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Marylebone High Street
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Location within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ285815
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W1
Postcode district NW1
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
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51°31′04″N0°08′49″W / 51.5177°N 0.1470°W / 51.5177; -0.1470 Coordinates: 51°31′04″N0°08′49″W / 51.5177°N 0.1470°W / 51.5177; -0.1470

Marylebone ( /ˈmærɪləbən/ or /ˈmærələbən/ , [1] /ˈmærɪbən/ , /ˈmɑːrlɪbən/ , or /ˈmærɪlɪbn/ [2] [ unreliable source? ]) is an area in the West End of London, in the City of Westminster. Oxford Street, Europe's busiest shopping street, forms its southern boundary.


Originally an ancient parish and latterly a Metropolitan Borough, it merged with the Metropolitan Boroughs of Westminster and Paddington to form the new City of Westminster in 1965.

Marylebone station lies two miles north-west of Charing Cross.


Marylebone gets its name from a church dedicated to St Mary, represented by St Marylebone Parish Church (1817); the original church was built on the bank of a small stream or "bourne", called the Tybourne or Tyburn. [3] This stream rose further north in what became Swiss Cottage, eventually running along what became Marylebone Lane, which preserves its curve within the grid pattern. The church and the surrounding area later became known as St Mary at the Bourne, afterwards corrupted to Marybourne, Marybone, Mary-la-bonne (French was the language of the aristocracy at the time), and eventually Marylebone. The received pronunciation is 'MARRY-le-bn', however 'MAR-le-bone’ is commonly used. [4] It is false etymology to derive the name from the French Marie la Bonne (Mary the Good).

The manor of Tyburn is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) as a possession of Barking Abbey valued at 52 shillings, with a population no greater than 50. Early in the 13th century it was held by Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford. At the end of the 15th century Thomas Hobson bought up the greater part of the manor; in 1544 his son Thomas exchanged it with Henry VIII, [5] who enclosed the northern part of the manor as a deer park, the distant origin of Regent's Park. Tyburn manor remained with the Crown until the southern part was sold in 1611 by James I, who retained the deer park, to Edward Forest, [6] who had held it as a fixed rental under Elizabeth I. Forest's manor of Marylebone then passed by marriage to the Austen family. The deer park, Marylebone Park Fields, was let out in small holdings for hay and dairy produce. [7]

The three colour-coded Ancient Parishes of - west to east -
Paddington (in the expanded City of Westminster);
St Marylebone (likewise);
St Pancras (in the 1965-created London Borough of Camden). A detailed map of 1834 (as the two-seat Parliamentary borough of Marylebone). LONDON, MARYLEBONE by BARTLETT, F.A. and B.J. DAVIES.jpg
The three colour-coded Ancient Parishes of - west to east -
Paddington (in the expanded City of Westminster);
St Marylebone (likewise);
St Pancras (in the 1965-created London Borough of Camden). A detailed map of 1834 (as the two-seat Parliamentary borough of Marylebone).
A map showing the wards of St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916. St Marylebone Met. B Ward Map 1916.svg
A map showing the wards of St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.

In 1710, John Holles, Duke of Newcastle, purchased the manor for £17,500, [8] and his daughter and heir, Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles, by her marriage to Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, passed it into the family of the Earl of Oxford, one of whose titles was Lord Harley of Wigmore. She and the earl, realising the need for fashionable housing north of the Oxford Road (now Oxford St), commissioned the surveyor and builder John Prince to draw a master plan that set Cavendish Square in a rational grid system of streets.

The Harley heiress Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley married William, 2nd Duke of Portland, and took the property, including Marylebone High Street, into the Bentinck family. Such place names in the neighbourhood as Cavendish Square and Portland Place reflect the Dukes of Portland landholdings and Georgian-era developments there. In 1879 the fifth Duke died without issue and the estate passed through the female line to his sister, Lucy Joan Bentinck, widow of the 6th Baron Howard de Walden.

A large part of the area directly to the west was constructed by the Portman family and is known as the Portman Estate. Both estates have aristocratic antecedents and are still run by members of the aforementioned families. The Howard de Walden Estate owns, leases and manages the majority of the 92 acres (37 ha) of real estate in Marylebone which comprises the area from Marylebone High Street in the west to Robert Adam's Portland Place in the east and from Wigmore Street in the south to Marylebone Road in the north. [9]

In the 18th century the area was known for the raffish entertainments in Marylebone Gardens, the scene of bear-baiting and prize fights by members of both sexes, and for the duelling grounds in Marylebone Fields. [10] The Crown repurchased the northern part of the estate in 1813.

The Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone was a metropolitan borough of the County of London between 1899 and 1965, after which, with the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington and the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster it was merged into the City of Westminster.

Marylebone was the scene of the Balcombe Street siege in 1975, when Provisional Irish Republican Army terrorists held two people hostage for almost a week.


Marylebone is characterised by major streets on a grid pattern such as Gloucester Place, Baker Street, Marylebone High Street, Wimpole Street, Harley Street and Portland Place, with smaller mews between the major streets.

Mansfield Street is a short continuation of Chandos Street built by the Adam brothers in 1770, on a plot of ground which had been underwater. Most of its houses are fine buildings with exquisite interiors, which if put on the market now would have an expected price in excess of £10 million. It has attracted people who understand attractive buildings – at Number 13 lived religious architect John Loughborough Pearson who died in 1897, and designer of Castle Drogo and Delhi Sir Edwin Lutyens, who died in 1944. [11] Immediately across the road at 61 New Cavendish Street lived Natural History Museum creator Alfred Waterhouse. [12]

Queen Anne Street is an elegant cross-street which unites the northern end of Chandos Street with Welbeck Street. The painter JMW Turner moved to 47 Queen Anne Street in 1812 from 64 Harley Street, now divided into numbers 22 and 23, and owned the house until his death in 1851. It was known as "Turner's Den", becoming damp, dilapidated, [13] dusty, dirty, with dozens of Turner's works of art now in the National Gallery scattered throughout the house, walls covered in tack holes and a drawing room inhabited by cats with no tails.

During the same period a few hundred yards to the east, Chandos House in Chandos Street was used as the Austro-Hungarian Embassy and residence of the fabulously extravagant Ambassador Prince Paul Anton III Esterhazy, [14] seeing entertainment on a most lavish scale. The building is one of the finest surviving Adam houses in London, and now lets rooms.

Marylebone is also home to the historical Nottingham Place. It is characterized by its ornate red buildings, leading up to Marylebone Road. Most recently, in 2017–18, Number 28 was home to notable Indian artists, musicians, diplomats and all-round Renaissance men. Their tenure was prematurely cut short.

Wimpole Street runs from Henrietta Place north to Devonshire Street, becoming Upper Wimpole en route – the latter where Arthur Conan Doyle opened his ophthalmic practice at number 2 in 1891. A six-floor Grade II 18th-century house at 57 Wimpole Street is where Paul McCartney resided from 1964 to 1966, staying on the top floor of girlfriend Jane Asher's family home in a room overlooking Browning Mews in the back, and with John Lennon writing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on a piano in the basement. At her father's house at number 50 lived for some time between 1840 and 1845, Elizabeth Barrett, then known as the author of a volume of poems, and who afterwards escaped and was better known as Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Today, at the bottom end of Wimpole at Wigmore can be found a sandwich shop named "Barrett's".

Bentinck Street leaves Welbeck Street and touches the middle of winding Marylebone Lane. Charles Dickens lived at number 18 with his indebted father (on whom the character Wilkins Micawber was based) while working as a court reporter in the 1830s, and Edward Gibbon wrote much of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire while living at number 7 from the early 1770s. James Smithson wrote the will that led to the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution while living at number 9 in 1826, while number 10 was briefly graced by Chopin in 1848, who found his apartment too expensive and moved to Mayfair. More recently, Cambridge spies Anthony Blunt and Guy Burgess lived at 5 Bentinck Street during the Second World War. [15] In 1960s two-some John Dunbar and TV repairman "Magic Alex" lived on the street, where the former introduced the latter to John Lennon in 1967. Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, who was a qualified nurse, founded a nursing home in Bentinck Street, and served as its matron. [16]

Manchester Square, west of Bentinck Street, has a central private garden with handsome plane trees, laid out in 1776. The mansion on the north side of the square, now the home of the Wallace Collection that features world-class French eighteenth-century painting, porcelains and furniture, once housed the Spanish ambassador, whose chapel was in Spanish Place. From the north-west corner is Manchester Street, final home of Georgian-era prophet Joanna Southcott, who died there in 1814, having attracted a jeering mob with report of a miraculous birth and prediction the Day of Judgement would arrive in the year 2004.

Marylebone has some "Beatles" heritage, with a John Lennon flat at 34 Montagu Square, and the original Apple Corps headquarters at 95 Wigmore Street.

Bulstrode Street, small and charming, is named after a Portman family estate in Buckinghamshire, itself named after a local family there made-good in Tudor days. Tucked away, with a few terraced houses, Bulstrode Street has been the home of minor health care professionals for hundreds of years. The RADA student and aspiring actress Vivien Leigh, aged twenty in 1933, gave birth at the Rahere Nursing Home, then at number 8, to her first child.

The north end of Welbeck Street joins New Cavendish Street, the name of which changed from Upper Marylebone Street after World War I. Number 13 in New Cavendish Street, at its junction with Welbeck Street and on the corner of Marylebone Street, was the birthplace in 1882 of the orchestral conductor Leopold Stokowski, the son of a Polish cabinet maker. He sang as a boy in the choir of St Marylebone Church.

At the northern end of Marylebone High Street towards the Marylebone Road there is an area with a colourful history, which includes the former Marylebone Gardens, whose entertainments including bare-knuckle fighting, a cemetery, a workhouse, and the areas frequented by Charles Wesley, all shut down by the close of the 18th century, where today there are mansion blocks and upper-end retail.

At No. 1 Dorset Street resided mid-Victorian scientist Charles Babbage, inventor of the analytical engine. Babbage complained that two adjacent hackney-coach stands in Paddington Street ruined the neighbourhood, leading to the establishment of coffee and beer shops, and furthermore, the character of the new population could be inferred from the taste they exhibited for the noisiest and most discordant music. [17] An acclaimed international venue for chamber music, the Wigmore Hall, opened at 36 Wigmore Street in 1901. It hosts over 500 concerts each year. [18]

The Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood was established in 2016 to improve the air quality of the area. [19] [20] Westminster City Council in partnership with local residents, businesses and stakeholders completed a green grid of 800 new trees on Marylebone's streets in 2019. [21] [22] [23]


The area was represented by the St Marylebone UK Parliament constituency between 1918 and 1983.


Bounded by Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east, [24] [25] the area east of Great Portland Street up to Cleveland Street, known as Fitzrovia since the 1940s, was historically East Marylebone. [26]

Areas and features of Marylebone include:


St Marylebone Parish Church. St Marylebone Parish Church.jpg
St Marylebone Parish Church.

Former landmarks


Tube stations

Railway stations


The area is served by routes 2, 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 113, 139, 189, 205, 274, 453 and night routes N18 and N74.


Related Research Articles

West End of London Area of Central London, England

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Paddington Human settlement in England

Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in central London, located in the West End of London. First a medieval parish then a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington station, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847; St Mary's Hospital; and the former Paddington Green Police Station.

Fitzrovia Human settlement in England

Fitzrovia is a district in central London, near London's West End, which spans the boundaries of the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden. It has its roots in the Manor of Tottenham Court, and was urbanised during the 18th century; the informal term Fitzrovia only became used in the late 1930s.

Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone

The Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone was a metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965. It was based directly on the previously existing civil parish of St Marylebone, which was incorporated into the Metropolitan Board of Works area in 1855, retaining a parish vestry, and then became part of the County of London in 1889.

Great Portland Street

Great Portland Street in the West End of London links Oxford Street with Albany Street and the A501 Marylebone Road and Euston Road. A commercial street including some embassies, it divides Fitzrovia, to the east, from Marylebone to the west. It delineates areas with contrasting identities, the west at strongest in grandiose Portland Place and Harley Street, the east at strongest in artists' and independent businesses of Fitzrovia. The street has its own unique character, due in part of the unusual combination of small shops combined with its strongly rectilinear character.

John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle

John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, KG, PC was an English peer.

Wigmore Street

Wigmore Street is a street in the City of Westminster, in the West End of London. The street runs for about 600 yards parallel and to the north of Oxford Street between Portman Square to the west and Cavendish Square to the east. It is named after the village of Wigmore and its castle in Herefordshire, a seat of the family of Robert Harley, politician around the time of Queen Anne, who owned land in the area.

Welbeck Abbey House and former monastery in Nottinghamshire, England

Welbeck Abbey in the Dukeries in North Nottinghamshire was the site of a monastery belonging to the Premonstratensian order in England and after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, a country house residence of the Dukes of Portland. It is one of four contiguous ducal estates in North Nottinghamshire and the house is a grade I listed building.

Welbeck Street

Welbeck Street is a street in the West End, central London. It has historically been associated with the medical profession.

St Marylebone Parish Church Church in London

St Marylebone Parish Church is an Anglican church on the Marylebone Road in London. It was built to the designs of Thomas Hardwick in 1813–17. The present site is the third used by the parish for its church. The first was further south, near Oxford Street. The church there was demolished in 1400 and a new one erected further north. This was completely rebuilt in 1740–42, and converted into a chapel-of-ease when Hardwick's church was constructed. The Marylebone area takes its name from the church. Located behind the church is St Marylebone School, a Church of England school for girls.

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, styled Lord Harley between 1711 and 1724, was a British politician, bibliophile, collector and patron of the arts.

Henrietta Harley, Countess of Oxford and Countess Mortimer

Henrietta Harley, Countess of Oxford and Countess Mortimer was an English noblewoman, the only child and heiress of John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle and his wife, the former Lady Margaret Cavendish, daughter of Henry Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck

Lady Alexandra Margaret Anne Cavendish-Bentinck was a member of the British nobility and one of the richest landowners in the country. She was a notable charity worker, art collector, and horsewoman.

Hallam Street

Hallam Street is a road situated in the Parish of St Marylebone and London’s West End. In administrative terms it lies within the City of Westminster's Marylebone High Street Ward as well as the Harley Street Conservation Area. Formerly named both Charlotte Street and Duke Street, it was renamed in the early 1900s after Henry Hallam (1777–1859), a noted historian who had been a local resident, and his son Arthur Henry Hallam (1811–1833), poet and the subject of Tennyson's elegy In Memoriam.

Bolsover Street

Bolsover Street is in the Parish of St Marylebone in London’s West End. In administrative terms it lies within the City of Westminster's Marylebone High Street Ward and is partly in the Harley Street Conservation Area whilst also sitting on the edges of the Regents Park and East Marylebone Conservation Areas.

Howard de Walden Estate

The Howard de Walden Estate is a property estate in Marylebone, London, owned by the Howard de Walden family. As of 2020 the estate was reported to be worth £4.7 billion.

Weymouth Street

Weymouth Street lies in the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster and connects Marylebone High Street with Great Portland Street. The area was developed in the late 18th century by Henrietta Cavendish Holles and her husband Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. This part of Marylebone originally belonged to the Manor of Tyburn which existed at the time of the Domesday Book (1086).

Marylebone Lane

Marylebone Lane is one of the original streets of the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster, London. It runs from Oxford Street in the south to Marylebone High Street in the north, its winding shape following the course of the River Tyburn that it once ran alongside and pre-dating the grid pattern of the other streets in the area. Today the lane is largely composed of small shops, cafes and restaurants with some small apartment blocks. There are some larger commercial buildings at the southern end near Oxford Street.

Henrietta Place

Henrietta Place, originally known as Henrietta Street, is a street in Marylebone in the City of Westminster in central London that runs from Marylebone Lane in the east to Cavendish Square in the west. It is joined on the north side by Welbeck Street and Wimpole Street, and on the south side by Vere Street, Chapel Place, and Old Cavendish Street.

This is a list of the etymology of street names in the London district of Marylebone. The following utilises the generally accepted boundaries of Marylebone viz. Marylebone Road to the north, Great Portland Street to the east, Marble Arch and Oxford Street to the south and Edgware Road to the west.


  1. BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names
  2. "Rail announcements". Archived from the original on 31 October 2015.
  3. "Maryburne rill", in Harrison's Description of England 1586, noted by Henry Benjamin Wheatley and Peter Cunningham, London Past and Present: its history, associations, and traditions , Volume 2, p. 509.
  4. Smith, Thomas (1833). A Topographical and Historical Account of the Parish of St. Mary-le-Bone. London: John Smith. pp.  3. st mary at the bourne.
  5. Wheatley and Cunningham, p. 509.
  6. 'The Regent's Park', Old and New London5 (1878:262–286) Archived 17 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  7. B. Weinreb and C. Hibbert, eds (1995), The London Encyclopedia, Macmillan ISBN   0-333-57688-8
  8. Wheatley and Cunningham; they note the annual rents brought in £900.
  9. The Howard de Walden Estate Archived 22 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Wheatley and Cunningham, p. 511.
  11. "LUTYENS, Sir Edwin Landseer (1869-1944) & PEARSON, John Loughborough (1817-1897) English Heritage". Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  12. "WATERHOUSE, Alfred (1830-1905) English Heritage". Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  13. Gayford, Martin. "JMW Turner: the man behind the masterpieces". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  14. "Austrian Foreign Ministry -> Embassy -> London -> History of the Austrian Embassy". Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  15. Lownie, Andrew (2015). Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess. London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 114–115.
  16. Princess Arthur of Connaught dated 29 November 2010 at royalmusingsblogspotcom
  17. Babbage's pamphlet Street Nuisances (1864) Archived 24 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 4 August 2017
  18. Tester, Maestro Jonathon. "2017/18 Season Preview | News | About Us". Wigmore Hall. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  19. WCC. "Poor air quality is a major concern for people who visit, live and work in the area". Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  20. Hill, Dave (15 February 2017). "'Filthy glamour': could polluted Marylebone Road help fix London's air?". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  21. "The W1W Tree Planting Initiative for Marylebone". The W1W Tree Planting Initiative for Marylebone. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  22. w1wtrees (15 December 2009). "W1W Tree Planting in Marylebone — Media Files". The W1W Tree Planting Initiative for Marylebone. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  23. Bloom, Ben. "Veteran BBC reporter plants 500th tree of Marylebone ecology project". Hampstead Highgate Express. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  24. Marylebone Association Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  25. A broader definition designates the historical area as Marylebone Village and encompasses neighbouring Regent's Park, Baker Street and the area immediately north of Marylebone Road, containing Marylebone Station, the original site of the Marylebone Cricket Club at Dorset Square, and the neighbourhood of Lisson Grove as far as the border with St John's Wood.
  26. "History of St Marylebone, in Westminster and Middlesex – Map and description". Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  27. "Westminster Green Plaques Scheme – review of criteria and funding" (PDF). City of Westminster. 12 January 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015. Theatre Royal Marylebone 71 Church Street, NW8; 1832–1959