History Files
 

 

Modern Britain

The Story of Mayfair

by Jayne Weldon, adapted from the book by Peter Wetherell, Erik Brown & Oliver Bradbury, 20 May 2014

The Story of Mayfair
A SEVEN PART FEATURE:
Part 1: 1660s-1720s
Part 2: 1721-1850
Part 3: 1851-1914
Part 4: 1918-1939
Part 5: 1945-1990
Part 6: 1990-2008
Part 7: 2008-2014


Mayfair was originally unwanted, nameless, muddy fields - the River Tyburn swamps - situated to the west of what was then Central London (Whitehall, Soho, Covent Garden and the City).

Mayfair got its name in 1686 when King James II granted royal permission for a fair to be held on the site of what is now Shepherds Market in the first two weeks of May. At this time Soho, Whitehall and the City were the addresses of choice for the wealthy aristocracy.

It was not until 1710 and 1719 that Sir Richard Grosvenor and the earl of Scarborough (Mayfair's two original landowning and developer families) built Grosvenor Square and Hanover Square respectively, and started Mayfair's building process that continues until the present day so that, by 1720, the former fields were transformed into a vast building site...

 

 

 

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Main Sources

Adapted by Jayne Weldon to promote the publication of the book, The Story of Mayfair, by Peter Wetherell, Erik Brown and Oliver Bradbury, London 2014, which looks at the social, financial and physical development of Mayfair, one of the world's most famous addresses over 350 years. Republished with permission.

 

 

     
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