Lisson Grove is a district and also a street of the City of Westminster, London, located just to the north of the city ring road. There are many landmarks surrounding the area. To the north is Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood. To the west are Little Venice, Paddington and Watling Street. To the north east is Primrose Hill and south east is Marylebone, which includes the railway station and Dorset Square, the original home of the Marylebone Cricket Club. To the south east are the London Planetarium, Madame Tussaud's, Baker Street and Regent's Park.
Paddington Green formed part of the original Lilestone estate
Sir Edward Baker (who gave his name to Baker Street) acquired the southern part of Lisson Green in 1821 and built large blocks of flats as an extension of Marylebone. The journalist George Augustus Salas recalls growing up in Lisson Grove during the 1830s "when the principle public buildings were pawnbrokers, and 'leaving shops', low public houses and beershops and cheap undertakers."
Between Hatton Street and Penfold Street the old Palmers Aeroworks Factory in operation from 1912 - 1984 stand outs as a white Egyptian Art Deco landmark, the elevation facing onto Penfold Street having formerly been a furniture store. This was redeveloped by Terry Farrell in 1985-8 and includes their architectural practice.Next to the Aeroworks, another of the lower buildings now houses The Show Room.
Notable historic Lisson Grove residents include Guy Gibson V.C, leader of the Dambusters raid lived at 32, Aberdeen Place and Emily Davies, founder of Girton College, Cambridge lived at 17, Cunningham Place.
Arts & Antiques
The area has a long association with art, artists and theatre. In 1810 the Royal Academy catalogues give sculptor Charles Rossi's address as 21 Lisson Grove, where he had bought a large house. By 1817, Rossi was renting out a section of the house to painter Benjamin Haydon. A blue plaque on the corner of Rossmore Road and Lisson Grove marks the spot and in 2000 author Penelope Hughes-Hallett wrote The Immortal Dinner with the focus on Haydon's dining companions invited to his Lisson Grove abode on 28 December 1817.
The arrival of Dutch painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema at nearby 44, Grove End Road in the late 1870s inspired the naming of one of the Lilestone Estate apartment blocks built in the 1920s as Tadema House. Eastlake House, situated opposite Tadema House, is possibly named for Charles Eastlake whose Eastlake Movement's underlying ethos of simple decorative devices that were affordable and easy to keep clean would have been of interest to those developing social housing in the 20th Century.
On Bell Street, the Lisson Gallery, established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail, championed the new British sculptors of the 1980s and continues to show new and established artists, with expanded premises further along Bell Street. Mark Jason Gallery at No 1 Bell Street specialises in promoting contemporary British and international artists. At No 17, Bell Street Vintage Wireless London has existed since 1979, selling a wide assortment of vintage turntables, radiograms, wirelesses, dansettes, reel-to-reels, amps and mikes.
In 2006 the Subway Gallery arrived in Joe Strummer's subway (an underpass for crossing beneath the Marylebone Road). Conceived by artist Robert Gordon McHarg III, the space itself is a 1960’s kiosk with glass walls which creates a unique showcase for art, interacting naturally with passers by, visitors and the local community.
The Show Room is located on Penfold Street, next to the main Aeroworks factory. The Show Room is a non-profit space for contemporary art that is focused on a collaborative and process-driven approach to production, be that artwork, exhibitions, discussions, publications, knowledge and relationships.
Church Street runs parallel to St John's Wood Road and plays host to a varied market Mondays - Saturdays, 8am - 6pm selling fruit and vegetables, clothes, and bags amongst other items. Towards the Lisson Grove end of Church Street is Alfie's Antique Market, London's largest indoor market for antiques, collectables, vintage, and 20th century design. Located in the former Jordans Department Store, decorated with an Egyptian art deco theme similar to the Aeroworks, the indoor market, "houses more than 200 permanent stall holders and covers in excess of 35,000 sq ft of shop space on five floors." Opened in 1976 by Bennie Gray, in the then derelict department store, the Antiques Market has since spawned twenty or so individual shops at the Lisson Grove end of Church Street specialising in mainly 20th century art and collectables
Theatres and Music Halls
The Metropolitan Music Hall, re-launched with great refurbishment and extended capacity in 1867, was situated at 267, Edgware Road, opposite Edgware Road (Bakerloo) tube station entrance/exit and Bell Street. Paddington Green police station is now situated on this spot, having moved to make way for the Marylebone flyover.
The Royal West London Theatre was located on Church Street, a commemorative plaque above the Church Street Library marking its place.
Currently Lisson Grove has two theatres.
The Cockpit Theatre on Gateforth Street is a purpose built fringe theatre venue promoting "Theatre of Ideas and ensemble working. Its regular classes & workshops, comfortable bar and friendly team enable this creative hub to support performers, the industry, diverse audiences, the local community and free radicals alike."
The Schmidt hammer lassen-designed City of Westminster College located at 25 Paddington Green contains the Siddons Theatre, named for the much acclaimed 18th century tragedienne Sarah Siddons, buried at St Mary on Paddington Green.
Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book in 1086, the edges of the settlement defined by the two current Edgware Road stations facing onto Edgware Road or Watling Street as it was previously known, one of the main Roman thoroughfares in and out of London. Occasionally referred to as Lissom Grove, originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched as far as Hampstead. Lisson Green as a manor broke away c. 1236 with its own manor house.
One of Lisson Green village's first attractions would have been the Yorkshire Stingo, a public house probably visited by Samuel Pepys in 1666 on a visit with a flirtatious widow. In 1829 George Shillibeer operated the first London omnibus from the Yorkshire Stingo.
Until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rural. The Austrian composer Joseph Haydn moved briefly to a farm in Lisson Grove in the spring of 1791 in order to have quiet surroundings in which to compose during his three-year stay in England  The historical painter Benjamin Haydon described a Lisson Grove dinner party with William Wordsworth, John Keats and Charles Lamb at which Lamb got drunk and berated the ‘rascally Lake poet’ for calling Voltaire a dull fellow.
Regent's Canal arrived in rural Lisson Grove in 1810 and with the construction of Eyre's Tunnel or Lisson Grove Tunnel under Aberdeen Place in 1816 and Marylebone railway station by H W Braddock for the Great Central Railway on the Portman Nursery site at the end of the century, the rural Lisson Grove was quickly engulfed by the expanding city during the 1800s. Nowadays Lisson Grove is much improved section of West London, but for over a hundred years it was one of the capital's worst slums. The area was notorious for drinking, crime and prostitution, as well as the extreme poverty of the people and the squalor and dilapidation of the homes they lived in. Local police officers only patrolled the district in pairs, and they described the women of the area as the most drunken, violent and foul-mouthed in all London.
The fictional Eliza Doolittle was born and raised in Lisson Grove and had to pay "four and six a week for a room that wasn't fit for a pig to live in" before coming under the tutelage of Professor Henry Higgins. These characters from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion are best known to modern audiences from the Lerner and Loewe musical and film adaptation of the play, entitled My Fair Lady. In 1885 the case of 13-year-old Eliza Armstrong, who was sold to a brothel keeper for £5, caused such an outcry that the law was changed and so was the name of the street where she lived (from Charles Street to Ranston Street), such was the dishonourable reputation it had gained.
In 1890 construction began on Marylebone Railway, completing almost a decade later in 1899. Penfold Street was to become dominated by the Great Central Goods Depot Yard, along which a number of public houses sprang up: the Lord Frampton (now residential flats), the Richmond Arms and The Crown Hotel (also known as Crocker's Folly). In 1895-96 the newly named Ranston Street saw a number of Almond & St Botolphs Cottages (nos 14 - 19) built under the initiative of social reformer Octavia Hill. As a strong advocate of small scale housing, cottages and mixed developments, she described these cottages as an experimental form of 'compound housing' e.g. maisonettes in her 1897 Letter to Fellow Workers.
In 1897 local entrepreneur Frank Crocker, who also owned The Volunteer in Kilburn, had architect H.C. Worley of Welbeck Street, W1 draw up plans for an ornately eclectic public house The Crown Hotel, to be renamed Crocker's Folly from 1987. Situated on the corner of Aberdeen Place and Cunningham Place, it housed several Saloon bars on the ground floor with a hotel, dining rooms and a concert room on the floors above. Grade II listed, it is currently under refurbishment as at September 2013.
In 1903 the Home for Female Orphans  was situated on the corner of Lisson Grove and St John's Wood Road. In November 1906 Henry Sylvester Williams (b.1867 - d.1911), a Trinidadian lawyer, anti-slavery and civil rights campaigner was elected to the Marylebone Council for Church Street Ward as the first black councillor in Westminster. A green plaque at 38, Church Street marks where Williams lived during 1906 -1908.
Following World War One, Lloyd George announced "homes fit for heroes" leading to a housing boom from which Lisson Grove was to benefit. In 1924, Fisherton Street estate was completed by St Marylebone Council with seven apartment blocks in red-brick neo-Georgian style with high mansard roofs grouped around two courtyards. Noted for their innovation at the time for being some of the first social housing to include an indoor bathroom and toilet, in 1990 the estate is was defined as the Fisherton Street Conservation Area The blocks were named Lilestone, Huxley, Gibbons, Landseer, Capland, .In 1926 the London County Council began work on the Lilestone Estate, building a further eight apartment blocks defined by Fisherton Street, Penfold Street and Luton Street: Tadema, Eastlake, Frampton, Frith, Orchardson, Dicksee, Cooper and Stanfield.
After the First World War dining rooms at 35 Lisson Grove became a fish bar, which was called the Sea Shell from 1964. Now relocated to the corner of Shroton Street, the restaurant is one of London’s best-known purveyors of fish and chips.
In 1960 the first Labour Exchange was established on Lisson Grove to much fanfare, and was late to take its place in punk music history as the place where Joe Strummer was to meet fellow The Clash member.
Parks and Playgrounds
Broadley Street Gardens
Fisherton Street Estate Playground
There a number of nurseries in Lisson Grove, two run by London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) at Luton Street and Lisson Green.
Primary Schools are Gateway Academy on Gateforth Street and King Solomon Primary.
The state secondary is King Solomon Academy.
The Brazen Head
The Lord High Admiral
The Richmond Arms
Underground Tube stations
Bus Routes serving the road Lisson Grove are 139 (West Hampstead to Waterloo via Trafalgar Square), 189 (Brent Cross to Oxford Street).
Edgware Road bus stops for Lisson Grove are served by bus routes 16, 6, 98, 414.
The nearby Lisson Green estate has gone through vital regeneration which saw a huge drop in crime. The estate was a no go area in the 90's and early 2000's due to robberies, drug dealing, violence and gang related activity. The local ward (Church Street) was named the most deprived in London and the South East of England in 2004.
The street gang in the area (known as the Lisson Green Mandem), are thought to be one of the earliest gang in the area (although the names might have been different before). Police know the gang have altercations with other gangs nearby (Mozart SMG, ASA, Warwick Boys, and the Horror Road Alliance).
The murder of Jevon Henry in 2007 saw 5 men from the estate jailed for life. It was thought to be a drugs dispute between the two main gangs from the area. One of the gang which is predominantly Bangladeshi youths and another gang which was predominately Black youths.
Jevon Henry, 18, died in January 2007 from a single stab wound to the heart after being set upon by the five men in the Lisson Green Estate in Marylebone. Kamal Abdul, 21, Muhid Abdul, 25, Jubed Miah, 26, Toufajul Miah, 21 and Taz Uddin, 22, must serve minimum terms of up to 19 years.
A witness saw one of the men strike Jevon with a hammer, jurors heard. She called out in an attempt to make the attacker flee, before leaving the scene briefly to phone 999. When she returned she saw Jevon stagger across a car park before collapsing. He died of his injuries in St Mary's Hospital the next day.
Thugs from the estate are thought to have committed rioting and looting throughout the riots in August 2011. They teamed up with the Ladbroke Grove Bloods to cause havoc throughout west London. The 70 strong gang set off along Queensway, kicking their way into a Gala Casino as staff tried to push a sofa against the glass doors to block their entry. In CCTV footage, one member of staff can be seen trying to fight the yobs off with an umbrella, before fleeing into a back room. One worker had his arm broken by one of the attackers, who stole cash from behind the counter. 16 youths were arrested.
- # http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/lisson-grove/
- # http://manchesterhistory.net/architecture/1920/spitfire.html
- # http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/blue-plaques/search/gibson-guy-1918-1944
- # http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/discover/blue-plaques/search/davies-emily-1830-1921
- # The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallett (Viking 2000)
- # http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/collage/app;jsessionid=468399B6FBB8677F25382982B1370C5C?service=external/Item&sp=I9%3ASt+Marylebone%2C+Metropolitan+Borough+of++++++++++++++++++++++++++%3A183%3A&sp=266200&sp=X
- # http://www.markjasongallery.com/
- # http://www.subwaygallery.com/Home.html
- # http://www.theshowroom.org/index.html
- # http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/business/businessandstreettradinglicences/street-trading/markets/
- # http://www.alfiesantiques.com/
- # http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4722244/Have-a-good-old-time.html
- # http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Metropolitan.htm
- # http://www.churchstreetmemories.org.uk/page_id__53_path__0p4p20p.aspx
- # http://thecockpit.org.uk/
- Source: online edition of the New Grove encyclopedia of music.
- # http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45235
- Thomas Beames, The Rookeries of London, Frank Cass, 1970.
- The Quiver, 1896–1897.
- # http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/lisson-grove/
- # http://www.londoncanals.co.uk/attrctns/depot.html
- # http://www.flickr.com/photos/ddtmmm/3461921373/
- # http://www.heritagepubs.org.uk/pubs/real-heritage-pub-entry.asp?pubid=53
- # http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Collections-Research/Research/Your-Research/X20L/objects/record.htm?type=object&id=288971
- # http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/docstores/publications_store/Fisherton%20Street.pdf
- # http://www.britishpathe.com/video/50-years-progress/query/CHILDREN+SLUMS+
- # http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/lisson-grove.pdf
- # http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/edgwareroad-2078.pdf
Pineapples and Pantomimes: A History of Church Street and Lisson Green, Westminster Libraries, 1992, E McDonald and D J Smith
- LondonTown.com information
- Church Street Neighbourhood Centre
- North Paddington Guide
- Alfie's Antique Market
- Lisson Gallery
- The Showroom
- Palmers Aeroworks Factory
- Francesca Martire: 36, Church Street
- Designs for Discerning Rebels
- Decoratum: 31-33, Church Street
- Vincenzo Caffarella
- Deborah Woolf Vintage: 28, Church Street
- Marchand Antiques: 40, Church Street
- Patricia Harvey: 42, Church Street