Harley Street

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For the TV series, see Harley Street (TV series).
Harley Street sign.
Harley Street from junction with Wigmore Street
Harley Street 2011
One of many doorbells at consulting rooms
Letter to an early Harley Street resident, 1771.

Harley Street is a street in the City of Westminster in London which has been noted since the 19th century for its large number of private specialists in medicine and surgery.


Since the 19th century, the number of doctors, hospitals, and medical organizations in and around Harley Street has greatly increased. Records show that there were around 20 doctors in 1860, 80 by 1900, and almost 200 by 1914. When the National Health Service was established in 1948, there were around 1,500. Today, there are more than 3,000 people employed in the Harley Street area, in clinics, medical and paramedical practices, and hospitals such as The Harley Street Clinic and The London Clinic.[1]

It has been speculated that doctors were originally attracted to the area by the development of commodious housing and central proximity to the important railway stations of Paddington, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Euston and, later, Marylebone. The nearest Tube stations are Regent's Park and Oxford Circus.

Land ownership[edit]

Harley Street is owned by the de Walden family and managed by the de Walden Estate.

The Howard de Walden Estate dates from 1715 when Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, began the development of Cavendish Square in London, and the streets around it. This land had previously formed part of the Marylebone Estate of the Dukes of Newcastle. It had passed from Margaret Holles, née Cavendish, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle, to her daughter Henrietta Cavendish Harley. At the death of Henrietta's husband, Edward Harley, in 1741, this new Harley Estate passed to his only daughter, Margaret Cavendish Harley, who in 1734 had married William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland. It was subsequently known as the Portland, and was handed down to successive Dukes of Portland. In 1879, the 5th Duke of Portland died without issue and his estates were divided between his sisters, according to the terms of the 4th Duke's will, and his cousin, who succeeded him as the sixth Duke. The Portland Estate eventually passed to the last surviving sister, Lucy Joan Ellis, who was the widow of the 6th Lord Howard de Walden, and has remained in this family since then.[2]

Notable occupants[edit]

Many famous people have lived or practised in Harley Street, including the Victorian prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, the artist J. M. W. Turner, and Lionel Logue, who successfully treated George VI for his pronounced stuttering.

Queen's College, founded in 1848 and one of the oldest girls' schools in England, is situated on Harley Street.

Masud Khan Notable Pakistani Psychoanalyst,lived and worked from No.8[3]

Sir William Beechey (Portrait painter) lived at No.13.[4]

Sir Grantly Dick-Read (Obstetrician) lived & had his practice at No.23. Green Plaque. [5]

J.M.W. Turner (Landscape painter) lived at No.64 from 1799 to 1805[6]

Sir Stewart Duke-Elder (Ophthalmologist) lived & worked at No.63. Blue Plaque.[7]

Lionel Logue (Australian Speech Therapist) had his practice at No.146. Green Plaque. He helped King George VI overcome his speech with lessons here.[8]

Allan Ramsay (Portrait painter) lived at No.67.[9]

Sir Harold Ridley (Pioneering Ophthalmologist).Lived at No.53.[7]

Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh (British Politician,Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer) lived at No.86.[4]

George Frederick Bodley (Greek Revival Architect) lived at No.109 from 1862 to 1873. Blue Plaque.[10]

Harriet Harman MP QC, Labour politician, born at 108 Harley Steet.[1]

William Henry Giles Kingston, Victorian author of boys' adventure novels, was born on Harley Street, February 28, 1814.[11]

Sir Charles Lyell (lawyer, author and geologist). Lived at No.11.(which is now No. 73).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Harley Street at Harley Street Guide (commercial website)
  2. ^ The de Walden Estate, Kingsmead Community Website, UK.
  3. ^ Linda Hopkins (31 December 2008). False Self: The Life of Masud Khan. Karnac Books. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-1-78049-403-6. 
  4. ^ a b Henry Benjamin Wheatley; Peter Cunningham (24 February 2011). London Past and Present: Its History, Associations, and Traditions. Cambridge University Press. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-1-108-02807-3. 
  5. ^ Grantly Dick-Read
  6. ^ http://www.turnersociety.org.uk
  7. ^ a b David J. Apple (2006). Sir Harold Ridley and His Fight for Sight: He Changed the World So that We May Better See it. SLACK Incorporated. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-55642-786-2. 
  8. ^ http://openplaques.org/people/4187
  9. ^ Christopher Hibbert; John Keay; Julia Keay (23 March 2010). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4050-4925-2. 
  10. ^ http://www.buildington.co.uk/buildings/london_w1/109_harley_street/id/3303
  11. ^ Modern English Biography: Containing Many Thousand Concise Memoirs of Persons who Have Died Between the Years 1851-1900
  12. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Sir_Charles_Lyell.aspx

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′14″N 0°08′52″W / 51.5206°N 0.1477°W / 51.5206; -0.1477