the line of the modern Marylebone Road and he exercised rights to halt the building of Queen Anne Street eastwards.

Foley House caused many problems for the subsequent estate owners as the Duchess had given Foley rights to the land surrounding his new house, and Foley decided to exercise those rights. The son of the Duchess, William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck was aghast at this arrangement and fell out with his mother over the issue.

On the death of his father in 1762, Cavendish-Bentinck both became the 3rd Duke of Portland and inherited the estate. A five year legal tussle ensued between him and Foley who refused during that time to have his northward view spoilt. Queen Anne Street could not be extended to the east as planned and still turns suddenly south at Chandos Street.

Around Foley House in the 1770s the Adam brothers built Portland Place, then the widest street in London. The Adams intended Portland Place to be a place of urban mansions, running from Foley House in the south to the fields of Marylebone Farm at the northern end. The economy suffered because of the American War of Independence and it became instead a street of townhouses.

Foley died in January 1766 and his heirs and successors in Foley House obstructed plans until 1811 until John Nash bought it and then demolished it. Nash had his plan in mind to create the grand procession rote from Regent Street up to Royal Crescent via Portland Place. In the plan he proposed Langham Place (named for Sir James Langham, a client of Nash) to link the line of Portland Place with the line of Edward Street, requiring a small bend to do so. Edward Street would be widened and renamed Regent Street.

In the beginning, the curve to realign Regent Street and Portland Place was planned to start at Mortimer Street. But the creation of All Souls Church introduced a fine northward focus for Regent Street and so Langham Place’s bend was put there instead. South of the church, the redesigned Regent Street required the demolition of houses along the east side of Edward Street. south of Riding House Street.

After 1850, a series of new buildings, many large projects, were built along Langham Place. The Langham Hotel, opened in 1865 on the site of Foley House. During the 1860s, St George’s Hall was followed thirty years later by Queen’s Hall – both music venues.

Langham Street

Both Langham Street and Foley Street began life as Queen Anne Street East.

The name and alignment show that Queen Anne Street East was meant to continue present-day Queen Anne Street without a break, but that intention was foiled when Thomas Foley interposed to protect the view northwards from his Foley House in the early 1760s. The name Queen Anne Street East was dropped in 1809, when that part of the road west of Great Titchfield Street became Foley Place, that to the east Foley Street. Foley Place was renamed Langham Street in 1858 for Sir James Langham, who owned a house near here in the early 19th century.

Langham Street was well inhabited in its Queen Anne Street East years. Development on the south side took place following a head lease to Thomas Huddle of 1758, on the north side following similar leases of 1761–2 to George Mercer and Thomas Bird.

Edward Street was largely subsumed into the creation of Upper Regent Street in the 1810s, but the top end, north of Edward Place, kept its name until 1858 when it was renumbered as part of Langham Street. The houses on the east side of this remnant were replaced in the late nineteenth century by Cavendish Mansions and a studio-house for the painter Lowes Dickinson, adjoining earlier artists’ studios in All Souls Place. These ‘Langham Chambers’ were built in 1854, together with a small Congregational place of worship, Edwards Place Chapel, later Langham Chapel, which opened that year and remained in religious use until at least 1869; later a carriage store, it eventually became All Souls Church Hall and then BBC studios.

The Howard de Walden Nurses Home and Club was opened on Langham Street in 1891 to promote the supply of private nurses at fair rates of pay and conditions. From its original premises in New Cavendish Street, the organisation attracted patronage from society ladies, including the Dowager Lady Howard de Walden; this was probably the last of her charitable gifts to the district before her death in 1899. The year before she had agreed to present the leasehold of the Langham Street site and pay half the costs of a new building, leaving the Nurses’ Co-operation to find the rest by subscription. Essentially a hostel with clubrooms, it was visited by the organisation’s patron, Princess Louise, just after completion. The Nurses’ Co-operation society enjoyed uneven fortunes and gradually dwindled, moving to Bayswater in 1966. The building then became the Langham Street Clinic, notorious in some circles during the 1970s as ‘Britain’s largest and busiest private abortorium’, allegedly carrying out almost 7,000 terminations per year. It is now a hotel.

Little Conduit Close

Little Conduit Close was part of a scattered estate which came to the Hinde family in the eighteenth century, and included property at the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, in the City and at Brentford. The Marylebone property derived from Joseph Girle, brewer, who died in 1677. Girle left Little Conduit Close to his daughter Hannah, wife of Samuel Thayer. Hannah dying shortly after her father, the land passed to the Thayers’ son Thomas, one of the Middlesex justices, who died in 1737, and from his widow to their daughter Anne, who in 1751 also inherited a fortune from her uncle Samuel Thayer, of the Temple and Langham Hall, Essex, and a few years later married Jacob Hinde of Margaret Street (d. 1780). The Little Conduit Close estate was reduced by freehold sales, but part remained with Hinde descendants long into the twentieth century. Harriet Julia Morforwyn Lloyd- Verney was the last owner born a Hinde, marrying George Hope Verney and taking the name Lloyd-Verney in accordance with the will of her uncle – Jacob Hinde’s great-grandson Jacob Youde William Hinde, who had adopted the name Lloyd for a similar reason.

The Lloyd-Verneys lived at 14 Hinde Street from the late 1880s, Mrs Lloyd-Verney staying on as a widow until her death in 1913. The house had been known as Hinde House at least since the 1860s, when it was let in apartments. Their eldest son died there in 1909, and the estate was inherited by his brother (Sir) Harry Lloyd-Verney, who lived elsewhere and had eighteenth-century chimneypieces from houses on the Hinde estate moved to Clochfaen, the Lloyd family property in Montgomeryshire, as part of the remodelling of the house there. The last remnant of the Marylebone estate was sold in 1962, a few years after the death of Harry’s son Major-General Gerald Lloyd-Verney.

The first building heard of on Little Conduit Close, in 1720, is the public house then or later called the Angel, at the top of Marylebone Lane, rebuilt in the 1770s.2 Systematic development took place over more than twenty years from 1776, much of it under building agreements with the builder-architect Samuel Adams and plasterer John Bayley. Various craftsmen took leases of one or more houses.

Little Portland Street

Little Portland Street was laid out in the late 1730s, a notable building being the 1833 Little Portland Street Unitarian Chapel. The Chapel was demolished in 1910.

This chapel’s site was taken over for an extension of Pagani’s Restaurant in neighbouring Great Portland Street. In the 1870s Mario Pagani had taken over a confectioner’s shop, converted it into a restaurant and from there moving to 48 Great Portland Street in 1884. The restaurant expanded to include the whole of 42-48 Great Portland Street and and 7 Little Portland Street. Pagani’s was one of the most celebrated restaurants before the Second World War, famous for its musicians.

A bomb hit Pagani’s in 1941 and essentially put paid to the business.

Little Titchfield Street

Little Titchfield Street runs for only one block. It divides two parcels of land leased to George Collings in 1738 (south) and 1740 (north). Today it is mostly represented by the backs of buildings in other streets, but the outsized Regent Street Polytechnic extension of 1928–9, dominates the north side. It now belongs to the University of Westminster.

Luxborough Street

Luxborough Street was originally called Northumberland Street, perhaps in reference to the Portland estates in the Morpeth area. Its present name, assigned in 1939, was suggested by Luxborough House, a block of flats on the Paddington Street corner. Building along Northumberland Street began in the 1760s, with two plots let to Jacob Leroux in 1762, and two to Thomas Sadd in 1766. There was a spate of building about 1775–6 by William Ward and David Gall, by which time the greater part of the west side had been taken for the new Marylebone workhouse.

The presence of the workhouse stifled any possible aspirations for Northumberland Street – almost literally, for the wind blew so much smoke from the workhouse into houses that the laundry and kitchen chimneys had to be raised before the lease could get tenants. It soon joined the ranks of London’s dismal lodging-house streets.

None of the original houses are left, most having been replaced by flats from the early 1890s onwards, in accordance with the Portland Estate’s policy for such an address. The present Luxborough House was built in 1955 to designs by O. Garry, replacing the bombed building of the same name.

When the former workhouse closed in the 1960s its redevelopment for the Regent Street Polytechnic perpetuated the split between mainly institutional buildings on the west side of the street, residential on the other.

Mandeville Place

Mandeville Place was built by the local Vestry in the 1876 and 50% funded by the Metropolitan Board of Works. It was named after another title of the Duke of Manchester and finally connecting James Street to the south of Wigmore Street and Thayer Street to the north of Hinde Street.

The south side of Hinde Street had blocked a northern extension of James Street – this route becoming a simple footpath. In 1869, the Vestry’s proposal to connect James Street and Hinde Street was approved. This finally allowed, after some very uncoordinated planning by local landowners over the previous century of building, a straight road from the Marylebone to Oxford Street. It bypassed the winding Marylebone Lane.

It was developed by surveyor James Hendrey, architect John Norton and builders Braid & Company. The street contained houses, flats and offices with shops on the corner plots. It was built in a single style with buildings of orange-red brick and stone.

Mansfield Mews

Mansfield Mews was named after Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Viscount Mansfield, father-in-law of local landowner Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.

Mansfield Street

In 1724, James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon and 1st Duke of Chandos, bought the freehold of around seven and a half acres, comprising the north side of Cavendish Square running up to Queen Anne Street. Coming into possession of land to the north of Queen Anne Street, he was responsible for New Cavendish Street, Weymouth Street and Devonshire Street coming into existence.

However, his plans changed and he set upon building a reservoir – the Marylebone Basin – which was completed in 1726. It covered the area between Queen Anne Street to the future route of Devonshire Street. Pipes were to supply St James’s Square but the New River Company had already laid its own pipes in the meantime to Cavendish Square. Marylebone Basin was not a success. In 1749 Chandos’s son sold all the land north of Queen Anne Street back to the Harley estate for £250. The site of the basin developed in 1768 as Mansfield Street.

The block of Cavendish–Harley land to the north of Cavendish Square where Mansfield Street now stands was intended originally for gardens to the great mansion planned but never built facing the square by the 1st Duke of Chandos around 1720. Then came a proposal for a grid of residential streets on the estate, including Mansfield Street, but instead the site was excavated in 1725–6 for the bottom half of the Duke’s Marylebone Basin reservoir. That proved a commercial failure and the street-grid scheme had resurfaced by the 1740s, only to be undermined a decade later when Lord Foley built his large, detached mansion (Foley House) in extensive grounds alongside, and tried to appropriate most of the land to its north. A tussle then ensued between the Portland Estate, Foley and speculators concerning this land. In 1758 two builders, John Corsar and George Mercer, took a lease from the Estate of ground at the corner of Harley and Queen Anne Streets, where they erected several houses, the easternmost of which occupied a long plot that thereafter demarcated the south-western edge of Mansfield Street (since rebuilt as 3 Mansfield Street and 8 Queen Anne Street). It was this speculation that prompted Lord Foley – who accused Corsar, Mercer and their confederates of acquiring the ground by ‘underhand means’ – to negotiate an advantageous lease of all the land north of Foley House from the elderly Duke and Duchess of Portland in order to prevent others from building there, with far-reaching consequences for the future planning of this corner of Marylebone.

The layout of the ground north of Foley House was only fully resolved with the appearance on the scene of the Adam brothers from 1767. By October 1767 the Adams had agreed with the Duke of Portland to develop land on his estate and Mansfield Street was probably begun along with Clerk’s house in 1768, and certainly by 1769, when work was also under way at Chandos House.

Mansfield Street was laid out by them at the south end of the basin site in the late 1760s and early 70s as part of their protracted large-scale speculation in and around Portland Place. The northern half they lined with large-scale terraced houses, all but one of which survive and are notable for their high-quality interior fabric. The south-east corner they developed at the same time with a detached mansion for their acquaintance General Robert Clerk, one of Robert Adam’s important early London commissions, which adjoined Chandos House. Early twentieth-century redevelopment has since transformed this south end of the street into a vista of stone-faced Beaux Arts style houses and flats.

As well as smoothing the untidiness in the street-pattern in this block where the Cavendish–Harley grid merged with Portland Place and the environs of Foley House, Mansfield Street also had an additional intended function – as a vista or ‘prelude’ to an extravagantly large classical mansion that Robert Adam planned to build on the north side of New Cavendish Street for the Duke of Portland.

The job of building and decorating the two short terraces of Mansfield Street was entrusted to a band of tradesmen and craftsmen, several of whom had worked for the Adams before and knew well their working methods and expectations. Each received a lease of one house as payment or part-payment in kind. They were: Thomas Nicholl, carver (lease of No. 5), Joseph Rose, plasterer (No. 7), William Cobbett, glazier (No. 9), John Winstanley, bricklayer (No. 11), John Devall junior, mason (No. 13), William Phillips, builder (No. 16), John Hobcraft, carpenter (No. 18) and William Grantham, carpenter (No. 20). Robert and James Adam retained the two best-placed houses at the north corners, with return frontages to New Cavendish Street (Nos 15 and 22). All were covered in by early 1771 when the first leases were granted. The builders then began selling on their interests and the first occupants were in residence by 1773.

The street name derives from one of the Nottinghamshire estates of the Dukes of Portland and not from William Murray, 1st Earl Mansfield, Robert Adam’s patron at Kenwood House, as has occasionally been suggested.

Marchant’s Waterworks

Marchant’s Waterworks measuring about 500ft by 100ft, and was named after its first proprietor, Hugh Marchant, who supplied water to Covent Garden and St Martin’s Lane. The Waterworks, disused by around 1760, was leased in 1764 to Thomas Rawstorne of Long Acre, who laid out what is now Rathbone Street on the site.

Margaret Street

Margaret Street commemorated the 2nd Earl of Oxford’s four-year-old daughter Lady Margaret Harley, whose marriage to the 2nd Duke of Portland at the Oxford Chapel fifteen years later brought the property into the Cavendish-Bentinck family.

Development at either end of the street started in the 1720s, more firmly at the western end, beyond Bolsover and Edward Streets. It continued apace throughout the 1730s. Opposite, progress east of Great Portland Street was less even, faltering after 1737. The south side of Margaret Street in the vicinity of the pre-existing Marylebone Passage consequently became a ragbag of semi-industrial premises and yards.

For a while the scruffy east end of the south side hosted some notable manufacturers. An estate survey of about 1805 shows a large open yard surrounded by ‘Chiesley’s Agricultural Implement Manufactory’ (Robert Chislie & Co., according to the ratebooks); then, just further east, Henry Maudslay, ‘mechanist’, cheek by jowl with Schweppe & Company’s mineral water warehouse on the later convent site. Maudslay moved into Margaret Street from his first independent premises round the corner at 64 Wells Street in 1802, remaining till 1810. In these years this pioneer of the British machine-tool industry was employing up to 80 men and making his celebrated block-making machinery for Portsmouth Dockyard in forges behind the frontage. For the Schweppes company this was their fourth London address. Jacob (sometimes called James) Schweppe from Geneva had originally opened a London branch for his carbonated water in 1792 at Drury Lane, then after one brief move took on 11 Margaret Street in 1795.

The planning and building of Regent Street between 1813 and 1823 broke the unity of Margaret Street and its relation to Cavendish Square, leaving a rump of houses at the west end beyond the new street, all on the south side (Nos 34–40). Several houses were demolished during the process, including No. 42, from about 1797 the home of the painters Charles Hayter and his son George. The street was left with gaps in the numbering as a result.

The mid nineteenth century saw advances in medical science and rising status for surgeons and physicians. For some the route to fame and fortune came through specialisation and the parallel founding of specialist hospitals or dispensaries. In Marylebone these included the Margaret Street Hospital for Consumption (1847); the Heart Hospital, in Westmoreland Street since 1914 but founded in Margaret Street in 1857.

Market Place

The immediate environs of Oxford Market had no formally separate name as long as the market lasted, though the term Market Place is often found in deeds. After blocks of houses were built in 1754–62 on the open space west of the market, the roadway to their south became known as Market Row. The southernmost end of Great Titchfield Street was called Market Street until 1886, then Binstead Street till 1906. Otherwise the frontages were numbered in Oxford Market till 1887, when the name Market Place was adopted. Two alleys out of Market Place should also be mentioned: Margaret Court in the north-west angle, leading to Margaret Street and marked Margarets Alley on Rocque’s map; and Market Court on the south side leading to Oxford Street, still today bearing the name shown by Rocque.

In 1842 there were two pubs, the Masons’ Arms and the Elephant and Castle (both on the north side), also two coffee rooms and an assortment of small shops. The replacement of the market by Oxford Mansion unleashed a corresponding spate of rebuildings in 1881–5. The north side is the only portion of Market Place to maintain much separate identity today, and is currently a favoured location for chain restaurants, with ample outside seating.

Marylebone Basin

Marylebone Basin was a project of the first Duke of Chandos. It was created in 1725 north of Queen Anne Street and on the line of present-day Mansfield Street.

There were three pubs around the Basin – the Half Way House was just west of the reservoir, where the line of Queen Anne Street briefly coincided with a path through Marylebone Fields between Oxford Street and Marylebone Lane. The Blue Posts from 1719 stood on the corner of Queen Anne Street and Harley Street. From the last 1720s onwards, the Queen’s Head was east of the reservoir, run by Walter Lloyd. The Queen’s Head burned down once (in 1729) and was finally demolished in the 1750s – the site was added to the garden of Foley House.

Marylebone Gardens

The origins of the Rose Tavern and Marylebone Gardens go back as far as the Commonwealth, when two adjoining pieces of ground called Warren Close and the Rose Garden were in the occupation of William Long, a vintner in Covent Garden. In July 1649 Long took out a 48-year lease of this ground from Robert Forsett, lord of the manor. He was already in occupation of a small piece of Warren Close beside the future High Street (then just ‘the lane leading to Marybone Church’), perhaps the site of an existing tavern.

A plan and descriptive notes of the garden’s early appearance were written in 1659 in the ‘Memorandums’ of Samuel Sainthill’. The ‘Garden at Marylebone Park’ consisted of a square walled enclosure laid out and planted concentrically: fruit trees against the wall, bordering broad gravel walks; and an inner square of hedging through which ran a round walk, encircling the innermost feature of the garden, a bowling green. Let into the hedging were alcoves and more secluded bowers.

Most familiar is the visit by Pepys, whose diary in May 1668 records that ‘we abroad to Marrowbone, and there walked in the garden, the first time I ever was there, and a pretty place it is’.

Three bowling greens are marked on a map of 1708, of which the two largest belonged to Marylebone Gardens, by then open to visitors for over fifty years and in the ownership of the Long family, Covent Garden-based brewers and vintners. So successful were these gardens that the village had become a place of suburban summer resort.

The place was reinvented in the late 1730s on more genteel lines, becoming celebrated for concerts and fireworks until decline and closure forty years later. For all its popularity and fame, its reputation was never up to that of the top resorts: like Marylebone Music Hall run in conjunction with another High Street tavern, the Rose of Normandy, it was too small. Marylebone Gardens, said a critic in 1772, ‘is a comparative pot of earth stuck out at a window, when mentioned with Vauxhall’ – Vauxhall itself being second to Ranelagh, the most exclusive of London pleasure gardens. Adapted ‘to the gentry, rather than the haut ton’, Marylebone could be disdained as artistically and even morally inferior. But its place in the cultural and social life of London over many decades was a major one, reflected in associations with famous and distinguished names, and by numerous literary appearances.

Daniel Gough, who ran the Rose from 1732, was responsible for raising the level of entertainment. Marylebone Gardens boasted a bandstand from the 1730s with an organ added soon afterwards.
In 1736 a high scaffold tower was set up for the ‘Flying Man’, whose stunt was to ‘fly’ headfirst down an inclined tightrope, using a contraption with a grooved wheel – the same man who had half-demolished the church steeple at Bromham, Wiltshire, flying off it a year earlier. He also proposed to push a boy up (or down) the rope in a wheelbarrow. Wind brought the scaffold down before the show could be held, and subsequent entertainments were safer, musical ones.

Next year ‘Marybon Bowling Green’ opened in April for the season, as usual. Admission to the gardens was free, and remained so when Gough held the first concert there on 26 May 1737.

By the 1740 season ‘great Alterations and Improvements’ had been made, ‘by new modelling and enlarging the Gardens, by making the Orchestra more handsome and commodious, and by erecting an elegant Room, for the better reception of the Nobility and Gentry’. Management was now relatively sophisticated, with silver season tickets obtainable from agents, and printed tariffs displayed against over-charging. Liveried servants were banned, smoking discouraged. Gough went bankrupt after the 1741 season, but found backers or otherwise recovered.

He was succeeded in 1746 by John Trusler, a cook from Bath, under whose regime the Gardens became well-known for catering, notably the cakes made by one of his daughters, who became something of a celebrity. For much of the year, the Gardens were now open freely throughout the day for refreshments, cows being kept for milk and cream.

Trusler was followed by the actor and singer Thomas Lowe, formerly of Handel’s oratorio company, a performer at the Gardens since 1750, who obtained a new 14-year lease from Robert Long. Lowe’s failure in 1768 was blamed on the wet summer of 1767, but his advertisements claim heavy losses over several seasons and he had had to assign the lease to creditors in 1766.

By this time the site was already too hemmed in by houses to sustain any lingering sense of bucolic detachment. Lacking intrinsic natural beauty, it was dismissed in 1772 as ‘a wretched flat’ surrounded by new building and brick-fields.

Following the discovery of a spring, ‘Marybone Spaw’ was opened at the Gardens in 1774, a summer morning’s attraction at a shilling a head, since dismissed as ‘one of the spurious spas’. From about this time entertainments at the Gardens became increasingly varied, sometimes gimmicky.

The final days are obscure. ‘Fritz’ Robinson, writing to his brother Lord Grantham in June 1778, reported that the Gardens were no more, and entirely covered by buildings. Some sort of revival is said to have been attempted as late as 1794 on a remaining fragment, but it seems clear that the Gardens effectively ended in 1776.

Marylebone High Street

By the early eighteenth century, the village of Marylebone was established as a destination for daytrips from nearby London.

With its haphazard straggle of buildings, the parish church on one side and manor house on the other, the road through Marylebone recorded by Henry Pratt in 1708 was to some extent an archetypal village street. But in several respects this was an unusual little village. The church, dating from the early 1400s, was remarkably small; the manor house, in contrast, was not only large but of some architectural grandeur, and it was occupied not by a landowner but by a boarding school – a French school at that; there was a small French church too. There was no village green, but there were bowling greens, one belonging to the King’s Arms, the others to the Rose Tavern and subsequently developed into the celebrated Marylebone Gardens.

Marylebone Lane was the original name for the road through the village, and ‘High Street’ only came into general use in the early 1770s.

From the early eighteenth century, Marylebone High Street gained a French flavour as wealthy Huguenots came to live here. By 1770 there were so many residents of French origin in Marylebone that, the historian W. H. Manchée concluded, Huguenots were as common there as Londoners in the Guildford area in the 1900s. His Huguenot-centric image of Marylebone village as ‘a quiet spot where one could meet with congenial friends and neighbours’ seems to chime with J. T. Smith’s picture of convivial Sundays at the French Gardens (see below), though Smith suggests a lower-class, cockney rather than affluent or exclusively French milieu.

By 1773 Marylebone Gardens were attracting crowds reportedly as high as 2000. A few years later they were derelict and rubbish-strewn, awaiting redevelopment.

The road had begun a slow journey downmarket in 1752 with the opening of a workhouse at the New Burial Ground, and continued in the 1770s with the building of a charity taking children from across the parish.

But, before that fully came to pass, occupations represented in the 1770s and 80s include apothecary, baker, gold-beater, hairdresser, shoemaker, watchmaker, heating specialists, artist and engraver.

Subsequent urbanisation was accompanied by unprecedented social pressures from the growing working-class population, reflected in further developments: a new, much larger workhouse in 1775; a new poor infirmary in 1791–2; an industrial day school, opened just off the High Street in Paradise Street in 1792; the Marylebone Institution for educating the poor, established in the High Street in 1808; the Police Office (later Police Court), transferred to the High Street from Shadwell in 1821; and an infants’ school, opened beside the parish church in 1828. Meanwhile the charity school had been much extended in 1785 to take 26 girls and 40 boys, all resident. In 1829 it became girls-only, and before long left the High Street for larger premises on the north side of the New Road.

The High Street seems to have retained a good-class residential element, if only a small one, during the late eighteenth century and into the nineteenth.

As a shopping street, Marylebone High Street has proved durable, but its mixed character has long given rise to conflicting perceptions. In 1911, Sir Walter Besant found it ‘fallen from its former importance … a dingy, uninteresting thoroughfare with poor shops’.

On New Year’s Day 1937, ‘High Street, Marylebone’ officially became ‘Marylebone High Street’, similar re-designations being made to other High Streets throughout the capital at that time. A related proposal by the London County Council to combine High Street, Thayer Street, Mandeville Place and James Street under this one name met with vigorous opposition from residents and the Howard de Walden Estate, and any such change has remained unthinkable since.

Marylebone Lane

Marylebone Lane was the old name for the road through the village of Marylebone from Tyburn Road (Oxford Street) to the northern parts of the parish, including what is now Regent’s Park, following the route of the Tyburn or Ay Brook. Plain ‘Marylebone’ in its various forms denoted the more or less built-up stretch now comprising Marylebone High Street, and with the opening of the New Road in 1756 and the emergence of the High Street from the 1760s, ‘Marylebone Lane’ was finally reduced to just the southern portion.The earliest development was in the early to mid 1720s at the south end, along the east branch into Oxford Street, on the future Marshall & Snelgrove site. The houses (‘Geneva Row’ on Rocque’s map) occupied plots leased to Brigadier-General William Steuart, nephew of the General Steuart who gave the site for St George’s Church, Hanover Square. He was involved in the development of Vere Street during the same period. Also in the mid 1720s a few houses were erected at the top end of the lane, opposite the Angel Inn. The Earl of Oxford’s manorial court-house was built in the late 1720s on the island site opposite Geneva Row. By the mid 1740s the whole frontage as far as Wigmore Street had been taken.

Little development took place along the west side of the lane south of the Angel until the 1770s, on the City of London’s estate, where the stables or other back buildings belonging to the mansions in Stratford Place accounted for a longish strip. Further north, building on the Hinde estate was fairly busy in 1776–9, continuing more patchily in the 1780s. In this same period, the formation and development of Thayer Street in continuation of the High Street threatened to relegate Marylebone Lane to a backwater, but the new street ran into a dead end. Development resumed with a row of houses (latterly Nos 16–24) in the early 1830s north of Geneva Row.

Dividing estates as it did, Marylebone Lane itself was left narrow and winding – qualities now appreciated but which caused congestion and kept its status low until well into the twentieth century. Piecemeal development led to somewhat confused street numbering, rationalized in 1880 with the present odd and even sequences.

Marshall & Snelgrove’s Oxford Street store spread northwards along the east side of Marylebone Lane, obliterating Geneva Row and, in 1890, the remaining houses there south of Henrietta Place. Directories confirm a busy but essentially lowly street, with a liberal sprinkling of coffee and eating houses, pubs and beer-shops, bakeries, clothes dealers, boot and shoe-makers, hairdressers and coalmen. Redevelopment during the nineteenth century and subsequently tended to preserve a relatively low status except at the corners of the more important cross streets.

In recent years houses have given way to large-scale redevelopments along most of southern Marylebone Lane, leaving only the backs of Stratford Place to preserve something of the former character of the street there. Already some of the large blocks are themselves being rebuilt or remodelled. North of Wigmore Street, most of the buildings are still on narrow frontages and fairly small in scale, lacking the solemnity and polish seen in the High Street. Variety in date and style combines with multifarious use, and there are a number of independent, consciously characterful shops and restaurants, some of them old-established.

Historically, the important site is the island at the south end, where the lane splits, two inlets into the unremitting current of Oxford Street. The parish church of Tyburn village stood there for nearly 200 years until replaced by the first parish church of St Marylebone at the start of the fifteenth century. For almost exactly the same length of time, from the 1730s to just after the First World War, this site was the administrative centre of the parish, later borough of St Marylebone.

Marylebone Lane police station

‘D’ division’s station at the old watch-house and court-house building was replaced in 1858–9 by a new station further up Marylebone Lane. This was rebuilt on an enlarged site (Nos 48–50) in 1890, to designs by the police surveyor J. Dixon Butler. Twenty years later this building was remodelled and enlarged, again to Butler’s plans, a temporary station being opened in a new section-house in Aybrook Street. In 1935 the station’s future was put in doubt by the proposed widening of Marylebone Lane, and in view of the increasing commercialization of what had (in part) formerly been a high-class residential neighbourhood, it was decided not to rebuild in the same locale. Instead, plans were developed for a new Marylebone Road station on the site of Nottingham Terrace (east of Madame Tussaud’s), replacing the existing stations at Marylebone Lane and Albany Street and serving as ‘D’ division headquarters. A design competition was held in 1938. War prevented progress, and by the early 1950s the site was no longer thought suitable. Plans in the 1950s for a replacement station in Seymour Street (Marylebone Lane having taken over part of that district when Crawford Place station closed in 1933) were delayed until the 1970s, when Marylebone Lane station was demolished and the site merged with the rest of the block north of Welbeck Street car park for redevelopment.

Marylebone Manor

Marylebone Manor House, sometimes retrospectively known as Marylebone Palace on account of the manor’s royal ownership in the sixteenth century, was demolished in 1791. It stood at an acute angle close to the High Street. The north-west front, looking over the High Street towards Marylebone Park, was sixteenth or early seventeenth-century in general appearance, plain and multi-gabled with a short clock tower.. It was remodelled in the late seventeenth century.

Very little is known about the origins and development of the house.

A survey of 1538 mentions the manor house’s appurtenances around this time, referring to orchards, gardens, meadows, dove houses and a windmill – features repeated in deeds for the next century and a half. Control of the reduced Tyburn manor passed next to the Forsett family.

After the death of Edward Forsett in 1672 it came under the control of Edward’s widow Anne during the minority of their son Robert. She remodelled and extended the house to its ultimate form, falling out in the process with Robert, who chose to live in Laleham, dying there in 1688.

During the 1670s–80s period the house was first used as a school. With Robert’s death, the property came into the hands of his aunt Arabella, sister of Edward Forsett, and her husband Thomas Austen, a wealthy merchant of Hoxton and South Mimms.

In 1708, Austen commissioned a survey of his Marylebone inheritance from Henry Pratt, best known for his maps of Ireland. Pratt’s map offers a clear picture of the manor, shortly to become the Cavendish–Harley estate. It amounted to 203 acres, excluding the 63 acres of Barrow Hills north of Marylebone Park. The inhabited nucleus was the top of the High Street, where buildings lined what was still an irregular lane north and south of the church on the west side, but on the east side mostly south of the manor house.
Beyond that nucleus the manor was broken into enclosed fields.

In 1711, John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, bought from John Austen the Manor of Tyburn and all the Marylebone lands depicted in Pratt’s survey, together with Barrow Hills north of Marylebone Park. The purchase was reputed to be a bargain for Newcastle, a shrewd acquirer of land; the price of £17,000, it was said, should have been £25,000. A valuation made in December 1710 by a Mr Sherwin (perhaps Robie Sherwin, a client of the duke’s) estimated it at £20,779, or 24 years’ purchase of the annual rental. Austen must have been eager to sell.

The duke died within months of the acquisition at his main country seat, Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, and the property passed to his only child, Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles. In 1713, in a match that had been planned by the duke, she married Edward Harley, the only son of Robert Harley, Queen Anne’s chief minister, latterly Newcastle’s political ally and since 1711 the 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.
In 1734 the Earl and Countess of Oxford’s only child, Margaret Cavendish Harley, married William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, at the Oxford Chapel. The event marked a rare appearance of the dynasts on their Marylebone property, for none of the nominal proprietors yet lived there. By then the spendthrift 2nd Earl’s finances were straitened. Facing debts of almost £375,000 in 1737, he put his affairs into the hands of trustees, and Thomas prepared his ‘memorial’ to help them decide whether or not to sell the estate. Having decided against, they oversaw an extraordinary burst of activity in 1738–9. Ground rents had risen to £1,508 10s 11d when Oxford was declared bankrupt in 1740. He died in 1741, to be succeeded in his title by his cousin Edward Harley junior, who had latterly been living in Henrietta Street. But the 3rd Earl of Oxford did not inherit the Marylebone estate, which under the Act of 1719 was held in trust for his widow and then after her death in 1755 for her daughter the Duchess of Portland. The Marylebone lands thus passed by stages to the Bentinck family.

An all but complete hiatus in development occurred in the early 1740s, and things only picked up slowly thereafter. Following William Thomas’s retirement, there appears to have been no controlling mind or close estate management. The widowed Countess of Oxford spent nearly all her time at Welbeck, which she improved, but was little concerned with London affairs. When she died in 1755 the title to the Marylebone estate passed to her daughter, wife of the 2nd Duke of Portland, as Cavendish–Harley heiress. Practical control remained in the hands of the late Earl of Oxford’s trustees, principally the lawyer and antiquary James West (1703–72), whom the countess had come to distrust – ‘the richer he grew and the grander, the more she disliked him’. The amiable duke spent most of his time at Welbeck, which was in fact his wife’s in name; the livelier duchess, who is well portrayed in the letters of her friend, Mrs Delany, preferred Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire, the Bentinck family property. When in London they occupied a Thames-side house in Whitehall but the duke was seldom there.

Nevertheless, Marylebone ground rents grew to £2,616 by 1753. That year saw two changes. In August the absentee countess appointed a new steward and receiver of rents for Marylebone in the person of Thomas Isatt (d. 1771). Described when appointed as a gentleman with a base at Milnthorpe on the Welbeck estate in Nottinghamshire, Isatt doubtless had some legal and financial background. He established himself in London on Wigmore Street and acted as treasurer to Marylebone Vestry from the late 1760s. But he was also peripatetic, acting for the Portlands in the north-west and having some role in the excise at Liverpool. He regularly witnessed building leases during the boom of the 1760s. Latterly, he worked with a brother, Henry Isatt (d. 1780).

The house – then a school run by a Mrs Fountaine – was demolished in 1791.

Marylebone Music Hall

Marylebone Music Hall originated as an off-shoot of the Rose of Normandy at 32 High Street, and it always remained as much an adjunct to the pub as a venue in its own right, its clientele overwhelmingly local. The pub survived the music hall’s demise and rebuilding, eventually closing in 1956.

The Rose of Normandy was described by Thomas Smith in 1833 as the oldest pub in the parish, ‘supposed to have been built about 200 years ago’, and he mentions the balustraded staircase in support of this date. What then comprised the Rose, however, was only the fragment of a much larger building. In the 1730s William Thomas, the Harley surveyor, called it the Rose de Normandie or French Rose. Pratt’s map (1708) shows a bowling green behind, while an advertisement of 1774 mentions ‘several good skittle-grounds, commodious harbours, etc’. Low and externally unimposing, what survived of the Rose was rebuilt in the mid nineteenth century, taller and brought forward to the late eighteenth-century building line. Various dates have been given, but in January 1850 a miser named Sampson Seares starved to death in a garret there after 23 years’ residence, indicating that the house had not then been rebuilt.

The music hall was started by John Page, who took over the Rose in 1856, obtaining a music licence that autumn. Page appointed the (unrelated) ‘tenor and nautical vocalist’ William Page as chairman and manager, the doors opening about February 1857. Among early performers was Samuel Collins Vagg, famous as Sam Collins, comic-Irish singer and step-dancer, who had taken over as proprietor by August 1858. In 1860 Vagg gave up the premises to run the Upper Welh Harp near Hendon, but continued to appear on stage at Marylebone.

Marylebone was one of the smallest London music halls, a fact which ensured its closure long before music hall generally declined. But it was well placed for the nightly hall-to-hall dashes of the most in-demand performers, and as a small venue under astute management became a nursery for future stars. Arthur Lloyd came on to Marylebone immediately after his London debut at the Sun Music Hall, Knightsbridge, in 1862; Charles Coburn, Gus Elen, the Great Vance, George Leybourne, Little Tich and Vesta Tilley were among those who appeared there before becoming celebrities. Belle Elmore, wife of Dr Crippen, reputedly began her brief music-hall career at Marylebone. Smallness made for an intimate atmosphere, likened in the 1860s to ‘a very genial “family-party” tone’. There was then no stage door, performers making their entrances and exits through the auditorium. Comfort and cosiness were Marylebone’s leading qualities, and ‘if occasionally there should be a little squeezing – well, it is squeezing that nobody seems to object to’. In the mid 1880s it was the setting for some of the earliest works by Walter Sickert to depict music hall, including his paintings of Ada Lundberg (c.1887) and Fred Albert (The Lion Comique, 1887).

Structural and other alterations were made at the Metropolitan Board of Works’ behest in 1884–5 under the architect J. G. Buckle, who oversaw further improvements including a proscenium wall in 1892.

In the 1890s Marylebone was able to book occasional big names – less conventional fare included the former hangman James Berry, engaged to lecture on ‘Criminals I have met’. By the end of the century it was no longer viable, and Hart closed it down after the summer of 1900. The premises were rebuilt for him in 1901–2 as a block of flats comprising Walden House, with a pub under the old name and off-licence stores.

Marylebone Old Parish Church

The medieval parish church of Tyburn at the south end of Marylebone Lane, dedicated to St John the Evangelist, was replaced in the early 1400s by a new church of St Mary the Virgin on the higher, northern ground where the village centre had now coalesced. Authorized by Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, it was to be completed within ten years of his rescript, dated 23 October 1400.

Early in 1741 the church was closed on the Vestry’s order as unsafe. Demolition began in July 1741; the new church opened in February 1742.

James Gibbs bequeathed £100 in 1754 towards enlarging the church, mainly with a view to incorporating a burial vault, as Lane’s church had been built without one. After much delay the Vestry minutes of 1764 record that ‘as the enlargement of the Church agreeable to Mr Gibb’s {sic} design will take up great time and expense it was proposed that the Vaults should in the mean time be built under the middle part of the Church agreeable to the said design’. The consequences were damaging, the Vestry’s surveyor reporting in 1821 that there had been burials beneath the church ‘in the earth, and frequently without lead’, causing subsidence to the pews, considerations of health apart.

The chapel was closed for worship in 1926, and in 1931 the churchyard – closed to new burials in 1857 – was razed and tarred as a playground for St Marylebone School, the obelisk monument to Charles Wesley remaining in place. The church itself, damaged by bombing in 1940–1 and 1944, deteriorated, and despite the offer of help from the Pilgrim Trust and prospect of money from the War Damage Commission there was insufficient will to save it. The north wall was taken down as unsafe in 1948 and complete demolition followed in 1949.

Marylebone Park

Possession of the manor of Tyburn, Marylebone eventually reached Thomas Hobson, an Exchequer officer under Henry VII, who may have added to or rebuilt the house and resided there. It was confiscated at the Dissolution by Henry VIII.

Marylebone Park, later Regent’s Park, was now carved out of it for the King’s pleasure.

Marylebone Parish Church

The parish church of Marylebone, erected to Thomas Hardwick’s designs in 1813–17, with a chancel added by Thomas Harris in 1884–5, is one of the outer landmarks of the West End. Its commanding portico and tower facing Marylebone Road represent a Roman foil to the Greek-style church of St Pancras, raised soon afterwards a mile further east along the same main thoroughfare. They also act as a scenic vista-stopper to York Gate, the central entrance into Regent’s Park.

The present church is the third dedicated to St Mary, from whom Marylebone (properly St Marylebone) derives its name. Its predecessors occupied a site a little to the south, abutting the west side of the High Street near the top of the old Marylebone village. The second church, opened in 1742, soon proved too small for the fast-growing parish, despite a clutch of new proprietary chapels.

Marylebone Passage

Bisecting Steel’s Farm, a track starting from Oxford Street by the site of Rathbone Place ran north-west and emerged where Marylebone Lane and Marylebone High Street meet. Two hostelries beside this track, the Adam and Eve near Oxford Street and the Half Way House nearer Marylebone village, suggest it may have been in regular use by merrymakers going to and from Marylebone Gardens; it was certainly the quickest route from St Giles and built-up London to Marylebone village. A vestige survives as Marylebone Passage, between Wells and Margaret Streets.

Marylebone Road

This was part of the “New Road”.

The New Road was a result of an Act of Parliament creating London’s first ‘by pass’ in 1756–7. In the Marylebone section, it roughly marked the boundary between the Crown property of Marylebone Park (later to become Regent’s Park) and the land bought by the Duke of Newcastle in 1711 which developed in the Portland Estate. Some parcels of Portland-owned land ended up north of the New Road – for example the site of what became Madame Tussauds later. Some Crown land – the site of Park Crescent later – lay to the south of the New Road.

Charles Dickens lived in Devonshire Terrace, Marylebone Road for twelve years and described in Dombey and Son (1848) Mr Dombey’s Marylebone house: ‘on the shady side of a tall, dark, dreadfully genteel street’.

Marylebone Street

Marylebone Street, formerly Little Marylebone Street, was mainly built up from 1776 under a building agreement with John Sarson. But its origins go back further, for in 1777 ‘that noted old Stable-yard called Sarson’s Yard’ in Little Marylebone Street was on the market. Already by 1770 there was a public house, the Marquis of Granby, and two new ‘double houses’ with gardens were for sale.

Before redevelopment, Little Marylebone Street had acquired a ‘very rough’ reputation, which accounts for the extinction in the 1890s of both the Three Compasses on the corner of what is now Wheatley Street, and the Marquis of Granby on the corner of Great Marylebone Street, as part of the Portland Estate’s cull of pubs. The Marquis of Granby was redeveloped in 1893 (see 7 New Cavendish Street, below), and in 1895–6 the Three Compasses and an adjoining house were replaced by the present 14 Marylebone Street, a speculation of T. H. Smith, architect.

Marylebone Telephone Exchange

In 1920 the ground was on the point of being let for a nursing home when possible compulsory purchase of a site for a telephone exchange in Mansfield Street prompted the Howard de Walden Estate to offer it as an alternative. Telephone exchanges, with their armies of female operatives, were not welcome developments in the highest-class streets.

The building was designed by Edward Cropper, a Ministry of Works architect responsible for a number of Post Office buildings across the country, and constructed in 1924–6.

Most of the site was already cleared of houses in 1920, and occupied by a firm of contractors. At the east end, however, were a couple of houses, 6 and 7 Great Woodstock Street, subsequently 5 and 7 Nottingham Place. Intended for future extension of the exchange, these were put into repair for letting.

Initially called Langham Exchange and later Welbeck Exchange, the 1920s building received alterations and additions in the 1970s including the building of an attic floor in 1974, but a plan to extend it over the sites of the houses was abandoned. The houses therefore survived, having become ancillary to the exchange as stores. In the late 1980s, plans by British Telecom to replace them with offices and flats ran against opposition from Westminster Council, who considered their loss detrimental to the Harley Street Conservation Area. In 1990 the planning committee was brought round by a slightly increased housing component, to the fury of local residents.

Years having passed without action, the houses sank into severe dereliction, bringing the threat of compulsory purchase by the council in 1995. Direct pressure was brought to bear on the head of BT, Sir Ian Vallance, by the Marylebone Association. Meanwhile, the miniaturization of telecom equipment had left the upper floors of the exchange vacant, and a joint BT-Howard de Walden venture was launched to convert them to apartments and redevelop the houses behind their old facades, the lower floors to continue as a working exchange. This was the first such scheme by BT to get planning permission. After repeated false starts and delays, caused by changes in BT’s property administration and technical issues of fire risk, the Howard de Walden Estate took over the whole project in 2004, and the development plans drawn up by Lam Watson Woods were revised by another practice, PRP Architects. The work was carried out in 2005–6.

Maybury Mansions

Maybury Mansions (at first Twyford Mansions) were the major project of the new Marylebone District Property Company Ltd. The architect was John Cox Dear, followed in 1903 by Charles H. Mead, one of the original company subscribers. Certain features, including gauged-brick window arches and stone keys, were adopted at the insistence of the Howard de Walden surveyor Frederick Stevenson, ‘to relieve the somewhat plain appearance’. Other decorative suggestions were successfully resisted. While unwilling to spend on embellishments, the company was aiming at relatively superior residents, and for this reason tried to get the notorious street name changed. When the Estate dismissed the suggested contraction Litmar Street, the company proposed Collins Street, after the Melbourne thoroughfare, suggesting rather implausibly that ‘Some who have been in Australia might consider the name attractive & it might help to let some of the flats’. Eventually, in 1907, Great Marylebone Street having earlier been merged into New Cavendish Street, ‘Little’ was able to be dropped.

Lacking amenities such as running hot water, Maybury Mansions could hardly be considered good-class flats, and by the 1930s there was difficulty securing acceptable tenants. Conversion to private flats, with alterations including another storey on the rebuilt portion, took place in 1987 under new owners, part of the Broadwell Land group, and the name was changed to Maybury Court.

Methodist Church House

Methodist Church House occupies the site of a house of c.1792, originally numbered 21 Nottingham Place, built for Philip Deare, a government auditor, who died there in 1813.

The present building replaced the Methodist Missionary Society’s headquarters of a hundred years in Bishopsgate. The site was acquired in 1938, and the foundation stone laid in June 1939. When war was declared only the lower floors and main staircase were complete, and the top three floors remained no more than a concrete-encased steel frame for the duration.

Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street

As one of the chief London teaching hospitals, the Middlesex Hospital – founded in 1745 as the ‘Tottenham-Court Infirmary’ – established an important place in medical history during two and a half centuries of existence. Architecturally, a succession of additions, alterations and rebuilding created a sprawling complex on the main Mortimer Street site, almost nothing of which remains apart from the chapel, unsurpassed amongst British hospital chapels for its richness of decoration. Several ancillary buildings erected or adapted for use by the hospital can be found in neighbouring streets, few of more than passing interest. The Middlesex merged with University College Hospital in 1994, closing in 2005 with the opening of the new UCH on Euston Road, designed to replace both existing hospitals. The Mortimer Street site was sold for redevelopment the following year and largely cleared in 2008.

Middleton Place

Middleton Place was at first called Middleton Buildings.
This court was built in 1759 between Langham Street and Riding House Street. The original buildings have all been replaced.

Victorian replacements were made of the original cottages built here around 1759 under the direction of bricklayer John Middelton. The central footpath’s width was stipulated as 8ft, broader than many such alleyways; the entrance ends were narrower. The original twelve cottages (plus two extra at the north end) were probably not unlike those there today, but a storey lower and less sanitary.

Molyneux Street
Presumably after Molyneux Shuldham, 18th century naval officer

Montagu Mews North, Montagu Mews South, Montague Mews West, Montagu Place, Montagu Square, Montagu Street and Upper Montagu Street – after Montagu House which formerly stood near here and was home to prominent 18th century figure Elizabeth Montagu.

Mortimer Street

Mortimer Street was named after Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, who inherited the estate via his marriage to Henrietta Harley, Countess of Oxford and Countess Mortimer in 1713.
In its original form, as shown on John Prince’s 1719 plan for the Cavendish–Harley estate, Mortimer Street extended from Cavendish Square to Wells Street. Taking its name from the Earl of Oxford’s second title Earl Mortimer, the street was built up from the mid 1730s, following the demolition of the Boarded House. The smarter Cavendish Square end, cut off by the creation of Regent Street, was renamed Cavendish Place in 1859.

Beyond Wells Street, the eastern portion of present-day Mortimer Street was originally developed as Charles Street, part of the Berners estate, and named after the landowner William Berners’s son and heir. The street was referred to as New Charles Street until 1774, after which it was known as Charles Street, Middlesex Hospital, or, more aspiringly, Charles Street, Cavendish Square.

Hospitals tended to be established in locations close to open fields and fresh air. The Middlesex Hospital was built in such a place – Charles Street (now Mortimer Street) between 1755 and 1757, house-building following on from 1759. This somewhat lowly street was almost entirely merged with Mortimer Street in 1879 – a very short section east of Cleveland Street, in St Pancras parish, became part of Goodge Street at the same time.

Development of the central section of Mortimer Street was mostly undertaken by three individuals responsible for much building in south-east Marylebone – the digger and brickmaker Thomas Huddle, carpenter John Lane, and plasterer William Wilton. Both sides of the new street between Great Portland Street and Edward Street (on the line of the future Regent Street) were built up by Lane from 1735.

Commercial and professional activity was soon established in both Mortimer and Charles Streets, with house furnishers such as Mrs Fisher’s Eider Down Warehouse at the corner of Great Titchfield Street in 1770, and various medical businesses.

The presence of timber yards and associated trades gave rise to several fires on the south side of the street, notably one which in 1825 consumed much of the block between Wells and Great Titchfield Streets, down to Margaret Street, where occupants included a cabinet-maker and a sofa and chair maker, the latter burned out again in 1830.

Body and soul were well catered for in Victorian Mortimer Street, especially those of women and girls. A small-scale early initiative, emanating from All Saints, Margaret Street, was the All Saints Home for widows and orphans at No. 59, set up in 1851 by Harriet Byron, founder of the All Saints Sisterhood. After this transferred to Margaret Street in 1856, the house became St Elizabeth’s Home, for the relief of incurable women rejected by the London hospitals. The home soon expanded into an adjoining house (later No. 57), and the two were rebuilt in 1886. Expansion into No. 61 was followed in 1895 by another rebuilding. By the time the home transferred to London Colney in 1914 there were 54 patients.

Moxon Street

Moxon Street was named after the former Moxon apartment block on this street. Prior to 1938 it was ‘Paradise Street’, after an old burial ground near here – it was changed to avoid confusion with other streets of this name.

Paradise Street was begun in the 1730s by John Lane. There was some further building, by Joseph Mahoon and others, in the 1750s–60s, and more in the mid-to-late 1780s. The parish charity school was set up on the Paradise Street corner of the High Street in the mid 1750s, and in 1791–2 the St Marylebone Day School of Instruction and Industry was built further along the street.

The creation of Marylebone’s burial ground influenced the growth of certain parts of Marylebone into poverty. Its eastern boundary wall and southern access road – Paradise Street – boxed in a small area where a maze of courts, alleys and narrow streets developed.

The Ossington Coffee Tavern was built there by Lady Ossington – co-owner of the Portland Estate – in 1883.

Nassau Street

Nassau Street, a short side-street , was laid out in the 1760s as part of the Berners estate development, under the name Suffolk Street.

Suffolk Street, after the Berners’ county of residence, was renamed in 1814, and was often referred to as Nassau Street, Middlesex Hospital, to distinguish it from Nassau Street in Soho.

Its alignment allowed space for mews behind the houses on both sides. Suffolk Mews ran in parallel behind the east side up against the boundary of the hospital, with access at both ends, while most of the west side had access to the shorter cul-de-sac Union Mews (Bourlet Close since 1937). The east side was originally the better, with good back yards or gardens, but it has gone completely, swallowed up as the hospital expanded.

National Dental Hospital

The 5th Duke of Portland died in 1879 and the title passed to a cousin.

Following the 4th Duke’s will, in case he should have no direct male heirs the Marylebone property would be left to the 5th Duke’s two sisters, Charlotte, Viscountess Ossington and Lucy, Baroness Howard de Walden.
Lady Howard de Walden was the widow of Baron Howard de Walden and lived at 35 Portland Place after 1887. She was a great philanthropist, and paid the entire cost in 1893–4 of the National Dental Hospital on the corner of Great Portland Street and Devonshire Street.

New Cavendish Street

New Cavendish Street east of Great Portland Street was called Upper Marylebone Street until 1937. The old name first featured in the press in the mid 1770s, as building development took a leap northwards.

The development of the bottom end of Harley Street in the 1760s and early 70s brought into being the adjoining parts of New Cavendish Street and Great Marylebone Street (the original name until 1904 for the stretch of New Cavendish Street west of Harley Street).

Around then Howland Street was laid out to the east, taking the street line on to St Pancras and Tottenham Court Road. Ever since, this end of New Cavendish Street has been a busy thoroughfare, lined with minor houses often given over to trades and shops. Only the south side retains some of the original small plots, with a few vestigially Georgian houses.

Of three former pubs on one side of the street – the Globe at the west corner with Great Titchfield Street, the Ship at the west corner with Hanson Street and the Wheatsheaf on the site of the present No. 162 – only the Ship (No. 134) survives.

This end of New Cavendish Street was the site of two five-storey office blocks of the mid 1950s, often cited as among the first true curtain-walled buildings in London. First, in 1953–6, was Electrin House at Nos 93–97. Architectural Design hailed Electrin House as ‘the first completely anonymous piece of machine architecture to appear in London’, and applauded the architects for using up-to-date techniques ‘with precision and without remorse’. Early occupants at Electrin House included the BBC, John Lewis, Littlewoods Mail Order, Calor Gas and the Central Electricity Authority.

The area is significant above all for the prevalence of one particular building type: the so-called ‘bijou’ house fronting the main street at the corner of a mews, where established rights to light restricted building to two or at most three storeys.

Newman Passage

The backland between Newman Street and Rathbone Street was laid out with several yards and mews, of which only Newman Passage and Perry’s Place off Oxford Street are left. Despite the name, Newman Passage is a full-scale mews, an irregularly shaped cul-de-sac leading south off the main entrance passage at 26 Newman Street. This Berners Estate development of the 1760s–70s is connected to Rathbone Street by a narrow pedestrian alley through the adjoining freehold, passing under the Newman Arms and aligned with Percy Passage on the east side of the road. Horwood’s 1799 map, while not giving the name, shows the cul-de-sac as a stable yard, but by the 1820s its horsey character was diminished and ‘Newman-passage and Mews’ were chiefly occupied as dwellings and workshops by cabinet-makers, carpenters and the like, trades which continued there for well over a century.

Following the collapse of the Paris Commune of 1871, an attic kitchen was set up as a co-operative venture by Communard refugees in a building at the top of Newman Passage. A contemporary account describes the room as having an enormous fire-place and meat hanging from the roof beams, the dish of the day consisting essentially of meat, consumed with beer fetched from the Newman Arms. Those patronizing this restaurant-cum-talking shop were ‘not the vulgar herd’ but impoverished survivors of the Commune’s elite.

Newman Passage, or at least the alley at the top, has long been appreciated as an atmospheric survival, exploited to effect in the opening sequence of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1959). A century earlier the crime-fiction pioneer William Russell made it the location for theft and murder, with an old miser pushed to his death from the loft of his ‘roomy, tumbledown house’.

The present-day buildings, industrial-commercial in type, are of various dates from the mid nineteenth century onwards, mostly belonging to the premises in Newman Street and Rathbone Street.

Newman Street

Newman Street, with Berners Street, formed the heart of the Berners Estate.

Newman Street was slightly less favoured of the two, the east side in particular suffering from the confinement and irregularity of the ground behind.

Newman Street became Marylebone’s street par excellence of working artists, with studios and workshops on the land behind. The pioneers were the sculptor John Bacon and the American-born painter Benjamin West, who both arrived in 1774. By the 1820s, the street’s reputation was at its height.

Northumberland House

Northumberland House was a bow-fronted house of 1792 built speculatively by John Winckworth, bricklayer, of Paddington Street. Originally 36 Northumberland Street, it was occupied for many years until his death in 1859 by the architect Thomas Little. George Devey was his pupil there from 1837.Its later history is bound up with that of two remarkable institutions for girls and women: the Cripples’ Home and Female Refuge, and the Three Arts Club.

As a residential training establishment for disabled girls, the Cripples’ Home was the first institution of its kind in Great Britain. It originated in 1851 with the formation by charitable ladies of a girls’ industrial school. Of the first pupils one was ‘a wretched beggar-girl who used to wander about the neighbourhood of Bryanston Square’ – she was disabled, which suggested the idea of a cripples’ school. One was set up in Hill Street, Dorset Square, where several houses were subsequently taken over. Straw-plaiting was the staple activity, bonnets and other products being sold at the Soho Bazaar or by contract to workhouses and other institutions. There was also a public laundry, run by the destitute but able-bodied ‘refuge girls’ who attended to the disabled, and a public creche for working-women’s children. By 1863 Hill Street was outgrown, and the home and laundry transferred to 36 Northumberland Street, re-designated 17A Marylebone Road or Northumberland House. A separate ‘Cripples’ Nursery’ was opened in Old Quebec Street.

Applicants for admission had to be 12 or over, free of mental disorder, with full use of eyes, arms and hands, and required a fee-paying sponsor. As described in 1871, the regime was ‘somewhat rigid’. No girl was permitted to leave the home other than for supervised daily exercise, although holidays in Sandgate were provided through a ‘seaside fund’. Otherwise, a monthly letter and quarterly visit were the only outside contacts. An hour or so of schooling in the three Rs excepted, the day was largely occupied in handicraft – chiefly hat, mat and basket-making, and machine sewing. The refuge girls, sent to the home by magistrate’s order, undertook laundry, housework and cooking by rota. After three years, girls generally left to take up apprenticeships.

The premises had already been enlarged by building a wing and annexing the adjoining house, 35 Northumberland Street, when a major remodelling was carried out in 1888–9 under the architects Habershon & Fawckner. With fireproof floors and staircases, lift, ventilation system and roof-terrace for exercise, the Home was now a fully up-to-date institutional building instead of the awkward warren it had been. Externally it was in the Italianate style, in brick and buff terracotta, and there was a new central entrance portico in Northumberland Street. The Cripples’ Home and Industrial School for Girls, as it was latterly, closed in 1910 or 1911, and Northumberland House became the new home of the Three Arts Club, opened in December 1911.

This originated in 1907 or 1908 in the Strand as the Frances Club, a day club for women working in music, art and drama. It was founded by Hilda Pocock, a sister of the actress Lena Ashwell, and named after another sister. In 1910 the club moved to Mecklenburgh Square, where it offered residential accommodation and was renamed the Three Arts Club after the New York women’s club on which it was modelled. Its re-launch on a larger scale at what was now 19A Marylebone Road was in large part due to Ashwell, who hoped that similar clubs would follow in provincial towns for travelling artistes. Sir Arthur Pinero, Sir Edward Elgar and John Singer Sargent sat on an advisory board representing the three arts; Nellie Melba and Clara Butt were among others involved. Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, whose mother Princess Christian had been patroness of the Cripples’ Home in succession to Lord Shaftesbury, served as president.

The club aimed to provide safe, affordable accommodation and social facilities to professional and student women in the arts. Cubicles or bedrooms for 100 were available for short stays or long-term residence, plus a dining hall, writing and reception rooms and a concert hall. But the famous Three Arts Club balls were mostly held at the Albert Hall. Gwen Frangçon-Davies, Binnie Hale and Dodie Smith were among women who lived there early in their careers. The club was popular with students at RADA and the Royal Academy of Music, but in 1923 it was said that there were ‘more musicians than actresses … and more professional than student members’. A Three Arts Club studio for artists to work in and exhibit was set up at 3 Nottingham Place about 1912, and during the First World War a Three Arts Club shop was opened in Baker Street to promote the work of women artists.

In 1938 the Three Arts Club moved to Granville Place, Portman Street. The present building on the site, 29 Marylebone Road, dates from 1964 and follows the general look of Methodist Church House adjoining.

Nottingham Place

Nottingham Place was simply named after Nottinghamshire, where local landowners the dukes of Portland owned property.

It was developed in the 1790s and was the ‘best’ street in the immediate neighbourhood.

Behind the houses in Nottingham Place the stabling in Nottingham Mews and Northumberland Mews (Oldbury Place and Bingham Place from 1892) was all or mostly rebuilt at the same time as the houses were modernized and enlarged in the late nineteenth century. The lowlier southern portion of Nottingham Place, between Nottingham Street and Paddington Street, was developed somewhat earlier and had a separate existence as Great Woodstock Street until 1937, when it was merged with Nottingham Place and the whole renumbered.

Described at the time of its development as ‘airy, fashionable, and truly desirable’, Nottingham Place was the only high-class street on the Portland estate west of the High Street. Early residents included at least two colonels, a rear-admiral, and Mrs Beilby Thompson, the widowed mother of the politician Beilby Thompson, a society hostess whose house there was reckoned ‘magnificent and charming’ in 1800.94 The geologist and philologist Daniel Sharpe, a brewer’s son, was born in 1806 at No. 10 (now 34). (Sir) George Abercrombie Robinson lived at No. 15 (demolished) after his retirement from service with the East India Company, of which he later became chairman. Another old East India Company hand, Lt. Col. Thomas Marshall, died at his house in Nottingham Place in 1824. By the 1830s, when Thomas Smith summed it up as a street of ‘handsome houses occupied by persons of the first respectability’, Nottingham Place could no longer be considered fashionable, and by late Victorian times had settled into being a dullish address, suited to professional occupants. The architect T. G. Jackson, who set up his home and office at No. 4 (now 22) shortly after his marriage in 1880, was one such. It was, he recalled, ‘an eminently unfashionable street, of which indeed I had never heard till I went there to see the house’. He was not sorry to leave for Wimbledon in 1887.

Nottingham Place is particularly associated with Octavia Hill, who moved to No. 14 (since demolished) in late 1860 with her mother and sisters. They were joined initially by Hill’s friend Sophia Jex-Blake, the future physician and feminist campaigner. In 1862 the Hills opened a girls’ school there, which continued until 1891, following their move to 190 Marylebone Road, where Octavia died in 1912. The school, taking in the daughters of friends or other girls on recommendation, numbered about two dozen pupils, fourteen boarding. Among them in the early 1870s was the future sculptor and modeller Ellen Mary Rope. Lessons were held in the stable building behind the house in Nottingham Mews (Oldbury Place), originally utilized by Octavia from 1865 as a social centre for her tenants in Paradise Place.

As head leases came up for renewal in the late 1880s and early 1890s the houses were modernized according to a formula devised by the Portland Estate, the top storeys being raised to full height. The remodelling of the façades with window heads, pilasters and other embellishment was done in the Queen Anne Revival manner, in moulded red brick manufactured by the Heather Colliery Company of Ashby de la Zouch, and iron railings to the basement areas and first-floor balconies supplied by the Falkirk Iron Foundry Company. Alternate houses were given bay windows and new attic storeys, with dormer windows tricked out as pedimented Dutch gables.

Nottingham Street

Nottingham Street was built up in several stages, in the mid 1760s, mid 1780s, early 1790s and later. At least one house was completed in 1807, and four plots were offered for sale in 1808, with foundations and vaults. The shop at No. 6 was built in 1899–90 when the south entry into Oldbury Place (then Nottingham Mews) was made.

At the back of the houses west of Great Woodstock Street on what was later the site of the telephone exchange, was Ward’s Buildings – William Ward being one of the builders who developed Nottingham Street.

Nutford Place

Nutford Place was called after Nutford in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

Ogle Mews

In 1862 Ogle Mews acquired a ragged school, designed by W. P. Griffith and probably paid for by the banker Sir R. W. Carden of Wimpole Street, who participated in the ‘Ogle Mission’. In 1871 they went on to adapt a warehouse on the east side of Ogle Street into a boys’ ‘grammar school’, with J. F. Bentley as architect; the premises had previously been a lithographic manufactory and a gas-meter factory, both of which enterprises had failed. On LCC advice, the ragged school and Catholic schools were all closed in 1905–6 as ‘inadequate’.

The schools were overshadowed by the Ogle Works, industrial premises on the north side of the mews used for mineral water manufacture from at least 1841 up to the Edwardian period, when they were partly taken over as car-repair shops. The buildings disappeared together with the mews when John Astor House took up most of the east side of Ogle Street in 1937, to which the Macdonald Buchanan School of Nursing was added after the war. In 2012–13 the nursing school was replaced by subsidised housing designed for the Peabody Trust by Peter Taylor Associates.

Ogle Street

The name for the street – Upper Ogle Street – became Ogle Street in 1865 (though the LCC did not formalize the change till 1904). Before that, Ogle Street was called Ogle Court or occasionally Ogle Square until about 1820, before it was Upper Ogle Street.

Ogle Court and Ogle Mews running off it to the east were both being built up in the 1770s. Between the two streets lay a tiny court known as Brothers Buildings.

Both Hanson Street and Ogle Street declined into the worst housing of south-east Marylebone. By the 1840s the evils of multi-occupation by ‘poor people from top to bottom’ in both streets were commanding the efforts of competing church missions. The 1851 census offers thumbnail sketches of bleak lives in Ogle Street and Mews, e. g. ‘keeps a little chandler’s shop’; ‘sells fruit in the street’; ‘porter and draws parish water truck’; ‘disabled tailor does a little work’; ‘plasterer partially paralysed’. Starting a Sunday school was one standard response; less usual was the opening in 1844 of the Western Asylum for the Houseless Poor in two houses on the west side of Upper Ogle Street. This refuge, an offshoot of a City-based charity, elicited rapid opposition. Douglas Jerrold responded with a satirical article in Punch, ‘The Wrongs of “Ogle-Square”’. The refuge survived the brouhaha and continued for some years, admitting applicants for warm shelter and a bed for the night without ticket.

Old Cavendish Street

Since the name New Cavendish Street was used to the north, the original name Cavendish Street was replaced

This was lined with 28 Georgian houses and included two pubs: the Red Lion at No. 5 (rebuilt in 1879), to the north of Red Lion Yard on the east side, and the Crown at No. 12A (rebuilt in 1885–6) on the west.

Old Quebec Street

Old Quebec Street is named after the former Quebec Chapel on this site, named after the Battle of Quebec, built 1787 demolished in 1912.

Oldbury Place

Oldbury Place, formerly Nottingham Mews, was built up from about 1790. The original entrance was that from the High Street, the wider turning from Nottingham Street being opened up about 1892 when the mews was almost entirely rebuilt and given its present name. Oldbury Place retained a mainly commercial-industrial character well into the 20th century, with engineers, motor-garages, builders and decorators, and a fashionable or bohemian residential element from between the wars. In the early 1930s the film actor John Loder and Wanda Baillie-Hamilton, wife of the Tory politician the Hon. Charles Baillie-Hamilton, lived at No. 1, giving rise to the Baillie-Hamiltons’ divorce. The architects Sir Lancelot Keay, Basil G. Duckett and Partners were based at No. 22, formerly a garage, from the late 1950s.

The Nature Cure Clinic, a charitable treatment centre founded in 1928 on principles of naturopathy, vegetarianism and anti-vivisection, occupied 13 Oldbury Place from 1945, then from 1976 (until its merger with the Institute of Complementary Medicine in 2007) in a new building next door at No. 15, called Nina Hosali House after the clinic’s founder. This was built in conjunction with the redevelopment of Nos 42–52 Nottingham Place and Oldbury Place buildings behind for the Princess Grace Hospital.

Orchard Street

Named after Orchard Portman in Somerset, where the local Portman family owned property.

Ossington Buildings

The Portland Estate established the Portland Industrial Dwellings Company to replace the worst slums in Marylebone with a block of flats called Ossington Buildings.

Ossington Buildings were named after Charlotte, Viscountess Ossington, local landowner and heiress to the Cavendish-Harley estate.

Ossington Coffee Tavern

The Ossington Coffee Tavern and Lodging House stood at the corner of Paradise Street (Moxon Street and Ossington Buildings from 1883 until 1961. It was conceived and paid for by the 5th Duke of Portland’s sister Charlotte, Viscountess Ossington, who had recently built and endowed the grand Ossington Coffee Tavern at Newark as a memorial to her late husband, the former Commons Speaker. The Marylebone building, opened by Lady Ossington in March 1883, was modest in comparison but even so a highlight in a drab street.

The business was run by the Ossington Coffee Tavern Company Ltd, which like the later Portland Industrial Dwellings Company Limited was independent from the Portland Estate but had a close relationship with it. The company later ran coffee taverns in Gray Street and in Newton Street, High Holborn, and briefly at the former Sawyers’ Arms in Marylebone Lane. The property, sold in 1931, was reacquired by the Howard de Walden Estate in 1961 and let to National Car Parks on condition of demolition. The cleared site, blighted by uncertainty about the Greater London Council’s island site opposite, remained a car park until after the council’s abolition, when the present flats, Howard House, were built in 1988.

Oxford Market

A newspaper article stated in September 1721 that the ‘Oxford Market’ was ‘in great forwardness’ – evidence corroborated by the weathervane of the completed market house, which carried the date 1721 and the initials ‘HEH’ for Henrietta and Edward Harley. The brick building thus rapidly erected was square on plan with entrances on each side and a pitched roof rising from all four sides to an octagonal cupola.

By 1727 eighteen stalls occupied the ample open space west of the permanent building, and the surrounding streets and houses around Market Place (then simply Oxford Market) were well advanced. At that point a setback occurred in the shape of a lawsuit promoted by Lord Craven on behalf of the Lowndes or Carnaby Market, for which powers had been obtained in 1720 but which was not realized until 1725–6. After delays the Harleys fended off the challenge. But the effect must have been injurious, as in 1732 it was said that ‘the Market did not answer, and is wholly disus’d’. In that year the market’s legitimacy was reaffirmed, but its operations remained low key.

Oxford Market was best known for butchers’ shops

Accretions to the market gradually took place. The western part of the open market place was built over around 1754, and the eastern part in 1762, perhaps in response to complaints of chaos and the open-air slaughter of calves and lambs. In 1816 the market building was reconstructed and enlarged under the supervision of the Portland estate surveyor Samuel Ware by the addition of two-storey shops all round, with living accommodation in the upper floor and an iron-columned loggia in front, incorporating pedimented entrances on each side to the interior space where there were more shops. These last were not to the liking of John White junior, the district surveyor, leading to a dispute between him and Ware which went to S. P. Cockerell for mediation. Costing over £7,000, the reconstruction was not a success. The inside shops in particular failed to let, so in the late 1820s Ware converted this part for Chelsea Hospital, as a base for paying out-relief to the many soldier-pensioners from the Napoleonic Wars living in the vicinity. That arrangement must have ended by 1843, when the methods for such payments changed. In 1851 a guidebook reported that the interior was occupied by a warehouse and that the whole had ‘lost all pretensions to be considered a market at all’; likewise in 1867 the building was said to be half unoccupied and the remainder ’taken by street-shops of a very crampy-looking kind’. Five years later the Portland Estate’s receiver was advising that the market would soon have to be abolished and redeveloped. The interior was recorded by J. P. Emslie shortly before the building’s demolition in 1881.

Oxford Music Hall

The Oxford Music Hall was on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street between 1861 and 1926.

Oxford Street

Oxford Street formed the southern boundary of the Marylebone estate and was named for its then owner, the Earl of Oxford.

The boom in the West End garment trade coincided with the halcyon years of the Oxford Street department store. Barely evident by 1900, it started to transform the building fabric from about 1910. Construction of new footage for the trade then raced ahead for thirty years, permeating right up to the Euston Road and broken only by the world wars. Wholesale clothing still dominated such streets as Margaret Street for three further decades after the Second World War. When shops attached to the Holcroft Court housing scheme were being planned in the late 1960s for the top of Cleveland Street, the workshops behind were expected to fill up with garment workers. Since the millennium the sector has dwindled dramatically, but it is still represented in pockets.

Paddington Street

Paddington Street Gardens

Paddington Street Gardens comprises the two disused burial grounds which largely superseded the parish churchyard in the High Street during the eighteenth century. Horwood’s map of 1813 shows them as ‘St Mary le Bone and St George’s Burying Grounds’. That the words ‘St George’s’ fall on the larger, southern site probably gave rise to the repeated assertion that this was known as St George’s burial ground. There may have been some shared use by the parish of St George’s Hanover Square, which until it obtained burial space in Bayswater in 1763 had only the small graveyard off Mount Street, acquired in 1723 when the parish church was being built – if so, perhaps explaining the presence at Paddington Street of the Fitzpatrick mausoleum.

Most of what is now Paddington Street Gardens South was granted to St Marylebone by the Earl of Oxford in 1730, in exchange for a small plot west of Wells Street, together with an access road from the High Street, soon known as Paradise Street. It was to be substantially enclosed by a wall, with part set aside for almshouses and a workhouse, to be built within seven years. The ground was consecrated in 1733, by which time the 7ft-high enclosing wall had been built, under the supervision of James Gibbs. But the almshouses were never built, and in 1753 the Vestry petitioned Lady Oxford for a formal release from its obligation to build them, so that the intended site could be incorporated into the burial ground, already
proving too small. The workhouse was begun in 1749, at the corner of Paddington Street and Burying Ground Passage (Ashland Place).

Park Crescent

Park Crescent lies at the north end of Portland Place and is south of Marylebone Road.
The Crescent, completed between 1819 and 1821, has elegant stuccoed terraced houses designed by the architect John Nash, which form a semicircle – part of Nash’s scheme linking Westminster to Regent’s Park (originally Marylebone Park). It was conceived as Regent’s Circus, but only the lower half was built. Four circuses featured in Nash’s original 1811 scheme to link Whitehall with Marylebone Park by way of what became Regent Street – Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus and Regent’s Circus. The final circus was to be in the park itself – this was never realised – becoming the Inner Circle.

This Regent’s Circus was to be over 700ft in diameter, positioned where the New Road crossed the line of Portland Place.

The land had originally been fields. Dupper Field (or Harley Field) was the southernmost field of the Crown Estate’s Marylebone Park Farm and its only portion left of the farm south of the New Road. Opposite, which would had been the northern half of the circus was Saltpetre Field – which had been partly a gravel pit. A historical survivor of this period is a large ice-well at the back in Park Crescent Mews West. In 1780 Samuel Dash of 122 Harley Street had asked for permission to construct an underground structure in Dupper Field. His large brick-built ice-well was uncovered by ground work in 1961 but almost immediately thereafter filled with rubble and built over. Partially excavated in 2014, it became a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 2015.

Nash looked for a builder who could take on the whole development and found Charles Mayor who had built the north side of Brunswick Square. In 1812 Nash and Mayor had increased the diameter of the circus to 724ft, giving some houses frontages of up to 100ft.

Mayor asked for his first leases between December 1812 and August 1813. But with the Napoleonic Wars reaching their climax, it was a bad time for builders. Mayor went bankrupt after six houses had been built. In difficult economic conditions for Nash and subsequent builders, plans for a complete Regent’s Circus were downgraded.
The name ‘Park Crescent’ appeared in 1821 as it was clear that the half-circus north of the New Road would not proceed. Ideas about the design of the park had also changed. Nash scrapped the northern section of the Circus in favour of a new Park Square with an open north end. Park Crescent thus ushered in the entrance to the Park instead Regent’s Circus hiding it.

The semicircle is divided into two halves by Portland Place.

The crescent was fully occupied in the late 1820s with property prices reviving.

At the eastern end, 1 and 2 Park Grescent were rebuilt over girders as part of the works for Metropolitan Railway in 1861. The railway company bought both houses in 1889 to use a shaft place in their garden to improve the ventilation of Great Portland Street station. This caused a sooty coating for adjacent houses, leading to a court case.

By the time of the Second World War, Park Crerscent was dowdy and dirty, with many houses divided into flats or medical offices. In 1941 enemy bombing inflicted one of the severest losses on the entire Crown estate, irreparably damaging 19–24 Park Crescent.

After 1945, Park Crescent was in poor condition (as were other Nash terraces near Regent’s Park) and thus the Crescent of today is largely a post- Second World War replica. Houses were restored in the 1960s when the leases came up for renewal, and they are protected as grade I listed buildings,but behind the curve of the Crescent, the Crown Estate built new structures. Interior features which are visible from the street, such as light fittings, had to respect the Regency design of the façade.

Park Crescent Gardens

Between the arms of the Park Crescent is a private garden, which is open to the public every year as part of the London Open Garden Squares Weekend.

In 1821, residents in Portland Place and Park Crescent were already being asked to take charge of the gardens.

A historically unique feature of the garden is the Nursemaids’ Tunnel, an early pedestrian underpass connecting Park Square to Park Crescent. The gardens retain most of their original Nash layout and have been managed continuously since 1824 by the Crown Estate Paving Commission (CEPC).

Two magnificent plane trees which dominate Park Crescent were said to have been planted in 1817 before its construction to commemorate the Allied victory at Waterloo two years earlier.

Facing Portland Place is a bronze statue of the Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria’s father. After the Duke’s death in 1820 a subscription was opened for a commemorative statue, organised by the Freemasons. The statue was erected in 1824.

In 1967 two octagonal structures were built on the north side of Park Crescent Gardens, concealing vents for Regent’s Park underground station.

Picton Place

Picton Place was named after Thomas Picton, general who lived near here before his death at the Battle of Waterloo.

Portland Place

With its exceptional width and Adam architecture, Portland Place was one of the outstanding developments of its day, and despite extensive and often insensitive change remains one of London’s most memorable streets. Among the many post-Adam buildings, Broadcasting House and the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects, both dating from the 1930s, are of major national significance.

Though the Adams’ scheme for terraces of spacious and highly sophisticated townhouses was to be fully realized in Portland Place, it was not matched by financial rewards, and from a business point of view came close to disaster. The brothers’ involvement locally covered much more than just Portland Place, notably Mansfield Street, where their development began in the late 1760s, while land to either side of Portland Place was built up by others working under them, including large parts of Devonshire Street, New Cavendish Street, Hallam Street and Great Portland Street – and a short stretch of Harley Street. But Portland Place was where the Adams’ energies and architectural flair were chiefly concentrated.

The genesis of Portland Place is intimately tied to the history of Foley House and the resolution in 1767 of a long-running dispute between the Foley family and the Portland Estate over ownership of the valuable open ground to its north. Thomas Foley eventually conceded his deceased cousin Lord Foley’s claim to a long lease of that land, but he did get the 3rd Duke of Portland’s agreement that if and when it was developed a ‘large street or opening’ would be left ‘for ever’ in front of Foley House to preserve the view northwards. Hence the unusual width of Portland Place – at around 125ft still commonly regarded as the widest street in London.

This concord was signed in January 1767. Not long afterwards that James Adam began negotiations with the Duke to take some of the land for building, as by October final articles of agreement had been drawn up between them. James was often the lead negotiator and chief speculator in Adam business affairs.

Construction of the houses proceeded generally from south to north over a 20-year period, delayed above all by a downturn in the building industry in the later 1770s–80s and the Adams’ own financial crises during that time.

In the Adams’ original conception, before its incorporation by John Nash in the 1820s into his via triumphalis from Carlton House to Regent’s Park, Portland Place was a rare thing in London – a genuine place. Cut off at one end by Marylebone Fields and by the grounds of Foley House at the other, it was accessible from side streets only – to all intents a private enclave. Robert Adam did, however, see the advantage to his development of continuing it north over the Crown’s lands to the New (now Marylebone) Road, and tried in 1772 to persuade Peter Burrell, Surveyor General of the Crown Lands, to arrange for the lease of that ground to be transferred to the Duke of Portland but without success.

The earliest views, of around 1800 – such as that by Malton published in Picturesque Rides (Ill. 17.10) – show the development complete and unadulterated. Also noticeable are throngs of people taking the air, something that was apparently a feature of Portland Place in the days before it became a through road: This grand place was remarkable for its peaceful dignity and undisturbed character. In it few sounds were heard, except those emanating from the wheels of private carriages. During the fashionable season, after dinner, in the twilight of a fine evening, it was not unusual to see parties, slowly walking up and down; enjoying the fresh air, with no further addition to their evening costume than a round hat for gentlemen, the ladies with an immense lace veil loosely thrown over their head and shoulders.

One of the fears expressed by residents about John Nash’s accepted proposals for the new route to Regent’s Park in the 1810s was the potentially damaging effect of through traffic, especially the kind of bucolic ‘through traffic’ habitually found on the New (now Marylebone) Road. In the event, though the brick walls, railings and gates erected by the Adams at the top of the street for the Duke of Portland were removed to allow access to Park Crescent, new gates and lodges on either side of the New Road kept the carts and drovers away. It was not until the era of motor transport, when the London County Council’s dislike of gated streets saw Portland Place opened up to charabanc drivers en route to the Great North Road, that the noise and inconvenience of through traffic became a concern for potential lessees.

Flats began to appear in the street in the 1890s, but as elsewhere in the area came to the fore in the early years of the twentieth century. With flats came an influx of commercial and professional middle classes.

As early as the mid 1890s, with so many houses empty, the Howard de Walden Estate had allowed small numbers of ‘medical men of very high standing’ to practise in Portland Place. Gradually, suitable institutions were also allowed to take up leases, many of them with medical connections. Purely commercial offices, shops and banks, however, were not wanted by London County Council’s planners, who had already zoned the area for residential and institutional use. But the presence of the BBC, at Portland Place from 1932 and expanding rapidly, followed shortly afterwards by the RIBA, turned the tide. Two office proposals refused by the LCC in 1938–9 won a reprieve at appeal because the Minister of Health judged the BBC had already greatly changed the street’s character.

War damage, military requisitioning and general poor maintenance made Portland Place less of a draw for private owners after 1945. Post-war building restrictions and shortage of money probably did more than anything else to prevent further redevelopment, but nevertheless the period prior to listing in the 1950s–70s was marked by some terrible treatment of the historic fabric during conversion to other uses. Many interiors have now been refurbished and restored for diplomatic or office use, or as meetings or entertainment rooms for corporate or private hire. A few Adam houses have now come full circle and are being reconverted back to single family occupation.

The London plane trees that run down the centre of Portland Place lend it much of its Continental flavour and create a visual link with the verdancy of Regent’s Park beyond. They have an air of permanence but their presence is a surprisingly recent one. The idea had been mooted by Marylebone Council in the 1870s and again later but was not universally popular. Lady Howard de Walden was opposed to it, and some residents thought the effect would be too ‘suburban-like’ for such a dignified street. A further airing in 1922–3 won a more favourable response but it was not until the 1970s or 80s that the planting of trees was finally accepted by all interested parties.

Porter Street

After David Porter, builder of the nearby Montagu Square

Princess’s Theatre

The Princess’s Theatre in Oxford Street opened in 1836, purveying a mixed diet of opera, drama and music hall.

Queen’s Hall

Rebuilding the Portland Bazaar’s southern half as St George’s Hall left its surviving northern portion ripe for redevelopment. In 1876 it was linked with the stabling in the old riding house adjoining in a heavily promoted project for London’s biggest skating rink – The Langham Skating Rink and Club. Grand designs for a double rink under a lantern-dome with a French-style club in front were commissioned from the architects Archer & Green but the project collapsed.

The Birkbeck Bank, one of the club’s mortgagees, gradually assumed a controlling interest in both buildings.

A striking scheme eventually came to fruition as the Queen’s Hall.

Behind the promotion lay years of dissatisfaction with the premises available for London’s burgeoning musical life. Several previous schemes for the site, including St George’s Hall, had tried to address this want, but all were vulnerable to uncertainties about public taste for the staging of ambitious or sustained classical music. For orchestral concerts the favourite venue was St James’s Hall, Piccadilly (of 1857–8), tucked like many such halls behind the street frontage. It was in strong demand, and according to the new company’s prospectus paid seven per cent on its shares.

The Queen’s Hall was planned to have almost twice the capacity of St James’s Hall, aiming at 4000 seats at the outset, later reduced, but with the bonus of a separate smaller hall to hold 800–1000. The Queen’s Hall finally opened in November 1893, after an alleged expenditure of nearly £200,000.

There were two balcony levels, entrances to the lower one being at street level, thus pushing the stalls underground. Surmounting the front of the building was the smaller hall, able to hold 600, and likened by Bernard Shaw to a cigar-shaped steamer saloon. The basement included a restaurant and grill room.

The main auditorium, 115ft at its longest by 87ft, and 57ft high, could accommodate 3,000 people.

Shortly before the hall was completed, the ‘vocalist and concert agent’ Robert Newman was appointed full-time manager. The introduction of promenade concerts under Henry Wood in 1895 was Newman’s most famous innovation.

In 1902 Newman was declared bankrupt. Following negotiations with J. S. Rubinstein, the lease and direction of the hall passed to the musical publishers Chappell & Co., who needed a venue for their popular concerts, hitherto at St James’s Hall, then being sold for redevelopment. Under the new regime Newman’s role was increasingly restricted to managing musical events and the resident orchestra, the business side falling to other hands.

Both halls were in constant demand, successful and profitable, and after the demise of St James’s Hall became the unquestioned centre of London’s orchestral life and the scene of many premières and débuts.

Later, the BBC began to use the hall regularly and became its dominant patron after moving to Broadcasting House.

When the Second World War broke out, concerts continued, surviving two episodes of blast damage, but on 10 May 1941 an incendiary bomb lodged on the roof. With limited water supply, the fire could not be contained and gutted the interior.

For a while a rebuilt Queen’s Hall was also mooted as a possible musical centre for the 1951 Festival of Britain, until the LCC decided to build the Royal Festival Hall as a permanent feature of the South Bank site. All the same, a venue was still needed for the popular Proms concerts, which were not to be accommodated at the South Bank, and so the government acquired the lease and responsibility for the Queen’s Hall project. By 1954, though, with the Festival Hall well established and the future of the Albert Hall as a new venue for the Proms looking assured, the redevelopment potential of the Queen’s Hall site, now finally cleared, was becoming evident. Despite continuing enthusiasm in the musical world (and a revised scheme by Emberton, influenced by the Festival Hall), the economic argument for commercial redevelopment prevailed.

Queen Anne Mews

Queen Anne Mews was named for Queen Anne. The street of the same name was originally meant to lead to a square called Queen Anne Square, however this was never completed.

Queen Anne Street

Queen Anne Street, while not as “posh” as its immediate neighbours, was considered the best of the east-west ‘cross’ streets of Marylebone.

The start of a shift to Bloomsbury and Marylebone can be traced to the 1750s–60s, as proximity to London’s teaching hospitals became important for top medical men who held prestigious posts in them. The Middlesex included teaching from its inception, and the establishment of University College London in Bloomsbury with its medical school and hospital (opened in 1832) bolstered the popularity of that neighbourhood for senior figures in medicine. Closeness to aristocratic patients was the other major consideration. By the 1840s there were sufficient eminent physicians and surgeons in Cavendish Square and Queen Anne Street to act as a magnet for others.

In the late 1750s Marylebone Basin was filled in, and Mansfield Street was subsequently laid out on the site. On the west corner of Queen Anne and Mansfield Streets, William Scott undertook a couple of plots (Nos 8 and 10) in 1760; east of Mansfield Street, the short remainder of the Queen Anne Street frontage was to be taken up by General Clerk’s house and Chandos House.

Queen Anne Street was fully built up by 1770, though work on Chandos House went on for some time after. Twenty-two of the original houses survive.

Edmund Burke lived in a house on the site of No. 36 for several years from 1763, when he was editing the Annual Register, and in 1788 James Boswell took ‘a neat, pretty, small house’ here in what he considered ‘quite a genteel neighbourhood’, remaining there into 1790 while at work on the Life of Johnson. The prime minister George Canning was born in 1770 at the then No. 37 (on the site of the present No. 43).

From November 1852 to October 1853, No. 22 (now 48) was occupied by the American medium Maria Hayden, offering private séances in the drawing room (at a guinea for a one-to-one session). Apart from a few earlier performances given by her at a house in Upper Seymour Street, these were the first séances, more specifically table-rapping demonstrations, held in England, and were instrumental in establishing spiritualism in this country. The choice of address can hardly have been coincidental, for spiritualism was on the fringe of medicine – Mrs Hayden’s manager George W. Stone, who rented the house, was a popularizer of a system of hypnotism billed as ‘electro-biology’, while she went on to become a qualified physician in the United States.

Many were rebuilt on expiry of the first leases in the 1880s–90s, in the Queen Anne style favoured by the Portland Estate. By then most were in use as medical consulting rooms. Rebuilding continued sporadically in the twentieth century, and in recent years there has been some redevelopment and amalgamation of buildings behind old façades. Much of the street remains in medical use, otherwise as offices and flats. Since the late nineteenth century, Queen Anne Street has also been the centre of estate management, offices for the Portland Estate having been built there in 1882 at No. 23, on the site of J. M. W. Turner’s former house and picture gallery; they were rebuilt in 1936–7 for the Howard de Walden Estate, which has since annexed the adjoining building at 35 Harley Street for the same purpose.

Queen Anne Street remained a good address, but the purely residential element became small as the number of medical practitioners rose steadily from early Victorian times.

Radium Institute

On the north side of Riding House Street, was the Radium Institute. This was opened in 1911 at the direct instigation of Edward VII and wholly funded in the first instance by Sir Ernest Cassel, his close financial adviser, and Lord Iveagh. Modelled on the pioneering methods of the Curies in Paris, it followed hard on the heels of similar institutes in Vienna and New York. All offered outpatient treatment only for sufferers from malignant diseases. The cost of the building was small compared to that of the tiny quantities of radium used in the treatment. The original accommodation was divided between a front section for the well-to-do, and a back section entered from All Souls’ Place for the ‘necessitous’, though the internal arrangements seem to have been on a par, with waiting and consulting rooms at ground level and treatment cubicles on the first floor; above were technical facilities plus a board room and staff room. The extension, again largely paid for by Cassel and Iveagh, more than doubled the accommodation and added research facilities. The Radium Institute was amalgamated with Mount Vernon Hospital in 1938, the Riding House Street building becoming the central offices and outpatients’ department of the new body. After the Second World War it was sold and new offices were opened at 59 Portland Place in 1947. The old building was occupied for many years by the NSPCC, and is now the Algerian Embassy.

The original wing of the Radium Institute replaced the first All Souls’ School, erected in 1824 or shortly afterwards on a leasehold site behind the church to accommodate poor children and at first known as Marylebone’s Eastern National School. It went on in various school uses until 1909, when the new parish school in Foley Street opened. Among the buildings destroyed by the 1913–14 extension was the tiny Rehoboth Chapel, built in 1853 for a Baptist congregation which had had a succession of local addresses.

Rathbone Place

When begun in 1716, Rathbone Place was the first speculative street development anywhere in Marylebone, anticipating by a few years the grander building programmes to the west on the Cavendish–Harley (now Howard de Walden) estate. It owed its origins to earlier developments across Oxford Street in Soho, of which it was, in essence, a northwards extension, continuing the line of Charles Street (now Soho Street) out of Soho Square. The early topography and pattern of development here, with narrow streets and small houses (a few of which remain), later occupation by artists, craftsmen and musicians, with many European migrants and a prevalence of bars and restaurants, all suggest affinity with Soho.

The crossroads at the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road is an historic junction, where four parishes met. When St Giles’s pound was moved there in 1656 from a spot further east, this constituted the far north-western margin of built-up London. From here the Tyburn road ran further west with only a scattering of houses along its north side.

Towards the north-east corner of that road, approximately on the site of the present 10–16 Oxford Street, the brewer Joseph Girle had by the 1660s established a brewery together with an inn, the Castle (later the Blue Boar). This stood on ground mostly in Marylebone but also extending into St Pancras that Girle had acquired from Sir John Clerke and others. Girle’s small estate was known as Harp or Pond Close – the former name deriving from another inn of Girle’s, built around the corner facing the Tottenham Court Road, the latter perhaps from a nearby reservoir, the other principal development of this period on Girle’s land, which had been established c.1654 beside a natural spring, on the site now occupied by Rathbone Street.

Joseph Girle was one of the instigators of building development on the Portland estate south of Oxford Street in Soho Fields, where in 1673 he took a lease of 19 acres, obtained authority to build there and sold out in 1677 to Richard Frith, who then undertook the development of Soho Square. Girle died that same year.

Most of Harp Close – around three-and-a-half acres, excluding the south-east corner – was acquired in 1690 by the carpenter Thomas Rathbone (d. 1722), who had been engaged in the development of Soho Square in the mid 1680s. Both he and his son, Dr John Rathbone, lived on the estate in adjoining houses on Oxford Street. Thomas Rathbone bided his time until about 1718, the date given on a stone still to be seen at the bottom of Rathbone Place (at 52 Oxford Street).

Rathbone Place was then built up in continuation of Soho Square and Charles Street.

In 1727 Dr Rathbone mortgaged Harp Close to Bulstrode Peachey Knight, MP, after whose death in 1736 it was remortgaged to William Glanville, MP. Glanville was his wife’s surname, which he took on their marriage in 1718, but he reverted to Evelyn in 1742, in which year he also acquired the freehold of the estate. There have been many piecemeal sales since, but ownership of the rump has remained with the Evelyn family and its descendants as the Rathbone Place Estate.

Rathbone Place gradually became a place of commerce. In a district populated by many skilled craftsmen it became popular with artists, mainly as short-term tenants or lodgers, as was even more true of Newman Street. Nearly every house in Rathbone Place had an artist as tenant at some point, as did several on the west side of Gresse Street.

By the 1830s nearly every property in Rathbone Place had a shop, the artists having brought dependent commerce behind them. In 33 Rathbone Place, John Harris Heal founded a firm for the supply of bedding in 1810. Heals moved to Tottenham Court Road in 1818.

Apart from the consequences of road widening in the 1860s, there was little further significant change to the area’s fabric until after 1900, when piecemeal replacements of houses as commercial showrooms or workshops began. By then Rathbone Place and its vicinity had a reputation for nightclubs and gambling. More than a quarter of its residents were foreign-born.

Rathbone Street

Originally known as Glanville Street, after the landowner under whom it was laid out in 1764–5, and from the 1790s as Upper Rathbone Place, Rathbone Street acquired its present name in 1935, when it was also renumbered. Its dogleg and westward slant from Rathbone Place follow the St Pancras–St Marylebone parish boundary (which divides one side of the street from the other) and also the alignment of Marchant’s Waterworks, the reservoir which previously occupied the site.

Thomas Rawstorne’s lease of the waterworks site in 1764 was for 99 years. The plot was irregular in shape, measuring 162ft wide at its south end, west of the present Rathbone Place–Gresse Street junction, and 584ft long, and tapering to a width of just 63ft at its north end. The street’s east side, developed in 1764–5, though later in St Marylebone, was originally part of St Pancras parish.

Rathbone Street, like Rathbone Place, was at first colonised by artists.

By the 1840s there were a few shops and a pub, the Duke of York, at the row’s north end. By then the street had become densely populated by the poor. In 1871 there were 584 people in the 22 west-side houses, in many cases a family to a room. In the 1880s the local Medical Officer of Health expressed concern about overcrowding among the tailors, shoemakers, gilders, painters, printers, lithographers, cabinet-makers and French polishers and their families who lived here. By the 1890s there was a strong Continental presence and by 1901 over 100 of the 484 people on the west side of the street had been born outside the British Isles. A restaurant advertised ‘cuisine bourgeoise’, there were dealers in horse flesh and fried fish, makers of antique cabinets, musical-instrument cases and bird cages, and prostitution was prevalent. In 1906, a time of much rebuilding, the police thought Rathbone Street ‘the criminal alien and worst quarter’ of the whole district north of Oxford Street.

Regent Street

North of Oxford Circus, John Nash laid out his ‘New Street’ in 1813. Portland Place had already been built and so the line that the street – extending Regent Street northwards – was using north of Oxford Circus had to be adjusted so as to line up with Portland Place. The obstinate owner of Foley House – an obstacle in the way of the grand plan – meant that the necessary kink was not planned further south at Oxford Circus. The kink to realign the new sections became Langham Place and therefore Regent Street and Portland Place became the same street. All Souls, Langham Place was built on this bend.

Upper Regent Street was the informal name for the three blocks of Regent Street north of Oxford Circus. It was largely laid out over existing streets – Bolsover Street and, further north, Edward Street. Bolsover Street’s name was reassigned to another new streets once Regent Street was built.

Shops were designed in Upper Regent Street as far as the first block – Great Castle Street (named after the pub, the Castle built on the corner)Oxford Circus, at the crossing with intensely commercial Oxford Street, naturally had shops, and shops were to run northwards from there up to the first cross street, Great Castle Street. Here a single pub, the Castle, was rebuilt at the south-west corner. Nash’s designs and façades for Upper Regent Street gave a Parisian-style uniformity and beauty to the vistas up to All Souls.

Riding House Street

The riding house from which Riding House Street takes its name was one of a number of such buildings to appear on the margins of London’s western suburbs in the early eighteenth century, covered spaces for military officers and gentlemen to learn equine comportment. In 1726 the Cavendish–Harley Estate granted John Wood a lease to build a riding house and barracks for the First Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards on what was then quite open ground north of the present line of Mortimer Street. Completed the following year, it stood immediately south of what soon became Riding House Lane and set back from the west side of Great Portland Street, off which a passage gave access to the barrack block at the back of the site. The riding house was about 120ft long, plain and barn-like with a high-pitched roof. In 1736 John Lane, Surveyor of the Horse Guards, added a stable range on its south side, leaving room for houses along Mortimer Street. The Troop was disbanded in 1788, and in the following year Isaac Stacey replaced the barracks and stables with a coach repository, while the riding house itself was subsequently adapted for use as livery stables.

Riding House Street (then Riding House Lane) had been straight and narrow, extending from Edward Street at its western end only as far east as Great Titchfield Street. Edward Street largely disappeared for the creation of Regent Street and Langham Place in the early nineteenth century, All Souls Church taking the site of the original junction. The angled west arm of the street, alongside the church, dates from this time. East of Great Titchfield Street was Union Street, which became part of Riding House Street in 1937.

The name Union Street dates from 1764 and probably reflects an accord between the Portland and Berners Estates, whose boundary line the street followed. Its layout dates from 1759 or maybe before.

Robert Adam Street

Named after Robert Adam, 18th century architect; originally it was just Adams Street, after 18th century developer Samuel Adams.

Rose Tavern

The Rose Tavern, dating back to the mid seventeenth century at least, disappeared along with Marylebone Gardens. Other pubs included the Rose of Normandy and the King’s Head, both also old establishments; Marybone Coffee House (a pub in all but name) opposite the church, established by 1767; the Black Horse, mentioned in 1775; the Lord Tyrawley, mentioned in 1777; the Shepherd and Flock, so named by 1799.

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

The National (now Royal National) Orthopaedic Hospital grew out of ‘The Society for the Treatment, at their own homes, of Poor Persons afflicted with Diseases and Distortions of the Spine, Chest, Hip, etc’. Started in 1836, this was the brainchild of Dr Charles Verral, inventor of the ‘prone couch’ for the relief of spinal deformity cases, and carried into effect largely through the efforts of Mrs Henry Ogle of Eastbourne. An asylum for in-patients was opened in 1838. With Verral’s death in 1843, the society was renamed the Verral Charitable Society, but several years of unproductive in-fighting slowed its progress, resolved in 1850 when Verral’s son returned to England from studying orthopaedics on the Continent, and was appointed joint surgeon. On his proposal, the institution was renamed the Verral Spinal Hospital.

The hospital was based at 84 Norton Street by 1846, but moved north in 1853 to premises at 56 Norton Street and 16 Portland Road. From 1856 it was known as the Spinal Hospital for the Cure of Deformities, and in 1862 merged with the Great Northern (later Royal Northern) Hospital as its Orthopaedic Department. The Great Northern had been obliged to give up its home in York Road for railway development, and its patients were transferred temporarily to the Spinal Hospital. In January 1864, however, the department re-emerged as an institution in its own right, the National Orthopaedic Hospital, independent of the Great Northern.

Rebuilding meant a new wing at 234 Great Portland Street, formerly 16 Portland Road and in fact the back garden of 56 Bolsover Street. This provided 39 children’s beds in two wards, plus kitchens, nurses’ dining room, gymnasium, consulting and other rooms (Ill., from Builder). A memorial stone was laid in April 1891 and the building was completed in 1894.

Houses in Bolsover Street were acquired in 1913 for an extension on the south side of the outpatient department, to contain varied accommodation including private patient wards, consulting rooms and workshops. The project was carried out in 1927. The extension more than doubled the building’s footprint, and the work included extensive remodelling of the original part. A new entrance for outpatients replaced the passage from Euston Road, with a columned portico and a window above flanked by sculpted figures of a boy and girl in contemporary dress, the work of Benjamin Clemens.

In 1948 the hospital became part of the National Health Service. Lack of funds put paid to successive schemes for expansion in Bolsover Street in the 1950s–60s, and in the 1970s–80s NHS reorganization saw the abolition of the board of governors and the hospital’s transfer to the Bloomsbury District Health Authority. Its continued presence in Marylebone was affected by the Department of Health and Social Security’s refusal to pay the level of rent required by the freeholder, the Water Board Pensions Fund, and the inpatient building was accordingly closed on expiry of the lease in 1984; the patients were transferred temporarily to specially allocated wards at the Middlesex Hospital. The outpatient department, with the X-ray and physiotherapy departments and the nurses’ home were able to remain. The boot and instrument department was moved to the hospital’s ‘country’ branch at Stanmore, the basement it had occupied being adapted as a library, seminar room, photographic department and X-ray museum.

The waiting hall and its murals (listed in 1998) were preserved, though the clinics on either side were lost and the hall itself was converted for letting as office space. The new London Outpatient Assessment Centre opened in December 2009 and work on the redevelopment was completed in 2012. The Benjamin Clemens figures from the 1927 building are mounted over the Greenwell Street entrance to the new outpatient building.

St Andrew’s Church, Wells Street

St Andrew’s has an unusual history for a Victorian church. It was built to the designs of Samuel Daukes in 1845–7 and demolished in 1934. In its High-Church heyday it was as famous as its neighbour, All Saints, Margaret Street, though at first more for its liturgy and music than for its architecture. From the 1860s its interior was impressively embellished. When the church became redundant, it was deemed of such value that it was taken down and faithfully rebuilt in the Middlesex suburbs as St Andrew’s, Kingsbury, where its fittings and proportions may still be admired.

St Christopher’s Place

Octavia Hill, social reformer, cleared the slums of this area and named it in honour of St Christopher; formerly it was Barrett’s Court, after Thomas Barret, local 18th century landowner.

St George’s Hall

In 1851 the London Carriage Repository on Langham Place succumbed to the craze for shopping bazaars elicited by the Great Exhibition when its owner John Isaac Marks sold his interest to William Walker, an exchange agent who had made money from the Pantheon Bazaar in Oxford Street. With the consent of James Fergusson, Marks’s co-owner, who lived in the frontage buildings at 20 Langham Place, Walker reconstructed the repository as the Langham Bazaar, to designs by Samuel Beazley. Drawings show a deep main entrance from Langham Place leading to stairs left and right and thence to the main bazaar space behind, on two floors, top-lit and divided along its length on the ground floor by a spine wall. Later descriptions mention cast-iron roofs, and separate stalls all round.

Despite a change of name to the Portland Bazaar and a brief period of popularity in the 1850s as a venue for seasonal German fairs, Walker’s venture was not a success, and in 1862 the buildings were acquired by the Prince of Wales’ Hall & Club Company for redevelopment as a hall for musical entertainments, again with Fergusson’s approval. But this scheme was thwarted when most of the bazaar was destroyed by fire in July 1863. Rebuilding took place in 1863–4, with James Edmeston as architect.

It took till 1866 for the rebuilt bazaar’s future as a music venue to be secured. On this occasion it was the composer and impresario Dr Henry Wylde, Gresham Professor of Music, who was behind a scheme to convert the southern half of the bazaar to a concert room and teaching accommodation for his London Academy of Music, founded a few years before at St James’s Hall in Piccadilly. The conversion, overseen by the architect John Taylor junior, removed some structural columns to allow space for a 45ft-high auditorium, 50ft by 110ft, with a new elliptical timber roof. Narrow balconies ran around three sides and the orchestra could be converted to a stage. A new main entrance was made at 19 Langham Place, and there were exits also to Mortimer and Great Portland Streets. Billed in advance as the Langham Concert Room, the venture opened in April 1867 as St George’s Hall, to acclaim for its acoustics.

A proscenium wall was installed in 1882 and thereafter St George’s Hall functioned chiefly as a theatre.

Severe damage in air-raids of 24 and 25 September 1940 put paid to its further use and linked its fate to that of the Queen’s Hall adjoining to its north. Demolition finally took place in 1952.

St James’s Chapel

St James’s Chapel stood for 130 years on part of the present Heart Hospital site in Westmorland Street, facing the head of Wheatley Street. Starting off as the Titchfield Chapel, in about 1800 it became the Welbeck Chapel before acquiring its dedication in 1831. After a somnolent existence it perked up under the fashionable ministry of the Rev. H. R. Haweis from 1866, then went into terminal decline.

When the chapel opened in 1775, it was said to have been ‘built’ by order of the Duke of Portland, but it was in fact a speculation by William Franks, who leased the site in 1768 and offered it for sale in 1772 together with the new building. The purchaser, in 1773, was John Sarson, proprietor of the stable-yard in Little Marylebone Street. Titchfield Chapel enjoyed respectable congregations and a succession of occasional preachers. A drawing of about 1790 depicts the customary preaching box with a stolid brick front, a broad end gable crowned by a cupola, and four separate doors on the front, two doubtless leading to galleries. The name-change to Welbeck Chapel probably took place to avoid confusion with Great Titchfield Street, further east.

It closed in 1903 and the church was finally demolished in about 1907.

St Marylebone School

St Marylebone Church of England Secondary School grew out of two parochial poor schools, merged in 1815 as St Marylebone Central National School – so named to distinguish it from recently established Eastern and Western schools – and the parochial infants’ school founded in 1828. The present compact site adjoining the parish church was acquired and developed in stages from 1828, and has buildings ranging in date from 1858 to 2007. From 1957 the school, situated on Marylebone High Street, was secondary-only; from 1966 girls-only. The sixth form, introduced in 1974, became co-educational in 1994.

St Marylebone Workhouse

Lord Oxford’s grant of the New Burial Ground in 1730 was on condition of building a workhouse there within seven years, but plans were shelved.

The workhouse was built during 1749–52, large enough for 40 inmates. The building fronted Paddington Street at the north-east corner of the burial ground. As demand rose the building was enlarged.

By 1773 it was clear that a new building on a large scale was essential. A new building was sufficiently completed for the paupers to be transferred there in May 1776. It was planned for 1,000, numbers having already doubled since 1769 to nearly 300. The old workhouse was thereafter used as the infirmary.

The workhouse, entered from Northumberland Street, was symmetrically planned as a narrow quadrangle with corner pavilions. There was a short extension backing on to Northumberland Street – a prison ‘for the Idle refractory and disorderly Poor’, and comprised a row of brick-vaulted cells with oak doors, the whole faced externally in stone under a slated roof. It was equipped with stocks and an iron collar chained to the wall, and a whipping post stood beside it. The prison was made into workshops in 1813.

By 1786 numbers of inmates had risen so much that it was decided to erect new buildings including a permanent chapel.

Outbreaks of fever in the old infirmary in 1791 led to the decision to build one on part of the new workhouse garden: a supposed cause of the fever being the adjoining graveyard with its overcrowding, inadequate covering of bodies in common graves, and consequent ‘disagreeable stenches’. The building, a quadrangle at the north-west corner of the site with its own entrance from the New Road, was completed in December 1793.

The 1800s saw a series of additions including workshops (1817), extension of the infirmary (1825), a boys’ school (1827), and more living accommodation (1840s). Including 300 infirmary places, this brought total capacity to 1749. As economic distress grew in 1846, night refuges for both sexes were opened at the back of the workhouse, approached by an alley off Chiltern Street. Legislation having been brought in to prevent long-standing Irish settlers being deported to their famine-stricken homeland, numbers rose to a peak of 2,264, with inevitable makeshifts. Chronic shortage of space was eventually reduced in 1860 by the removal of the workhouse school to new purpose-built premises in Southall.

With the appointment of an enlightened master, George Douglas, Marylebone workhouse began to lose a long-standing reputation for harsh discipline.

Following the Metropolitan Houseless Poor Acts of 1864 and 1865, new nightly ‘casual’ wards were erected in 1867 at the corner of Northumberland Street and Marylebone Road, together with bathrooms, disinfecting rooms and sheds for the requisite tasks of oakum-picking and stone-breaking. Overcrowding and dilapidation led to the building in 1867–8 of new ‘chronic’ wards, for the old and infirm.

The need for wholesale rebuilding was acknowledged, and the process continued in 1869 with a similar three-ward block to the north. Building phases, carried out in 1875–6, involved new buildings along the rest of the Northumberland Street frontage.

Rebuilding continued with a new laundry range along the southern boundary in 1887, and in the same year a small block of rooms for married couples was built, softening further the old regime which had enforced separation. A five-storey ward block for able-bodied women was built at the south-west corner of the site in 1888.

By the mid 1890s large portions of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century workhouse remained, and plans were made for their complete replacement. The site for the central block was cleared in 1896 and the disused Holborn workhouse in Gray’s Inn Road taken over temporarily. This new block, built in 1897–8, was faced in brick and Portland stone and incorporated the clock and, in an octagonal belfry, bells from the 1775 building. It housed many functions, and was equipped with such up-to-date technology as electric lighting, hydraulic lifts and steam-coil heating (though open fires were provided in some rooms). Water tanks were mounted in the four corner towers. There were special sick, isolation, maternity and convalescent wards, mother and baby dormitories and a labour room.

Another new building, for ‘able-bodied males’ was finished in 1901. Completed at enormous expense, the late Victorian workhouse, with its approved capacity of 1,921, marked the high point of the reformed Poor Law system of indoor relief. Its heyday was brief, for although it was almost full up to 1910, subsequent changes in welfare provision, including state pensions and national insurance, reduced demand for workhouse places. By the end of the First World War there were only 658 Marylebone inmates.

In 1930, under legislation to transfer Poor Law functions to local authorities, the workhouse with its inmates was taken over by the London County Council and renamed St Marylebone Institution.

In 1949 St Marylebone Institution was renamed Luxborough Lodge, and in 1964 it was the first of the LCC’s large homes to be wound down under a reorganisation of council health and welfare services. It was formally closed in January 1965, and the site cleared later that year for redevelopment as part of the long-planned expansion of Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster.

St Paul’s Chapel, Great Portland Street

St Paul’s Chapel was built privately in 1760–6 as the Portland Chapel, and was one of several proprietary churches in the parish purchased by the Crown in 1817–24. Its origins went back to 1758, when the 2nd Duke of Portland determined to provide a church for the developing locality, shortly before giving his promise to Thomas Foley that the ground to the west and north would remain open to safeguard the view from Foley’s new house. Stiff Leadbetter, who had served both men, was brought in as architect. Foundations were laid in 1760, but the duke died in 1762 and perhaps because of disagreement between his successor and Foley over the area’s development, it was not completed until 1766.

The Portland Chapel was the first building in Great Portland Street north of Riding House Lane, but it was entered from Duke (now part of Hallam) Street on what remains an island site. The interior, with box-pews and galleries on three sides, had seating for more than 600.

The Crown bought the building but it was in fairly poor condition, and thanks to a lack of railings other than at the east end had been disfigured by graffiti and urination. Thomas Chawner and Henry Rhodes, for the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, oversaw repairs and the installation of an organ, and in 1831 the building was consecrated and dedicated to St Paul.

A decline in pew rents and led State and Church to agree that the chapel should close. The Howard de Walden Estate bought it back and the building was demolished in 1906. The site is now occupied by the Brock House office block.

St Peter’s, Vere Street

The Oxford Chapel, known since 1832 as St Peter’s, Vere Street, was built in 1721–4 for the inhabitants of the new streets of houses then growing up around Cavendish Square. With the twentieth-century transformation of the area from residential to commercial, the building has ceased to function as a chapel but it retains a religious use as the home of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Tucked away behind Oxford Street, dwarfed by department stores and offices, it is not only overshadowed but overlooked. It is, however, the earliest surviving building from the Cavendish–Harley estate and the sole survivor in anything like its original form of Marylebone’s several eighteenth-century proprietary chapels. The plasterwork is among the finest of its date in London.

St Vincent Street

The street was named after the nearby school, founded by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Salisbury Place

Named after the Salisbury brothers (Isaac, John and Thomas), local 18th century builders.

Scott Ellis Gardens
Thomas Evelyn Scott-Ellis inherited the Howard de Walden (Portland) estate in 1901 at the age of 21.
From 1903 the Estate rehoused its tenants from the dilapidated Portland Town development at St John’s Wood in blocks of flats in Scott Ellis Gardens off Grove End Road, opening these formally in 1906.

Before the First World War, most of the 60-acre Portland Town estate was put on the market.
In the 1960s, the Estate sold the Scott Ellse Estate to St Marylebone Borough Council.
Seymour Mews, Seymour Place and Seymour Street – after Anne Seymour, mother of Henry William Portman, and through whom he inherited the estate

Sherlock Mews

Named after the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who lived on Baker Street.

Shillibeer Place

After George Shillibeer, owner of a local coaching business in the 19th century.

Shouldham Street
After Molyneux Shuldham, 18th century naval officer.

Soho Fields

The widowed Countess of Oxford was little concerned with London affairs. When she died in 1755 the title to the Marylebone estate passed to her daughter, wife of the 2nd Duke of Portland, as Cavendish–Harley heiress. When in London the Duke and Duchess occupied a Thames-side house in Whitehall but the duke was seldom there. He also owned in his own right a substantial and more immediately lucrative London estate in Soho Fields, in the throes of development between 1728 and 1768.

Spanish Place

Nearby Hertford House on Manchester Square was formerly home to the Spanish ambassador.

Steel’s Farm

John Steel, tenant of the largest farm in Marylebone, held about 119 acres stretching from the top of modern Cleveland Street in the northeast) to Marylebone Lane in the southwest.

Its farmhouse stood where Great Portland and Riding House Streets now meet.

Stratford Place

Stratford Place was named after Edward Stratford, who owned a house nearby and built this street in the 1770s.

Stratford Place became an aristocratic residential enclave near to Portland Place.

On the future site of the mouth of Stratford Place stood the Lord Mayor’s little ‘Banqueting House’, built in 1565 for officials inspecting the water supply to the City of London drawn from the River Tyburn – a medieval ‘Chapel of Ease’.

Three fields lying immediately west of Marylebone Lane took their names from the City of London’s conduit, which carried the waters of the Tyburn (or Ay Brook as this stretch of the river was also known) across Oxford Street towards the City. The land east of the Tyburn, with the Lord Mayor’s Banqueting House, comprised the northern end of the City Corporation’s Conduit Mead estate, which extended south of Oxford Street down Bond Street. The Banqueting House became redundant and was pulled down in 1736, but its grounds were not developed till the 1770s, as Stratford Place.

Stratford Place was laid out in 1771 and completed in 1774 to the designs of Richard Edwin in the style of the Adam Brothers. It is a short street conceived as a symmetrical classical ‘palazzo’ composition closed by Stratford House (now the Oriental Club) and flanked by two terraces of grand town houses with porters’ lodges.

The developer was a young Anglo-Irish aristocrat and aspiring politician, the Hon. Edward Augustus Stratford of Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, from 1777 the second Earl of Aldborough. Building was not complete until 1792 or 1793. There were twenty-two houses, of which thirteen are left including Stratford House, the stone-faced mansion closing the north end, originally Stratford’s residence.

As a planned cul-de-sac of superior Georgian houses, culminating in a single grand mansion at the end, Stratford Place is unique in London. There was nothing about the site to dictate such an arrangement, but on the contrary Stratford Place perversely blocked the long-intended western continuation of Henrietta Street (now Henrietta Place) to join up with Somerset Street, ruining the development of Sir Thomas Edwardes’ estate, where a very poor neighbourhood long endured around the dead end of Barrett Street, Gee’s Court and Barrett’s Court (now St Christopher’s Place).

Stratford is remembered today as that ‘spendthrift nobleman’ (as Joyce calls him in Ulysses) who built Aldborough House in Dublin, the last mansion built there for the Protestant ascendancy before the Act of Union. In some respects Stratford House was the prototype of the grander Dublin house. Little altered if at all until the late nineteenth century, it was drastically enlarged around 1909 by the Earl of Derby, becoming a full-blown private palace. This proved unsustainable and changes of use followed. Since the early 1960s, with some interior remodelling, it has been occupied by the Oriental Club.

Originally it was intended to build a reservoir in Stratford Place to replace old conduits. Stratford was enthusiastic, provided he could have free water, seeing its potential for fire-fighting. But it was found that the water would not rise nearly high enough. One conduit was retained. As this lay under the intended front walls of 1 and 2 Stratford Place it was cut down below basement level and arched over. A new underground pipeline, mostly wooden, was laid to it, running down Marylebone Lane from the ‘Breakfasting Conduit’ on the east side, with a branch serving Stratford Mews. Turning west to the middle of the square, the pipe led down Stratford Place to the old conduit, from which another pipe was laid to the Ay Brook.

The Austrian embassy moved briefly to Stratford Place but quickly moved under the long-serving Prince Esterhazy to Chandos House.

Stratford Place was mainly residential until the late nineteenth century, mainly a business address after the First World War. Meanwhile the 17th Earl of Derby bought and greatly improved Stratford House in 1908.

This area was partly redeveloped in the late 19th century, but the most radical change was the building of Selfridges, Oxford Street, its grandest department store, in 1907-28.

Tarrant Place

Tarrant Place was probably named after Tarrant Crawford in Dorset, where the local Portman family owned land.

Thayer Street

Thayer Street – after Anne Thayer, who inherited this land from her father Thomas Thayer; the street was built in the 1770s by her husband Jacob Hinde.

The freehold of Little Conduit Close was inherited by Jacob Hinde, who developed Thayer Street and Hinde Street from the 1770s onwards.

Thayer Street, extending the High Street to Hinde Street, where building was already under way, was begun in 1777 as Great Hinde Street. In that year Benjamin Howton rebuilt the Angel, and put up another house to its south. When work resumed in 1788, with three houses by Bayley’s nominee John Bird filling the frontage on the west side between what are now Blandford and George Streets, the present name had been adopted. Building continued southwards for several years, leases being granted to Bayley or at his direction to, among others, Abraham Hearne, bricklayer, Edward I’Anson, carpenter, and Stephen Morris, painter – these three apparently working in consortium.

On the east side, Howton carried on under an agreement with Mrs Hinde of 1791. A year later he took leases of the next five houses, completing the frontage down to William (now part of Bulstrode) Street. Building continued as far as the site of the future chapel during 1793–4, partly under a new agreement with William Hunt, a smith.5

The north boundary of the estate, along the south side of South Street (now the east end of Blandford Street), was developed in 1789–91 under Bayley’s agreement of 1787. Bird was responsible for 1 and 3 Blandford Street at the back of his Thayer Street houses. These survive, along with 5 and 7, which were leased to James Hantler, carpenter; the rest of the row was demolished for St James’s, Spanish Place.

Until at least the mid-nineteenth century Thayer Street was more residential and professional than the High Street, where living accommodation was almost all rooms over shops. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the High Street was being redeveloped with flats above shops, often on amalgamated sites, Thayer Street stayed largely as it had been. Apart from the Angel at the junction with Marylebone Lane, Thayer Street was also always free of pubs and beer-houses, of which there were many along the High Street.

Thayer Street’s more residential and professional character accounts for the presence there in the 1840s–50s of William Woollams, whose wallpaper works were in the High Street and Marylebone Lane, and in the 1830s–40s of Samuel Westcott Tilke. A Devonshire baker’s son, Tilke took over a bakery in the High Street, where he devised an improved method of bread-making, becoming by the mid 1820s a major supplier to the west London suburbs and villages beyond. He claimed to have introduced discounted pricing for cash customers, to benefit the poor. At the end of 1831 Tilke left off baking and moved a few doors down to 8 Thayer Street, to pursue a career as a ‘medical botanist’, selling herbal preparations and administering vapour treatments to his wealthy clientele with a portable steam-bath of his own invention. Woollams and Tilke latterly left Thayer Street for St John’s Wood, moves consistent with Thayer Street’s social decline from around the mid-century.

Few individual buildings in Thayer Street demand mention. The Angel inn of the 1770s, at No. 37, was largely rebuilt for the wine and spirit merchants Henekeys Ltd in 1937–8, its stuccoed walls with Tudoresque stone bay windows, leaded lights and touches of gothic tracery failing to erase the impression of a Georgian origin. The architect was Ernest R. Barrow, and the building contractor G. E. Wallis & Sons Ltd. The stained-glass windows, depicting wild flowers, seem to date from a refurbishment of about 2001 for the brewers Samuel Smith, when the present name Angel in the Fields was adopted.

Thornton Place
After Sophia Thornton, mother of Ronald Leslie-Melville, 11th Earl of Leven; the earl married Emma Selina Portman, whose brother Gerald Berkeley Portman, 7th Viscount Portman named this street in her honour.

Transept Street

After a former chapel on this site, opened 1772, closed in the 1850s, or possibly after the former cross shape created by this street crossing Chapel Street.

Tyburn church

Tyburn church, the first local church of which there is any record, was built about 1200 by the second earl, Aubrey de Vere, at the south end of Marylebone Lane and dedicated to St John the Evangelist. By the end of the fourteenth century, very likely because of the Black Death, whatever village was clustered around the church had seemingly fallen into decay. Isolated by the highway, the church contents were pilfered, and parishioners got permission from the Bishop of London, Robert de Braybrook, to build a chapel in the new village centre to the north. In 1400 Braybrook licensed the building of a replacement parish church near the chapel, to be completed within ten years and to have its own graveyard. The old church was to be pulled down but its churchyard preserved. The new church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, survived until 1740, when it was demolished for a new structure on the same High Street site, long demoted from parish church status when it was finally destroyed in 1949.

Along with the exact position of St John’s church, any sense of the size and shape of the churchyard has been lost. The ground level was much lower than today, as excavations at various times have confirmed, turning up evidence of ancient burials and a later plague pit. Skeletons were unearthed when the original court-house of 1729–30 and new court-house of 1824–5 were built, and ‘half a cart-load’ of bones dug up in 1858 during ground-work for the rebuilding of Marshall & Snelgrove in Oxford Street (at the east corner of Marylebone Lane) were reburied at the Paddington Street south burial ground. More were found when new drains were dug in the roadway beside the Vestry Hall in 1892.

Upper Berkeley Street

Upper Berkeley Street is named after Henry William Berkeley, who inherited the local Portman estate from his mother.

Upper Wimpole Street

Upper Wimpole Street, which is variously Wimpole Street and Devonshire Place along its length extends all the way from Henrietta Place/Margaret Street to the Marylebone Road.
It is named for the village of Wimpole in Cambridgeshire, a seat of the Cavendish and Harley families until 1740.

Upper Wimpole Street extends the line and general character of Wimpole Street from Weymouth Street up to Devonshire Street.

The first house appeared at its southern end in 1776. A house on the corner of Weymouth Street was built in 1778 on land belonging to the sculptor John Francis Moore. By the 1790s, the streetscape was complete.
2 Upper Wimpole Street is marked by a Westminster City Council plaque commemorating Arthur Conan Doyle, who took a lease of the front room here in April 1891 in the hope of establishing himself as a consulting medical ophthalmologist but without success. His first Sherlock Holmes stories were published that year in the Strand Magazine, and he soon gave up the lease, moving to South Norwood to concentrate on writing.

The writer Sydney Smith (d. 1845) quipped on his death-bed in 1845 that there was an end to everything in this life except for Upper Wimpole Street.

Vere Street

Vere Street runs south from Henrietta Street and was started in the 1720s.

The streets south of Cavendish Square were first built up and largely laid out in a grid pattern in the 1720s–40s by the Cavendish–Harley estate. Only Vere Street and Prince’s Street diverted from the pattern so as to follow the same direction as streets south of Oxford Street.

The street took its name from the Harley family’s links with the De Veres, earlier Earls of Oxford.

Only a few local houses, some by James Gibbs, survived into the 1970s and only St Peter’s, Vere Street remains from the earliest period. Offices and the backs of Oxford Street department stores predominate.

Virgil Place

Named by landowner John Harcourt, in allusion to the Roman poet Virgil.

Watson’s Mews
After John Watson, local 18th century leaseholder.

Welbeck Street

Welbeck Street runs from Henrietta Place to New Cavendish Street and is named after Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire.

Welbeck Street was the westernmost street of the main Harley-Cavendish estate grid. The Prince plan of 1719 shows it as extending no further south than Wigmore Street, but in the event it acquired an extra leg running down to Henrietta Place, and this was the portion first built up. Development began in the 1720s on the east side. Midway along, Mill Hill Mews (later Mill Hill Place) ran through to Wimpole Street.

For much of the nineteenth century this was a street of medium-sized shops interspersed with a few institutions. After 1960 commercial redevelopments led by Debenhams started to break up the scale. The process is now complete. The freeholds here on both sides were sold off by the Howard de Walden Estate in the early 1920s.

Shops in the street were gradually taken over from 1852 by Debenham & Co. of Wigmore Street and the site subsequently redeveloped as part of Debenham & Freebody. After 1960 commercial redevelopment led by Debenhams completed the break-up of the former scale of the east side; Mill Hill Place disappeared as part of this process.

In 1860 a congregation of Plymouth Brethren meeting in Orchard Street moved to No. 71. The Welbeck Street Assembly was not without social standing, its members including the 8th Earl of Cavan and the missionary 3rd Baron Radstock. ‘Welbeck Hall’, perhaps adapted from old manufacturing premises at the rear, continued in use for Brethren services and missionary meetings until 1909, when it was absorbed into the premises of J. R. Collett & Co., ball-gown makers at No. 72, the Brethren meeting subsequently in Great Portland Street.

From 1878 to 1919, No. 73 was occupied by the West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases, founded by Dr Herbert Tibbits. The hospital was among those that experimented with electrical cures, espoused by some, suspect to others. Tibbits attracted the patronage of the Princess of Wales and other notables through imaginative fund-raising events at the Albert Hall and elsewhere. On that basis he arranged to rebuild the hospital in two stages in 1890–1, extending the premises back to Marylebone Lane to designs by George Blizard, architect.9 But Tibbits overreached himself in March 1891 with a costly fancy fair on the theme of Lord Lytton’s novel The Coming Race. It turned out a complete flop; subsequently Tibbits went bankrupt and lost his job as director of the hospital amid a flurry of lawsuits and recriminations. He briefly set up an alternative London Massage and Galvanic Hospital in Weymouth Street, but that cannot have lasted long and Tibbits ended up a prison surgeon. The Welbeck Street hospital survived the crisis and was sufficiently flourishing to take over two Bulstrode Street houses in 1906 and acquire a chapel in 1911. It moved away to St Katharine’s Lodge, Regent’s Park, in 1919, leaving an outpatients’ department behind at No. 73, since redeveloped.

The Marylebone Dispensary, in full the St Marylebone General Dispensary, was founded in 1785 to serve the local poor and dedicated in its early years particularly to childbirth. Starting out in Queen Anne Street, it occupied a succession of addresses before settling in 1804 at 77 Welbeck Street, a shallow house with three ground-floor rooms. There was then a resident apothecary who dispensed the drugs prescribed by physicians or house-visitors.

By 1888 the dispensary’s work had grown greatly. With its Portland lease close to expiry the directors applied for rebuilding terms, hoping to extend the premises back to Marylebone Lane. A negotiation ensued with Charles Fowler, the estate surveyor, who offered the dispensary special terms on specific stipulations, chiefly that there had to be a smart, full-height elevation to Welbeck Street faced in best malms or Fareham red bricks with stone or terracotta facings, and that patients could enter only from Marylebone Lane.

The rebuilt dispensary was opened on 16 March 1894 with some ceremony by the Duke and Duchess of Fife. After the First World War its work was on a diminished scale, and it seems to have closed in the mid 1930s.

Welbeck Way

Welbeck Way is named after Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, seat of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland.

Wells Mews

West of Berners Street, Wells Mews is irregular in shape and enlivened by the back of Albert Richardson’s St Margaret’s House in Wells Street for Sandersons on one side and, further north and opposite, contiguous blocks at Nos 12–13 and 14–17. Originally the south end of Wells Mews was separated from another small mews known as Castle Court north of Eastcastle Street. South of that street came Castle Mews, entirely obliterated by the 1920s.

Wells Street

Wells Street is an old route, marking the boundary between former freeholds: the Cavendish–Harley, later Portland and then Howard de Walden estate to the west, and the smaller Berners estate to the east.

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, landuse in Marylebone was by no means purely agricultural. Clay and gravel pits abounded in token of London’s encroachment, and a tenant of one of the eastern fields, George Wells, had been called a brickmaker as far back as 1658. Wells Lane or Street, named after him, was another old track, but did not connect with Oxford Street till the 1690s.

George Wells occupied the fields east of the lane, called Newlands, when they were bought by Josias Berners in 1654, and where he erected some long-vanished buildings.

Wells (‘Welses’) Lane is first recorded in 1692, when James Long, the Covent Garden inn-keeper and brewer interested in the lands to its west, got permission to create a short route from Oxford Street to join up with the bottom of the lane, which evidently had hitherto gone no further south than Marylebone Passage, the old path that once ran north-west from Oxford Street to Marylebone High Street but is preserved today only in the short stretch linking Wells and Margaret Streets. Wells Street became the usual form as development crept up both its sides. Rocque calls it Marybone Place on his map of 1745 – probably in error. But he usefully depicts its character at that date: a fair-sized roadway at the point it emerges from Oxford Street, veering a little westward north of Eastcastle Street, falling off to a track beyond Mortimer Street and degenerating into a footpath at the top, beyond the present line of Riding House Street.

On its east side Rocque shows little apart from an enclosed garden and a sizeable building just north of the end of Margaret Street, perhaps George Wells’s former house and/or the successor to the bowling green and house. The west side he shows scrappily developed up to Mortimer Street but no further, mainly as returns to the intersecting streets. Head leases along this western, Cavendish–Harley frontage were being granted at dates from 1723 (nearest Oxford Street) to 1735 (nearest Mortimer Street), except for the short stretch between Margaret Street and Marylebone Passage, leased as late as 1769. North of Mortimer Street, the west frontage was leased to Thomas Huddle in 1751.

Early nineteenth-century maps of the Portland estate’s eastern fringe show that Wells Street’s west side continued ragged and amorphous. At the top, between Mortimer and Riding House Streets, came a strip of broad shallow premises with workshops behind. South of the short mews now called Bywell Place, the frontage belonged to houses on the north side of Mortimer Street. The next stretch southwards was more regular, but again densely packed with workshops within the block. Here probably was the Wells Street site rejected for a church by the Vestry in 1822 because it was surrounded on three sides by carpenters’, wheelwrights’ and coachmakers’ shops as well as a ‘combustible manufactory’. And indeed many of the back premises hereabouts were destroyed or damaged by fires, either the extensive blaze of 1825, or a more restricted one at the north end of this block in 1830. Among the premises damaged in 1825 was No. 55 close to Mortimer Street, base from about 1805 until his death in 1845 of Andrew Pears senior, originator of Pears soap. The directories list him first as ‘rouge and carmine maker’, later as a ‘wholesale and retail perfumer’. Some years after he died the works were moved to Isleworth.

Wells Street pubs in 1841 included the Tiger at No. 24 beside Wells Mews, and the Boot at No. 47, beside Rebecca Court.12 On the west side, the Northumberland Arms at No. 77 was the ancestor of the present-day Adam and Eve. Wells Street’s other extant pub is The Champion at the Eastcastle Street junction (Nos 12–13), apparently a new foundation and building of about 1865 (Ills 28/1, 28/2). At the end of the nineteenth century The Champion had four separate bars, each with its street door, but these were later reduced to two. The Architectural Review trumpeted a fresh arrangement of 1954–5 by John and Sylvia Reid as ‘the first example of creative refitting of an existing pub’, following that magazine’s pub competition. Victorian in spirit but not detail, this make-over reopened one of the entrances in order to introduce a ‘cosy’; the decorative work cleverly mixed traditional and new fittings, with bench seating round the walls, a display of barrels and bottles over the bar, a geometrical wall paper by John Aldridge on the ceiling, and etched windows. Little of this scheme survives. The main feature today is a wrap-around panorama of pictorial stained glass, recent in date, depicting champions in sundry walks of life, mainly sporting, but including David Livingstone and the 6th Earl of Mayo.

Adjoining the Northumberland Arms, at No. 76, a fire station of the London Fire Engine Establishment was in operation between 1833 and 1865.

Welsh Baptist Chapel

The Welsh Chapel has twin stairs mounting within a portico sheltered by high Corinthian columns, and the legend CAPEL BEDYDDWYR CYMREIG incised above along the frieze. The chapel and hall behind were built in 1889 to the designs of Owen Lewis and have been little altered since.

A small Baptist congregation had met fleetingly in Castle Street East during the early 1850s. Most likely their meeting place was the Franklin or Benjamin Franklin Hall, a modest hall frequented by radical and co-operative causes around this time, set down an alleyway on part of the present chapel site. In 1865 a second congregation took the hall for their Sunday services. This was a separate group of Welsh Baptists, offshoots from the Providence Chapel, Tottenham Court Road.

In 1880 the thriving congregation was able to buy the lease, which included two houses in front. The chapel remained small and stuffy, so in 1888 came the decision to rebuild the whole site in exchange for a new Portland lease running from 1894.

The resulting building consisted, commonly for urban chapels of its period, of a basement hall devoid of natural light, a galleried auditorium raised above street level and lit from a long lantern down its centre, and living space on two floors over the portico, covering the front of the site.

Wesley Street

Chesterfield (later Marylebone) Court, was eventually widened by the Portland Estate as Little Weymouth Street and in 1876 became Wesley Street. Difficulties with the borough council led to the abandonment of plans in 1933 to abolish Wesley Street and merge the blocks either side for redevelopment.

It is named after Charles Wesley who is buried nearby.

Western District Post Office

This was planned soon after the Second World War to replace two of three existing West End offices (at Bird and Wimpole Streets, the other being at New Oxford Street) connected with the Post Office Underground Railway. Devised to link a chain of depots from Whitechapel to Paddington, this narrow-gauge line was the world’s first driverless electric railway, built in 1914–17 but not fitted up until 1924–7. Problems of access and loading at the West End depots posed what was described after the war as ‘the worst postal accommodation problem in the country’.30 With Sir William Halcrow & Partners as engineers, cut-and-cover works were carried out in 1956–9, altering the alignment of the railway beneath the site, and providing a two-platform station. Designs for the surface building were reworked in 1960 by Alan Dumble, a senior architect in the Ministry of Works, and the new office was opened on 3 August 1965 by the Postmaster General, Anthony Wedgwood Benn.

Along the pavement, an intended mural artwork failed to materialize (though art did eventually arrive, in the form of Banksy’s 2008 mural ‘One Nation Under CCTV’, on the flank wall of 15 Newman Street facing the Post Office yard and Oxford Street beyond).

The new postal office was among the most mechanized in Europe, with chain conveyors in the sorting halls and spiral chutes to despatch mail down to the railway, and its opening coincided with the introduction both of postcodes and electro-mechanical sorting machines.

The railway closed in 2003, and remaining postal services in what had become the West End Delivery Centre were relocated to Mount Pleasant in 2013. The post office was demolished in 2014.

Westmoreland Street

Westmoreland Street was built up from the mid 1760s, under a building agreement with the prolific Marylebone builder William Franks. The northern end was originally a narrower street in its own right called Woodstock Street. This was widened in two stages, in 1862 and 1874, and the streets amalgamated. In character it was on a par with Beaumont Street, though its major building was a chapel. An early resident, Mr Schooley, ran a circulating library, while in 1796 a surgeon, Mr Leigh, of 4 Westmoreland Street, was advertising Leigh’s Lotion ‘for curing scorbutic humours’.

Today the east side and much of Woodstock Mews are largely occupied by the Heart Hospital.

Weymouth Mews

Like Devonshire Close, this is a large array of premises on an H-plan layout that has its origins in the 1770s. The Dover Castle (No. 43) was first leased in 1778 to Abraham Dakin, a plumber of Berners Street, who also had adjoining building plots. This pub was probably rebuilt in the nineteenth century, perhaps some time after its sale at auction in 1829 by Starkey & Co., brewers, or on the occasion of a new lease to Watneys in 1863. In 1902–3 the internal layout was altered to designs by J. S. Ensor, Watney Combe Reid & Co.’s architect. Demolition was under consideration from the 1930s, initially as part of a wider redevelopment scheme by Henry Brandon, until 1955 when refurbishments were carried out for the Stag Brewery.

Weymouth Street

Weymouth Street is named after Lady Elizabeth Bentinck, Viscountess Weymouth, daughter of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, who owned this estate.

Bowling Green Lane was the precursor of modern Weymouth Street. There was no village green in Marylebone, but there were bowling greens, one belonging to the King’s Arms, the others to the Rose Tavern and subsequently developed into the celebrated Marylebone Gardens.

The three main cross streets between Marylebone High Street and Great Portland Street – Devonshire Street, Weymouth Street and New Cavendish Street – were developed over some thirty years from the 1760s.

House-building in the street followed the same pattern and chronology as the main north–south streets of the Portland estate north of Cavendish Square, with a general advance outwards from the south and centre near the square towards the east, north and west. At much the same time the arrival of the Adam brothers at Portland Place from around 1768 saw the gradual building up of the cross streets there between Harley and Great Portland Streets (including Duchess Street), though delays and financial problems meant that some of these properties, mostly at the northern end, were not completed until the 1780s or early 1790s. By then building had also taken off west of Harley Street in and around the upper parts of Wimpole Street and Devonshire Place, and so the original fabric in their vicinity and westwards towards Marylebone High Street dated mostly from the 1780s–90s

As in other parts of Marylebone, from early on there was also a strong artistic flavour, with many artists, writers and performers.

Michael Faraday, as a young man in the early 1800s lived with his parents at 18 Weymouth Street.

Small shops – butchers, grocers, tailors, boot and shoemakers and the like – were to be found also in the other cross streets, again most noticeably at their west ends, where they met Marylebone High Street.

In accordance with their secondary status in what is now the Howard de Walden street grid, Devonshire, Weymouth and New Cavendish Streets incorporated the entrances to most of the numerous and extensive mews, leaving the grander north–south streets uninterrupted by such lowly turnings. At Marylebone Mews, Devonshire Close and the west side of Weymouth Mews, access has only ever been from the north, thus limiting traffic through the superior, southerly parts of the estate. It is an irony that the latter-day charm of these mews, designed essentially for parking coaches and horses and with basic accommodation for associated servants, rests largely in their residential calm and comparative freedom from vehicles.

Wheatley Street

Wheatley Street originated as Chesterfield (later Great Chesterfield) Street, and was built up from about 1763 with small houses, those chiefly involved being William Franks and John Sarson. The renaming of Great and Little Chesterfield Streets in 1935 by the LCC (on grounds that they were nowhere near Chesterfield Street and Gardens in Mayfair, and were long names for such short streets) was strongly resisted by the Howard de Walden Estate and its lessees. Wheatley Street commemorates the painter Francis Wheatley, a Marylebone resident.

1 Great Chesterfield Street was occupied by a succession of notable figures. The elder Charles Wesley died there in 1788 after seven years’ residence, and his sons Samuel and Charles also lived there. Francis Nicholson the watercolourist lived in the house during 1806–10, and it was the last home of the Welsh harpist Edward Jones (‘Bardd y Brenin’), who died there in 1824. The Wesleys are commemorated by an LCC blue plaque of 1951 on the King’s Head in Westmoreland Street, part of which occupies the site.

White Hart, Wigmore Street

The White Hart was built in 1737 at the corner of Wigmore Street and Welbeck Street, as the place for travellers to stop ‘for refreshment, and examine their fire-arms, previously to crossing the fields to Lisson Green’.

Wigmore Hall.

Wigmore Hall was built in 1900–01 as Bechstein Hall for Carl Bechstein & Sons, whose showrooms were by then at 40 Wimore Street. The new hall became the centrepiece of a diverse music business that by 1914 occupied more than a dozen buildings in Wigmore and Welbeck Streets and Welbeck Way (then Little Welbeck Street).

Wigmore Place

Wigmore Place is named after Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.

Wigmore Place, formerly Harley Mews South (until 1939), is a fine example of the grid layout of the Portland (Cavendish-Harley). Each grander street built after 1755 by the estate had a mews behind, this one being the first of those.

Its development followed Thomas Huddle’s agreement in 1754 to take ground on the north side of Wigmore Street between Wimpole Street and Harley Street, where he originally intended an east–west mews. There was a secondary entrance at the north end from the east, on the site of 27 Harley Street, until about 1850.

Wigmore Street

Wigmore Street was mostly built in the thirty years leading up to 1760 and was named after the landowners’ (Harley family) Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire.

Wigmore Street is two blocks north of and parallel to Oxford Street and was first laid out in 1729. Completion of its building took place rather slowly only being completed in the late 1770s.

The west end of Wigmore Street was situated where the Portland estate, the Hinde estate and Edwardes estate met and it took a few years before the street (as Edward Street) was extended through this jumble of land ownership.

Both music businesses and medical practices were the main occupancies of the street and it took to providing upper classes shopping alongside.

33 Wigmore Street was built as headquarters for the drapery business of Debenham & Freebody in 1906–7. A business which, in varying previous forms, was present on Wigmore Street sinceo 1778. William Wallace and James Gibson were the architects. Debenhams effectively ceased to be a family concern in 1927. Oliver retired, Ernest Debenham sold his shares in 1927 and the company continued ceased to be a family business. The building was listed in 1973 and Debenhams moved out in due course.

William Street

William Street was named after Charles Hinde’s brother, was built up from about 1780 by various hands. The north side, begun by Howton, was completed by about 1786; work on the south side began in the late 1780s and was completed around 1793.

Wimpole Mews.

This narrow mews has its origins in the 1770s. Still largely faced with exposed brick, it is comparatively functional in appearance, though just as residential as its neighbours.

Wimpole Mews is named after Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, seat of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.

Wimpole Street

Among the long north–south streets, Wimpole and Harley Streets were the most fashionable, on a par until the mid nineteenth century, with plenty of peers, baronets and knights.
Development began at the south end in the 1720s – nothing now survives of the first phase. At first, building was concentrated at the corners of the more fully developed east–west streets, beginning with a house of c.1724–6 at the north-west corner with Henrietta Place), part of the terrace there but with its entrance in Wimpole Street. Seven more houses followed in 1726 further north in two short terraces either side of an east–west mews street called Mill Hill Mews, and the west corner with Wigmore Street was developed as part of Thomas Little’s take on that street in the later 1730s. At this time most of the east side frontage belonged to the rear grounds of Bingley (later Harcourt) House in Cavendish Square. Just three houses stood beyond this, the corner one having its address in Wigmore Street. This was still the extent of development on Wimpole Street at the time of John Rocque’s map in 1746.

It was not till the 1750s that houses began to appear in regular blocks north of Wigmore Street. Some of the big players in the Portland estate’s development were involved in the runs of houses up to Queen Anne Street and beyond to New Cavendish Street. The brickmaker Thomas Huddle was perhaps the most prominent, managing a consortium of tradesmen that was responsible for most of the fabric on both sides of the street south of Queen Anne Street, begun in the late 1750s. Huddle also built a terrace of six smaller houses on the west side, south of Welbeck Way (site of the present Nos 80–85), though none of these survives.

The Neapolitan ambassador lived in Wimpole Street during the Napoleonic period.
The presence of Elizabeth Barrett Browning that secured Wimpole Street’s literary fame, though her family’s house was demolished in the 1930s.

After 1850 the numbers of doctors practising in Wimpole Street increased steadily. The early colonisation of Wimpole Street by dentists made this the obvious location for the General Dental Council and the British Dental Association when both institutions came to build new headquarters after the war. In recent years mainstream medical practitioners have been joined by increasing numbers of cosmetic surgeons, as this branch of medicine becomes both more widespread.

Until the 1950s the upper sections of Wimpole Street up to and beyond New Cavendish Street had witnessed little in the way of redevelopment. But the Second World War left many houses damaged or in ruins, prompting considerable post-war rebuilding at a time of socio-economic change and increased pressure for flats and office accommodation. Architects responded in the 1950s and 60s with a range of approaches to the largely conservative brick-faced neo-Georgian style preferred by the Howard de Walden Estate.

The medical institutions, lobbies and centres of exchange show no signs of deserting Marylebone. Among them are the Medical Society of London (Chandos Street), the Royal Society of Medicine (Wimpole Street), the General Medical Council (Hallam Street), the British Dental Association and General Dental Council, also in Wimpole Street.

Winsley Street

Behind its west side, later part of the Waring & Gillow site, stood a large brewery which was often given the address of Oxford Market. With a 140ft frontage to Oxford Street and a depth of about 335ft running back beyond Castle Street, this ground had been leased for sixty years in 1695 to James Long of Covent Garden, vintner, the owner of Marylebone Gardens. It seems at first to have been used for gravel extraction and brick-making, the brewery and adjacent house perhaps appearing only after James’s successor William Long had taken over, as they are not shown on Pratt’s map of Marylebone, of 1708. William Long did not yield easily to the Cavendish–Harley development plans of the 1720s. But by a settlement reached in 1738 he acquired a new head lease and set about developing most of the brewery ground for housing in partnership with Francis Tredgold, carpenter. Winsley Street presumably dates from this development, along with the original houses on the east side of Market Place. The brewery itself remained on a reduced site, its management passing in 1736 to Robert Brett, whose appointment as brewer to the Prince of Wales failed to shield him from bankruptcy in 1740. It was still there in the early nineteenth century.

Woodstock Mews

Woodstock Mews is named after William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland, Viscount Woodstock.

Wyndham Street

Wyndham Street and the nearby Wyndham Mews and Wyndham Yard are named after Anne Wyndham, wife of local landowner Henry Portman.

Wythburn Place

Wythburn Place gets its name from Wythburn Fells, Cumberland, by association with the nearby Great Cumberland Place.

 


Marylebone East

 

Until the second half of the 18th century East Marylebone remained almost completely undeveloped apart from a few houses fronting on to Oxford Street. In the 1750s Oxford Market was established on the site of Market Place and residential development slowly filled the parkland of the Audley Estate to the north with a regular grid of streets centred on Great Titchfield and Great Portland Streets. By 1813 the street pattern as we find it today had been established and development was virtually complete. The original buildings were mostly redeveloped when their 99 year leases fell in from about 1860 to 1914. Terraced houses were replaced with mansion blocks, commercial and semi-industrial buildings and the present character of the area as a light industrial centre with a strong local community became firmly established in bricks and mortar.

 

Originally the rebuilt Great Portland Street was a centre of the motor trade; today it is the centre of the garment industry. While

redevelopment was extensive, however, it was also piecemeal. Reflecting the original slow development of the area, individual

buildings appear to have been redeveloped as leases fell in, and the late nineteenth and early twentieth century rebuildings rarely occupy more than two or three original building plots. The exceptions to this general rule are the great commercial palaces on Oxford Street and the rebuilt Middlesex Hospital which replaced the original mid-18th century hospital building in 1928.

 

Marylebone Molyneux Street

 

The streets were laid out and developed in the early 19th century as an area of ‘fourth’ rate terraced houses. The area has remained largely intact with the exception of Cato Street which was mostly redeveloped in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

 

Marylebone Portman Estate

The Portman Estate grew up as a westerly extension of the earlier Harley-Cavendish Estate in the wake of the building of the New Road (Marylebone Road) in 1757.

 

Portman Square was laid out in 1764 and the characteristic 18th century grid of streets was extended to the east with Manchester Square (1776), north with Baker Street (completed c. 1800) and west Bryanston and Montagu Squares (completed c. 1820). Today the Conservation Area extends beyond the boundaries of the old estate into the similar adjacent 18th and 19th century streets and squares. The streets in the northern part of the Conservation Area were originally less prestigious than the main thoroughfares and squares and were partly redeveloped in the late 19th century with mansion blocks. In addition in the 20th century there was a frenzy of redevelopment in Portman Square, Oxford Street and Baker Street. Otherwise however, the 18th century fabric of the area has survived largely intact.

 

 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.