St James’s Square is the only square in district of St James’s.
In 1662 Charles I
I extended Henry Jermyn’s (the Earl of St Albans) lease over the 45 acres of Pall Mall
Field to 1720.
Jermyn began to lay out the property for development. In 1665 the king granted the freehold of the site of St. James’s Square and some closely adjacent parts of the field to the earl’s trustees.
Houses on the east, north and west sides of the square were soon developed, each of them being constructed separately as was usual at that time. By the 1720s seven dukes and seven earls were in residence.
Some of the houses had interiors by leading architects such as Matthew Brettingham, Robert Adam and John Soane.
In the 1830s, gentleman’s clubs began to be built and the aristocracy started to move to Belgravia. In 1857 the square contained two government offices, a bank, two lodging-houses, an insurance society, the London Library
and three clubs.
The Libyan embassy in St James’s Square was the site of the 1984 Libyan Embassy Siege.
St James’s Square has a garden in the centre featuring an equestrian statue of William III erected in 1808.
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Air Street, W1B Air Street’s name is believed to be a corruption of ‘Ayres’, after Thomas Ayre, a local brewer and resident in the 17th century. Air Street, W1B Air Street was the most westerly street in London when newly built in 1658. Albany Courtyard, W1J The courtyard is named after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, who in 1791 purchased Melbourne House which stood on this site. Albany, W1S The Albany is an apartment complex in Piccadilly, divided into apartments in 1802. Albemarle Street, W1S Albemarle Street takes its name from the second Duke of Albermarle, son of General Monk. Alfred Place, WC1E Alfred Place was built in 1806 by a Marylebone stonemason called John Waddilove who named it after his son Alfred. All Souls Place, W1B All Souls Place is a short cul-de-sac in the shadow of All Souls Church, originating in the eighteenth century as a mews off Edward Street. Archer Street, W1D Archer Street was Arch Street in 1675, Orchard Street in 1720 and Archer Street by 1746. Argyll Street, W1F Argyll Street was named after John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, owner of the land in the 18th century. Bateman Street, W1D Bateman Street was named for Sir James Bateman, local landowner and Lord Mayor of London in the 1670s. Beak Street, W1B Beak Street runs roughly east-west between Regent Street and Lexington Street. Beak Street, W1F Beak Street is named after Thomas Beake, one of the Queen’s messengers. Bedford Square, WC1B Bedford Square was designed as a unified architectural composition in 1775-6 by Thomas Leverton. Berners Mews, W1T Berners Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Berners Street, W1D Berners Street runs from the junction of Oxford Street and Wardour Street to join up with Mortimer Street and the former Middlesex Hospital. Berwick Road, W1F Berwick Road is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Berwick Street, W1F Berwick Street commemorates the Duke of Berwick, an illegitimate son of James II. Bird Street, W1T Bird Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Birdcage Walk, SW1E Birdcage Walk runs east-west from the Parliament Square area (as Great George Street) to Buckingham Palace. Birdcage Walk, SW1H Birdcage Walk runs east from Great George Street, along the south side of St James’s Park. Boyle Street, W1S Boyle Street was built on a piece of land called the Ten Acres to discharge some Boyle family debts. Brewer Street, W1D Brewer Street runs west to east from Glasshouse Street to Wardour Street. Bridle Lane, W1F Bridle Lane is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Broadway, SW1H Broadway - formerly the location of the headquarters of both London Transport and the Metropolitan Police. Broadwick Street, W1F Broadwick Street runs west-east between Marshall Street and Wardour Street, crossing Berwick Street. Burlington Arcade, W1J Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping arcade, 179 metres in length, that runs from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens. Burlington Gardens, W1S Burlington Gardens, with houses dating from 1725, was laid out on land that was once part of the Burlington Estate. Bury Street, SW1A Bury Street runs north-to-south from Jermyn Street to King Street, crossing Ryder Street. Bury Street, SW1Y Bury Street runs north-to-south from Jermyn Street to King Street, crossing Ryder Street. Bywell Place, W1T Bywell Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y Carlton House Terrace consists of a pair of terraces - white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James’s Park. Castle Lane, SW1E Castle Lane is one of the streets of London in the SW1E postal area. Caxton Street, SW1H William Caxton was responsible for the introduction of the printing press to England. Cockspur Street, SW1Y Cockspur Street is possibly after the cock fighting that formerly occurred here, cocks often having spurs attached to their feet during fights. Cork Street, W1S Cork Street, on the Burlington Estate, was named after Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork. Coventry Street, W1D Coventry Street is a short street connecting Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square. On the London Monopoly board, it was named after the politician Henry Coventry, secretary of state to Charles II. Dansey Place, W1D Dansey Place is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Dean Street, W1D Dean Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Dover Street, W1S Dover Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area. Duck Lane, W1F Duck Lane is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Duke Street, SW1Y Duke Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Eagle Place, SW1Y Eagle Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. East Street, TW8 East Street is one of the streets in the Twickenham postal district. Eastcastle Street, W1T The portion of Eastcastle Street to the east of Wells Street originally belonged to the Berners Estate. First Floor, W1T First Floor is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Foley Street, W1W Foley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area. Goodge Place, W1T Goodge Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Great Windmill Street, W1F Great Windmill Street has had a long association with music and entertainment, most notably the Windmill Theatre. Greens Court, W1F Greens Court is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Ham Yard, W1D Ham Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Hanway Place, W1T Hanway Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Haymarket, SW1Y Haymarket – site of a former market selling hay until the 1830s. Hills Place, W1F Hills Place is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Hobhouse Court, WC2H Hobhouse Court is named after Sir John Cam Hobhouse, Victorian MP and arts patron. Hog Lane, WC2H Hog Lane was a lane that went from St Giles’ leper hospital (set up in the 12th century) to the monument to Eleanor at Charing Cross. Kemp’s Court, W1F Kemp’s Court is situated in the heart of Berwick Street Market where a line of stalls stretch down both sides of the road. Keppel Street, WC1E Keppel Street links Store Street and Gower Street in the west to Malet Street in the east. King Street, SW1Y King Street is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Kingly Court, W1B Kingly Court is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area. Linen Hall, W1B Linen Hall is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area. Livonia Street, W1F Livonia Street was originally Bentinck Street, family name of owner the Duke of Portland. Manette Street, W1D Manette Street in Soho is named after the character from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Market Place, W1W Market Place is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area. Masons Yard, SW1Y Masons Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Meard Street, W1F John Meard, the younger was a carpenter, later a landowner, who developed the street. Mill Street, W1S Mill Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area. Moor Street, W1D Moor Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Newburg Road, W1F Newburg Road is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Newport Place, W1D Newport Place was named after Mountjoy Blount, Earl of Newport (Isle of Wight), who owned a house on Newport Street in the 17th century. Noel Street, W1F Noel Street is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Ogle Street, W1W Ogle Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area. Orange Street, WC2H Orange Street gets its name from William III, Prince of Orange - the reigning king when the street was built. Ormond Yard, SW1Y Ormond Yard is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Oxendon Street, W1D Oxendon Street, after Sir Henry Oxendon, husband of Mary Baker, daughter of Robert Baker who built the former Piccadilly House nearby. Page Street, SW1P Page Street runs from Regency Street in the west to the junction of John Islip Street and Dean Ryle Street in the east. Pall Mall, SW1Y Pall Mall is one of the streets of London in the SW1Y postal area. Palladium House, W1B Palladium House is a grade II listed (in 1981) Art Deco office building located on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street. Panton Street, W1D Panton Street was named after Colonel Thomas Panton, local property dealer of the 17th century. Park Place, SW1A Park Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1A postal area. Percy Street, W1T Percy Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Peter Street, W1F Peter Street is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Rathbone Place, W1T Rathbone Place honours Captain Rathbone who was the builder of the road and properties thereon from 1718 onwards. Regent Place, W1B Regent Place is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area. Regent Street, W1 Regent Street is one of the streets of London in the W1 postal area. Riding House Street, W1W Riding House Street commemorates a riding house and barracks of the First Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards. Royal Arcade, W1S Royal Arcade is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area. Royalty Mews, W1D Royalty Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Rupert Court, W1D Rupert Court was named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the First Lord of the Admiralty when the court was built in 1676. Rupert Street, W1D Rupert Street – after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, noted 17th century general and son of Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I. Scala Street, W1T Scala Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in the West End of London, named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. Silver Place, W1F Silver Place is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Smiths Court, W1D Smiths Court is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Soho Square, W1D In its early years, Soho Square was one of the most fashionable places to live in London. Soho Street, W1D Soho Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Stag Place, SW1E Stag Place is one of the streets of London in the SW1E postal area. Stephen Mews, W1T Stephen Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Suffolk Place, SW1Y The Earl of Suffolk (Thomas Howard) was the reason for the naming of Suffolk Place. Suffolk Street, SW1Y Suffolk Street was named after Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who owned a stable yard attached to Northumberland House which lay on this site. Swallow Street, W1B Swallow Street honours Thomas Swallow, lessee in 1540 of the pastures on which the road was built. The Mall, SW1Y The Mall is the processional route between Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Tottenham Court Road, W1T Tottenham Court Road is a major road running from the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, north to Euston Road - a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. Union Street, W1W The easternmost section of Riding House Street was previously known as Union Street. Vigo Street, W1S Vigo Street is one of the streets of London in the W1S postal area. Vincent Square, SW1P Vincent Square is a large grass-covered square which provides playing fields for Westminster School, which owns it. Walcott Street, SW1P Walcott Street was named after Reverend MEC Walcott, curate of the St Margaret’s, Westminster in the 1840s. Walker’s Court, W1D Walker’s Court is one of the many passageways which in past years was known as ’Paved Alley’. Wardour Street, W1D The part of Wardour Street south of Shaftesbury Avenue runs through London’s Chinatown. Wardour Street, W1F Wardour Street is a street that runs north from Leicester Square, through Chinatown, across Shaftesbury Avenue to Oxford Street. Waterloo Place, SW1Y Waterloo Place, a broad extension of Regent Street, is awash with statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire. It is framed by palatial buildings designed by John Nash, the famed Regency-era architect and Decimus Burton, his protégé. Wells Mews, W1T Wells Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Wells Street, W1W Wells Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. Whitcomb Street, WC2H Whitcomb Street - named after William Whitcomb, 17th century brewer and property developer. Wilton Road, SW1V Wilton Road is one of the streets of London in the SW1V postal area.
St James’s is an exclusive area in the West End of London.
St James’s was once part of the same royal park as Green Park and St James’s Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, who proceeded to develop it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area with a grid of streets centered on St James’s Square. Until the Second World War, St James’s remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Famous residences in St James’s include St James’s Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House and Bridgewater House.
St James’s is the home of many of the best known gentlemen’s clubs in London. The clubs found here are organisations of English high society. A variety of groups congregate here, such as royals, military officers, motoring enthusiasts, and other groups.
It is now a predominantly commercial area with some of the highest rents in London and, consequently, the world. The auction house Christie’s is based in King Street
, and the surrounding streets contain a great many upmarket art and antique dealers.
Office space to rent in St James’s is the most expensive in the world, costing up to five times average rents in New York, Paris and Sydney.
The area is home to fine wine merchants including Berry Brothers and Rudd, at number 3 St James’s Street. Adjoining St James’s Street is Jermyn Street
, famous for its many tailors. St James’s is home to some of the most famous cigar retailers in London. At 35 St James’s Street is Davidoff of London, 19 St James’s Street is home to J.J. Fox and 50 Jermyn St has Dunhill; this makes the area a Cuban cigar haven.
The iconic English shoemaker Wildsmith which designed the first ever loafer was located at 41 Duke Street
, St, James’s. It is now currently located at 13 Savile Row
The area has a good number of art galleries, covering a spectrum of tastes. The White Cube gallery, which represents Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, had originally opened in Duke Street
, St James’s, then moved to Hoxton Square. In September 2006, it opened a second gallery in St James’s at 25–26 Mason’s Yard, off Duke Street
, on a plot previously occupied by an electricity sub-station. The gallery is the first free-standing building to be built in the St James’s area for more than 30 years.