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Coordinates: 51°30′32″N 0°08′51″W / 51.508755, -0.14743
Mayfair
Old Bond Street 1 db.jpg
The Royal Arcade in Old Bond Street



Mayfair is located in Greater London
Mayfair

 Mayfair shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ285805
London borough Westminster
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W1K, W1J
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Cities of London and Westminster
London Assembly West Central
List of places: UK • England • London


Mayfair (originally called The May Fair) is an area of central London, by the east edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster. The district is now mainly commercial, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporations' headquarters, embassies and also hedge funds and real estate businesses. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some exclusive shopping and London's largest concentration of luxury hotels and many restaurants. Rents are among the highest in London and the world.

History[edit | edit source]

Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today.

  • 1618: Date of what was before 1940 the oldest cottage in Mayfair. It was destroyed in the Blitz in late 1940. A plaque in Stanhope Row, near Shepherd Market, marks its former site.[1]
  • Until 1686: The May Fair was held in Haymarket. Mayfair was part of the parish of St Martin in the Fields
  • 1677: Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet married Mary Davis, heiress to part of the Manor of Ebury; thus the Grosvenor family gained 40 hectares (100 acres) of Mayfair.[2]
  • 1686: The May Fair moved site to where Shepherd Market is now.
  • Mid 17th century to mid 18th century: Most of the Mayfair area was first built on as a fashionable residential district, by a number of landlords, the most important of them being the Grosvenor family, which in 1874 became the Dukes of Westminster.
  • 1724: Mayfair became part of the new parish of St George Hanover Square, which stretched to Bond Street in the south part of Mayfair and almost to Regent Street north of Conduit Street. The northern boundary was Oxford Street and the southern boundary fell short of Piccadilly. The parish continued west of Mayfair into Hyde Park and then south to include Belgravia and other areas.
  • 1764: The May Fair was banned at Shepherd Market because the well-to-do residents of the area disliked the fair's disorderliness, and it moved to Fair Field in Bow in the East End of London.[3]
  • 19th century: The Rothschild family bought up large areas of Mayfair.

The north side of Grosvenor Square in the 18th or early 19th century. The three houses at the far left form a unified group, but the others on this side are individually designed. Most later London squares would be more uniform.

The freehold of a large section of Mayfair also belongs to the Crown Estate.

The district is now mainly commercial, with many offices in converted houses and new buildings, including major corporate headquarters, a concentration of hedge funds, real estate businesses and many different embassy offices, particularly the large US consulate taking up all the west side of Grosvenor Square.[4] Rents are among the highest in London and the world. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property, with some exclusive shopping and London's largest concentration of luxury hotels and many restaurants. Buildings in Mayfair include both the Canadian High Commission and the United States embassy in Grosvenor Square, the Royal Academy of Arts, The Handel House Museum, the Grosvenor House Hotel, Claridge's and The Dorchester.

The renown and prestige of Mayfair could have grown in the popular mind because it is the most expensive property on the British Monopoly set.

The old telephone district of MAYfair (later 629) changed east of Bond Street to REGent (later 734).

Economy[edit | edit source]

Mayfair has become an attractive location away from the City of London for private banks, hedge funds and wealth managers. The Egyptian Education Bureau is in Chesterfield Gardens. EasyGroup's head office is in Mayfair.[5]

Cadbury's head office was formerly in Mayfair. In 2007, Cadbury Schweppes announced that it was moving to Uxbridge, London Borough of Hillingdon, to cut costs.[6]

Mayfair also boasts some of the capital's most exclusive shops, hotels, restaurants and clubs. Just alongside Burlington House is one of London's most luxurious shopping areas, the Burlington Arcade, which has housed shops under its glass-roofed promenade since 1819.[7]

Education[edit | edit source]

The City of Westminster operates the Mayfair Library as a local library.[8]

Streets and squares[edit | edit source]

Savile Row

Residents[edit | edit source]

Below is an incomplete list of notable past residents of Mayfair.

Albemarle Street:

Aldford Street:

Audley Square:

  • Irving Allen (1905–1987) Polish Film & Theatre Producer – No 3

Avery Row:

  • W H Davies (1871–1940) Welsh Poet, dubbed the 'Tramp Poet' – No 13

Bentinck Street:

Fitzmaurice Place:

Berkeley Square:

  • Horace Walpole (1717–1797) British 'Man of Letters', Politician & Novelist – No 11 Berkeley Square (He also lived at No 22 & No 5 Arlington Street, St James's)
  • Bernard Sunley British Philanthropist & Businessman – Lived at & formed charity at No 20 – Green Plaque
  • George Canning (1770–1827) British Prime Minister in 1827 – No 50 – Blue Plaque
  • Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of India (1725–1774) British Soldier & Statesman – No 50 – Blue Plaque

Berkeley Street:

Broadbent Street:

Brook Street:

Bruton Place:

Bruton Street:

  • Frances Carson (1895–1973) American Actress – No 13
  • Harold Fielding (1916–2003) English Theatre Producer – No 13
  • Queen Elizabeth II (1926–) - born at No 21 (since demolished)
  • Edward Marsh (polymath) (1872–1953) English Civil Servant – No 30

Carlos Place:

Charles Street:

  • Archibald Primrose (1847–1929) British Prime Minister 1894–1895 – No 20
  • Ian Fleming (1908–1964) English author of 'James Bond' novels, journalist, and naval intelligence officer – No 21, Hays Mews

Chesterfield Hill:

Chesterfield Street:

  • Beau Brummell (1778–1840) English Socialite, Dandy– No 4 – Blue Plaque
  • Anthony Eden (1897–1977) British Prime Minister 1955 to 1957– No 4 – Blue Plaque

Chesterfield Hill:

Clarges Street:

  • Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) English Poet, Politician & Historian – No 3
  • Sir Austin Bide (1915–2008) British Industrialist – Clarges House, No's 6–12
  • Edmund Kean (1787–1833) English Theatre Actor – No 12 (demolished?)
  • Elizabeth Carter (1717–1806) English Poet – Nos 20 & 21
  • Charles James Fox (1749–1806) British Statesman – No 45 – Blue Plaque

Clifford Street:

Curzon Street:

  • Harry Nilsson (1941–1994) American Musician – No 9 (Flat 14)
  • Cass Elliot (1941–1974) American Musician died in Nilsson's flat – No 9
  • Keith Moon (1946–1978) English Musician died in Nilsson's flat – No 9
  • Nancy Mitford (1904–1973) English Novelist & Essayist worked at No 10 – Blue Plaque
  • Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) British Prime Minister – No 19 – Plaque?
  • Francis Chantrey (1781–1841) English Sculptor – No 24
  • Rufus Isaacs (1860–1935) English Politician. Jurist – No 32 – Red Plaque
  • Ronald Firbank (1886–1926) English Novelist – No 33
  • Cicely Courtneidge (1893–1980) English Actress & Comedienne – No 43
  • Jack Hulbert (1892–1978) English Comedy Actor – No 43

Davies Street:

  • John Elliotson (1791–1868) English Physician – No 2, Bourdon House
  • Hugh Grosvenor (1879–1953) 2nd Duke of Westminster – No 2, Bourdon House
  • Beryl Grey (1927--) Ballerina – No 32, Claridge House

Dover Street:

Duke Street (also enters into Marylebone):

  • Simon Bolivar (1783–1830) Venezuelan Revolutionary – No 4 – Blue Plaque
  • William S Burroughs (1914–1997) American Novelist – No 8
  • Edward Lear (1812–1888) English Poet & Writer – No 27 – Blue Plaque
  • Alfred Milner 1st Viscount Milner (1854–1925) British Politician/Colonial Administrator – No 47
  • Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856–1934) English Novelist as F. Anstey – No 60

Dunraven Street:

  • P G Wodehouse (1881–1975) English Humourist, Writer, Novelist – No 17

Farm Street:

Grafton Street:

Green Street:

  • Alfred Lyttelton (1857–1913) British Politician, Footballer, Cricketer – No 4
  • Alexander McQueen (1969–2010) British Fashion Designer – No 7
  • Renee Vivien (1877–1909) British Poet who wrote in French – No 10
  • Thomas Sopwith (1888–1989) British Aviation pioneer – No 46 – Blue Plaque
  • Beatles British Pop Group. All 4 Beatles stayed at No 57 in 1963

Groom Place:

Grosvenor Square:

Grosvenor Street:

Hertford Street:

  • Wendy Richard (1943–2009) English Television Actress – The Shepherd's Tavern – Blue PlaqueHertford Street:

Park Street:

  • Sarah Miles (1941–) English Theatre and Film Actress - No 58

Transport and locale[edit | edit source]

Location in context[edit | edit source]

Nearest tube stations[edit | edit source]

The nearest London Underground stations are Bond Street, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.

Nearest railway station[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]


Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Mayfair. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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