St John's Wood
St John's Wood is a district in the City of Westminster, west London, lying about 2.5 miles (4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Traditionally the northern part of the ancient parish and Metropolitan Borough of Marylebone, it extends east to west from Regent’s Park to the Edgware Road, with the Swiss Cottage area of Hampstead lying to the north.
The area is best known for Lord's Cricket Ground, home of Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex CCC, and a regular international Test Cricket venue. It also includes the Abbey Road Studios, well known through its association with the Beatles.
Once part of the Great Middlesex Forest, from 1238 it was, as St. Johns Wood Farm, a property of St John's Priory, Clerkenwell (the Knights of St John of Jerusalem). This area was equivalent to what was then the north part of Marylebone.
The Priory allocated the estate to agricultural tenants as a source of produce and income. The estate remained Crown property until 21 March 1675 (1676) when Charles II granted the St John's Wood estate to Charles Henry Wotton. On 22 March 1732 (1733) City merchant Henry Samuel Eyre (1676-1754) acquired the majority of the estate, around 500 acres, from Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. The St John's Wood estate came to be known as the Eyre estate in the 19th century after it was developed by the Eyre brothers. The estate still exists much reduced geographically.
A masterplan for the development of St John's Wood was prepared in 1794 but development did not start until 1804 when Henry Samuel Eyre II (1770-1851) and Walpole Eyre (1773-1856) held their first auction. St John's Wood developed from the early 19th century onwards. One of the first developers was James Burton. It was among the first London suburbs with lower-density villa housing and frequent avenues, but fewer communal garden squares. Most of the villas have since been subdivided and replaced by small apartment blocks or terraces. This pattern of development has made it one of the most expensive areas of London.
It is an affluent neighbourhood, with the area postcode (NW8) ranked by Forbes magazine as the fifth most expensive in London, based on average home prices in 2007. According to a 2014 survey, St John's Wood tenants pay the highest average rent in London, at £1,889 per week.
The area is home to St. John's Wood Church Grounds, which contains the only nature reserve in the City of Westminster. Much of the neighbourhood is covered by a conservation area, a small part of which extends into neighbouring Camden.
St John's Wood is the location of Lord's Cricket Ground, home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), an international test cricket grounds known as the Home of Cricket on account of its role as the original headquarters of cricket. Lords opened in 1810, replacing Lord's Old Ground, also in St John’s Wood, which had been in operation since 1787 and which was subsequently redeveloped as Dorset Square.
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery was formerly based at St John's Wood Barracks. The regiment moved to Woolwich on 6 February 2012; the barracks has been demolished and the site developed as upmarket housing. Grove Road power station in Lodge Road was a former electricity generating station that operated from 1902 until its closure and demolition in 1969. It is now the site of two major high-voltage electricity sub-stations.
The area has various schools, both state and independent:
- 3 House Club
- Robinsfield Infant School
- Saint Christina's Primary School
- Barrow Hill Junior School
- George Eliot Primary School
- Harris Academy St John's Wood
- The American School in London
- Arnold House School
Places of worship
St John's Wood has a range of places of worship.
- Abbey Road Baptist Church
- St John's Wood Church (Church of England)
- St Mark's Church, Hamilton Terrace (Church of England)
- The Church of Our Lady (Roman Catholic)
Transport and locales
- Belsize Park to the north-east
- Hampstead to the north
- Kilburn to the north-west
- Lisson Grove to the south
- Maida Vale to the south-west
- Marylebone to the south
- Primrose Hill to the east
- Regent's Park to the south
- Swiss Cottage to the north
The nearest London Underground stations are St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage on the Jubilee line; Maida Vale, Marylebone and Warwick Avenue on the Bakerloo line; and Baker Street on Bakerloo line, Jubilee line, Hammersmith & City line, Metropolitan line and Circle line.
Commemorative blue plaques
- Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema OM (1836–1912), painter, at 44 Grove End Road
- Gilbert Bayes (1872–1953), sculptor, at 4 Greville Place
- Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819–1891), civil engineer, at 17 Hamilton Terrace
- Sir Thomas Beecham CH (1879–1961), conductor and impresario, at 31 Grove End Road
- George Frampton (1860–1928), sculptor, at 32 Queen's Grove
- William Powell Frith (1819–1909), painter, at 114 Clifton Hill
- Guy Gibson V.C. (1918–1944), pilot and leader of the Dam Busters, at 32 Aberdeen Place
- Thomas Hood (1799–1845), poet, at 28 Finchley Road
- Thomas Huxley (1825–1895), biologist, at 38 Marlborough Place
- Melanie Klein (1882–1960), psychoanalyst, at 42 Clifton Hill
Past and present residents
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- Michael Algar – musician and songwriter
- David Alliance, Baron Alliance – businessman and politician
- A. J. Ayer – philosopher, was born and grew up in the area
- Douglas Bader – distinguished World War II fighter pilot, was born there
- Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium – member of the Belgian royal family
- Chili Bouchier – actress
- Charles Bradlaugh – founder and first president of the National Secular Society lived at 20, Circus Road, house since demolished, now St John's Wood library
- Richard Branson – entrepreneur, founder of Virgin Group
- Sarah Burton – fashion designer
- James Caan – entrepreneur
- Christabel Cockerell – British painter
- Wayne Daniel – Middlesex and West Indian cricketer
- Jill Esmond – actress, first wife of Laurence Olivier
- Vanessa Feltz – broadcaster
- Andy Fletcher – musician (Depeche Mode)
- Ugo Foscolo - writer
- Leonard N. Fowles – organist/composer
- Lucian Freud – artist
- Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau – member of the Dutch Royal Family (Wellington Hospital)
- Noel Gallagher – musician and songwriter
- Sidney Frank Godley VC – soldier, school caretaker
- Avram Grant – football manager
- Daphne Guinness – socialite
- Tony Hicks – musician
- Rihanna lived her for 12 months
- Stephen Hough – concert pianist
- Eric Idle – actor and comedian
- Andy Irvine – child actor and folk musician
- Kia Joorabchian – businessman
- Nigel Kennedy – violinist
- Imran Khan – cricketer, and Pakistani politician and current prime minister
- Lillie Langtry – actress
- John Lawford – Royal Navy officer
- Damian Lewis – actor
- Sir John Major – former prime minister
- Terry Manning – music producer
- Stella Margetson – novelist and author
- Sir Paul McCartney – musician
- Ewan McGregor – actor
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers – actor
- Sir Jonathan Miller – writer, opera director, physiologist and sculptor
- Kate Moss – model
- Elisabeth Murdoch – businesswoman and daughter of Rupert Murdoch
- Alex Prior – singer/composer
- Keith Richards – rock musician and songwriter of The Rolling Stones lived on Carlton Hill in the 1960s.
- Nicolas Roeg - director and cinematographer
- Mark Ronson – musician, DJ, singer, and record producer
- Georgina Castle Smith – children's writer
- Mel Smith – comedian, actor, film director
- Gregg Sulkin – actor
- Sachin Tendulkar – cricketer
- James Tissot – French painter and illustrator; sold his house at 17 (now 44) Grove End Road to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
- Norman Shanks Kerr – physician
- Jihadi John – British Islamic extremist
- John Weston – cricketer
- Clarissa Dickson Wright – chef
- Dornford Yates (1885–1960), English novelist, real name Cecil William Mercer, at Elm Tree Road
St John's Wood in literature, music and television
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- Henstridge Place and Woronzow Road London NW8 featured in the “Give Us This Day Arthur Daley’s Bread” episode of the popular U.K. television series Minder.
- Count and Countess Fosco live at No. 5 Forest Road, St. John's Wood in Wilkie Collins's 1859 sensation novel The Woman in White.
- Irene Adler lives there (in Briony Lodge on Serpentine Avenue) in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1891 Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia".
- In the first instalment of John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga, The Man of Property (1906), Young Jolyon lives on fictional Wistaria Avenue with his second wife and family.
- St John's Wood is the home of fictional characters Bingo and Rosie Little in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster short stories and novels, written from the early 1920s onward.
- Referenced in the Rolling Stones song, "Play with Fire", released in 1965.
- The protagonist of J.G. Ballard's novel Millennium People (2003), is a psychologist who lives in St. John's Wood, which he abandons to join a middle-class rebellion.
- Appears in two books by Howard Jacobson, as the setting for his 2004 book The Making of Henry, followed in his 2010 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Finkler Question as the planned location for the Museum of Anglo-Jewish Culture.
- Violet Hill, a street and area off Abbey Road with Violet Hill Gardens and Violet Hill Hospital, is the source of the name in Coldplay's 2008 song "Violet Hill".
- Due to the conveniently close location to Elstree Studios, (just over 10 miles), St John's Wood was used extensively for location shooting for many of the ITC adventure shows of the 1960s and 1970s, including The Saint (TV series), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), The Persuaders! and Return of the Saint.
- Duran Duran’s video for their first single "Planet Earth" was shot at St. Johns Wood with Russell Mulcahy in December 1980.
- It is noted in Robbie William's Christmas album song,' Idlewild'. He had 'never been to St John's Wood'.
- "Camden Council: St John's Wood (East and West) conservation area appraisal and management strategy at 1.1 measures "3.83 hectares" otherwise the area is in Westminster and at 5.3 "Eyre's estate" [approximately equal in size] measured 500 acres". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Westminster Council: St John's Wood Conservation Area Appraisal: 3.6 Sale of land in St John's Wood by the Crown began in the early 18th century. Henry Samuel Eyre acquired the largest portion in 1732: a 500 acre estate that stretched roughly from what is now Rossmore Road to Swiss Cottage, bounded by Hamilton Terrace to the west and Avenue Road to the east" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Vol. 3 "JOHN'S WOOD (ST.)", p.1067, 1870-72, John Marius Wilson archived
- Galinou, Mireille. (2010). Cottages and villas : the birth of the garden suburb. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-300-16726-9. OCLC 639574771.
- Galinou (2010). Yale. pp. 61 & 88. Missing or empty
- "Celebrating the birth in July 1761 of James Burton, the founder of St Leonards-on-Sea and builder-developer in Bloomsbury". Victoria County History. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- Elrington, C R (Editor); Baker, T F T; Bolton, Diane K; Croot, Patricia E C, "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, p.60–63" British-History.ac.uk, 1989. Retrieved 24 January 2011
- "U.K.'s Most Expensive Postcodes". Forbes. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Sherwood, Bob (7 April 2010). "Affluent enclave sitting on political front line". Financial Times.
- "In Pictures: London's Most Expensive Postcodes". Forbes.
- Prudence Ivey (20 November 2014). "St John's Wood tenants pay the highest rent in London - Hampstead & Highgate Property". Hamhigh.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "Lord's". Cricinfo. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- Ross Lydall (6 February 2012). "Final salute: St John's Wood bids farewell to the King's Troop after two centuries – UK – News". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "St. John's Wood LPN Regional Development Plan" (PDF). UK Power Networks. 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
- Plaque detail at English Heritage
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- Anthony Quinton. "ALFRED JULES AYER". Ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "St. John's Wood". Cwhr.co.uk.
- Prudence Ivey (10 November 2014). "For sale: Monty Python star Eric Idle's St John's Wood house - Hampstead & Highgate Property". Hamhigh.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- O'Toole, Leagues (2006). The Humours of Planxty. Ireland: Hodder Headline. ISBN 0-340-83796-9.
- Fusion Advertising & Design. "Area Guide to St John's Wood – Property guide to St John's Wood from". ludlowthompson.com. Retrieved 25 May 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Jonathan Prynn (15 October 2014). "Rupert Murdoch's daughter buys home in St John's Wood for £38.5m after split from husband Matthew Freud". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- Detailed in Richards' 2010 autobiography, "Life"
Media related to St. John's Wood at Wikimedia Commons