The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 17 Marylebone, Regent's Park, Zoological Gardens

Baker Street

Previous - Next

17. MARYLEBONE. REGENT'S PARK. ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. STATIONS: Baker Street, Great Portland Street, and St. John's Wood Road on the Metropolitan Railway; Baker Street, Regent's Park, and Marylebone on the Bakerloo Tube. Marylebone Station of the London & North-Eastern Railway. OMNIBUSES along Oxford St.; along Baker St., Nos. 2, 13, 23, 30, 48, 53, 74; along Marylebone Road. Nos. 1, 18, 27, 30; for the Zoo. The mainly residential district between Oxford St. and Regent's Park is included in the parish of St. Marylebone, but in ordinary usage the name Marylebone is more commonly applied to the north parts of the district, in the neighbourhood of Marylebone Road. The name is derived by some from the church of 'St. Mary on the bourne,' or stream, i.e. Tyburn. The manor at one time belonged to Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, the noted book-collector (died 1724), after whom Oxford St., Mortimer St., and Harley St. are named. The main thoroughfare from south to north is BAKER STREET, the continuation of Orchard St. beyond Portman Square, a well-built street, somewhat unfeelingly used by Thackeray as a synonym for dull respectability. Bulwer Lytton, the novelist, was born at No. 68 in 1803. Lady Hester Stanhope kept house for her uncle, William Pitt, in 1802-4 at No. 120 (formerly 14 York Place). 'Sherlock Holmes' also had his rooms in Baker St. At No. 59, now the Portman Rooms, was formerly 'Mme. Tussaud's'. To the east of Baker St. lies Manchester Square, built about 1770-88, in which is Hertford House, containing the Wallace Collection (Walk 45). On the north side of Hertford House is George St., with the large Roman Catholic church known as St. James's, Spanish Place, from its predecessor in the neighbouring Spanish Place. The church, which is built in a Spanish style, contains a window dedicated to St. Michael, patron saint of airmen, with a picture of an aeroplane. Michael Faraday (1791-1867), the great chemist, was apprenticed in 1812 to a bookseller at No. 48 (formerly No. 2) Blandford St. Baker St. ends on the north at Baker Street Station in Marylebone Road, whence Upper Baker St. goes on to the Clarence Gate of Regent's Park passing the site of the house (No. 27; rebuilt in 1905) in which Mrs. Siddons died in 1831. Marylebone Road extends from Edgware Road, on the west, to Great Portland St., on the east. In this road, to the west of Baker St., is Marylebone Town Hall (1916), and a little farther on, on the opposite side, is the Hotel Great Central, with the large Marylebone Station of the London & North Eastern Railway behind it. From the 'Yorkshire Stingo' tavern, farther west (south side), the first London omnibus started (1829) on its journey along the 'New Road' to the Bank. In Marylebone Road, to the east of Baker St. Station, stands empty the large brick building occupied by Mme. Tussaud's Waxworks until a fire in March 1925 deprived London of one of its most popular attractions. All the well-known Napoleonic relics were destroyed. Madame Marie Tussaud (1760-1850), a Swiss, practised the art of wax-modelling upon the victims of the Terror in Paris, and came to England in 1802, when her earliest 'museum' was opened in the Strand.