Shepherd Market

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Shepherd Market
Shepherd Market is located in City of Westminster
Shepherd Market
Shepherd Market (City of Westminster)
(local authority since 1965)
Type Garden square
Length 110 ft (30 m)
larger, eastern square, which flanks a café/restaurant/hairdresser/boutique/small business lined, non-parking cul-de-sac/deliveries road.
Width 445 feet (136 m)
Area Mayfair
Location London
Postal code W1
Nearest metro station Green Park tube station
Construction start 1735
Completion 1736
Status west end of the north side:
large building:
Grade I listed

Ye Grapes pub and 28 Shepherd Market

Shepherd Market is a small business-lined precinct featuring two small squares, one with a northern recess in Mayfair, in the West End of London, built up between 1735 and 1746 by Edward Shepherd on the open ground then used for the annual fair from which Mayfair derives; it does so with the east end of Shepherd Street which is also broad-pavemented. It is between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere.[1] It was associated with upmarket prostitutes from its building up until at least the 1980s.[2] In the 1920s, it hosted leading writers and artists such as Anthony Powell, Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch. Jeffrey Archer met Monica Coghlan[a] here in the 1980s.[1]


The square was fully built up between 1735 and 1746 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.[3] A local architect, he 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.[3]

Shepherd Market

During the 1920s this was a rundown area, popular with writers and artists such as Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch.[4] Arlen rented rooms opposite The Grapes public house and used the public place as the setting for his best-selling 1924 novel The Green Hat, which prompted Anthony Powell to move into the area in 1926.[5]

It has been associated with upmarket prostitutes from its building up until at least the 1980s.[2] When Olivia Manning and her husband Reggie Smith lived at 50a, she found the prostitutes "fascinating".[6] In the 1980s, the then deputy Conservative Party chairman and author Jeffrey Archer allegedly met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market.[1]

Notable flats[edit]

Cass Elliot (Mama Cass) died at Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place (co-fronting Shepherd Market) on 28 July 1974. Keith Moon of The Who died at the same flat on 7 September 1978.


Shepherd Market is between Piccadilly and Curzon Street in Mayfair. As a street it is 400 feet (120 m) long. The Curzon Mayfair Cinema and Al Sultan restaurant punctuate its eastern end, and the transition to residential street: Market Mews, where at right-angles crosses Hertford Street.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ whilst she was working as a prostitute
  1. ^ a b c Rough Guides (2003). The Rough Guide to London. Rough Guides. p. 103. ISBN 9781843530930.
  2. ^ a b Catharine Arnold (5 August 2010). City of Sin: London and its Vices. Simon and Schuster. p. 240. ISBN 9780857200259.
  3. ^ a b Geraldine Edith Mitton (1903). Mayfair, Belgravia, and Bayswater. Library of Alexandria. p. 36. ISBN 9781465532039.
  4. ^ Jane Stevenson (2008). Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye. p. 76. ISBN 9780099501664.
  5. ^ Nicholas Birns (2004). Understanding Anthony Powell. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 283.
  6. ^ Deirdre David (10 January 2013). Olivia Manning: A Woman at War. Oxford University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-19-165505-0.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′23″N 0°08′48″W / 51.5065°N 0.1468°W / 51.5065; -0.1468