Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd on the open ground then used for the annual May fair from which Mayfair gets its name. It is located between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere. It has been associated with prostitutes since the Eighteenth century; in the 1980s, Jeffrey Archer met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market. In the 1920s it was a popular residential area for writers and artists, such as Anthony Powell, Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch.
Shepherd Market is a square developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd from an open area called Brook Field, through which flowed the Tyburn, and where a May fair was held, from which the surrounding area of Mayfair derives its name. Shepherd, a local architect, was commissioned to develop the site and work was completed in the mid-18th century. It contained paved alleys, a duck pond, and a two-storey market topped by a theatre.
During the 1920s, Shepherd Market was a run down area, popular with writers and artists such as Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch. Arlen rented rooms opposite The Grapes public house and used Shepherd Market as the setting for his best-selling 1924 novel The Green Hat, which prompted Anthony Powell to move into the area in 1926.
It has been associated with upmarket prostitutes since the eighteenth century. When Olivia Manning and her husband Reggie Smith lived at 50a, she found the prostitutes "fascinating". In the 1980s the deputy Conservative Party chairman and author Jeffrey Archer met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market.
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- Deirdre David (10 Jan 2013). Olivia Manning: A Woman at War. Oxford University Press. p. 157.