Baker Street, W1U

Road in/near Marylebone, existing between 1755 and now

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Road · Marylebone · W1U ·
July
6
2012

Baker Street was laid out in the 18th century by the builder William Baker, after whom it is named.


Baker Street, in the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster, stands on the Portman Estate – in 1553 Sir William Portman bought nearly 300 acres of land in the area; 200 years later development of the Portman estate began. William Baker, a "Gentleman of Marylebone", leased land from the Portman Estate, and laid out the street in 1755.

The street is most famous for its connection to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who lived at a fictional 221B Baker Street address in the northern (NW1) end of the street. The area is now mainly occupied by commercial premises, having been residential.

Running south from Marylebone Road, the W1 section of Baker Street runs through Portman Square and Wigmore Street. After Portman Square the road continues as Orchard Street.

In 1940 the headquarters of the Special Operations Executive moved to 64 Baker Street, they were often called the "Baker Street Irregulars" after Sherlock Holmes’ gang of street urchins of the same name.

The Beatles’ Apple Boutique was based at 94 Baker Street from 1967 to 1968.

For many years the head office of Marks & Spencer, formerly the United Kingdom’s largest retailer, was at "Michael House" (named in parallel with the group’s "St Michael" brand), 55 Baker Street, until the company relocated to the Paddington Basin in 2004. This was one of the best known corporate buildings in the United Kingdom, and has since been redeveloped as a modern office complex.

A London County Council blue plaque commemorates Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger who lived at 120 Baker Street from 1803 to 1804. British singer Dusty Springfield lived on Baker Street in the 1960s.

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Marylebone

Marylebone - so good they named it once but pronounced it seven different ways.

Marylebone is an area in the City of Westminster North of Oxford Street and South of Regents Park. Edgware Road forms the Western boundary. Portland Place forms the eastern boundary with the area known as Fitzrovia.

Marylebone gets its name from a church, called St Mary's, that was built on the bank of a small stream or bourne called the Tyburn. The church and the surrounding area later became known as St Mary at the bourne, which over time became shortened to its present form Marylebone.

Today the area is mostly residential with a stylish High Street. It is also notable for its Arab population on its far western border around Edgware Road.

Marylebone station, opened in 1899, is the youngest of London's mainline terminal stations, and also one of the smallest, having opened with half the number of platforms originally planned.

Originally the London terminus of the ill-fated Great Central Main Line, it now serves as the terminus of the Chiltern Main Line route.

The underground station is served by the Bakerloo Line, opening on 27 March 1907 by the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway under the name Great Central (following a change from the originally-intended name Lisson Grove). It was renamed Marylebone in 1917.
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