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
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

The aristocracy departed their former cramped and outdated houses in Soho, Whitehall, Holborn and the City and relocated westwards to the new mansions, townhouses and green squares of Mayfair.

Of the initial 227 houses built, 117 had titled owners. Dukes, duchesses, marquesses and earls rivalled each other to secure the best houses and dress them in lavish style.

By 1850, the heart of the social scene was Buckingham Palace, with the most sought-after mansions being in Mayfair, now firmly London's top address; with Belgravia being the next address of choice, and Pimlico being the least sought after part of the Grosvenor family's estate - an almost 'middle class' place for second sons, widowed aunts and less wealthy relations...




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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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