Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, developed between 1735 and 1746 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 1920s, it was a popular residential area for writers and artists such as Anthony Powell, Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch. Jeffrey Archer met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market in the 1980s.
Shepherd Market is a square developed 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. 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 rundown 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 then deputy Conservative Party chairman and author Jeffrey Archer allegedly met the prostitute Monica Coghlan in Shepherd Market.
- Rough Guides (2003). The Rough Guide to London. Rough Guides. p. 103.
- Catharine Arnold (5 August 2010). City of Sin: London and its Vices. Simon and Schuster. p. 240.
- Geraldine Edith Mitton. Mayfair, Belgravia, and Bayswater. Library of Alexandria. p. 36.
- Jane Stevenson. Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye. p. 76.
- Nicholas Birns (2004). Understanding Anthony Powell. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 283.
- Deirdre David (10 January 2013). Olivia Manning: A Woman at War. Oxford University Press. p. 157.