’ in general use.
is a major shopping street in the West End, linking Piccadilly
in the south to Oxford Street
in the north. It is the only street that runs all the way between the two.The two parts of the street have always had separate names - New Bond Street
and Old Bond Street
. A plan by the council to merge the two into a singular ’Bond Street
’ in the 1920s was rejected by locals.
The street was named after Sir Thomas Bond who led a syndicate of developers. They purchased a Piccadilly
mansion called Clarendon House
from the 2nd Duke of Albemarle in 1686, demolished the house and developed the area. At that time, the house backed onto open fields, known as Albemarle Ground.
New Bond Street
was laid out about 1700 during a second phase of construction of the syndicate’s development of the area and most of the building occurred in the 1720s on what was the Conduit Mead Estate.
In the 18th century, Bond Street
began to be popular with the upper classes. Shop owners began to let out their upper storeys for residents, attracting Jonathan Swift, William Pitt the Elder, Laurence Sterne and others. In 1784, Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, encouraged people to go to Bond Street
and consequently, the street became a retail area for the people of Mayfair. Lord Nelson stayed at lodgings in New Bond Street
between 1797 and 1798, and then again from 1811 to 1813.
By 1800, an upper-class group known as the ’Bond Street
Loungers’ had appeared, wearing expensive wigs and parading up and down Bond Street
. Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford, living in the street, was unhappy about the presence of the Bond Street
Loungers. In 1801 he had an altercation with several Loungers on his doorstep and then retreated upstairs, firing upon the crowd with his pistol.
During the 19th century, Bond Street
increased its reputation as a street for luxury shopping with early establishments of auctioneers and jewellers. Bond Street
has been mentioned in several works of literature - among them Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway
The Royal Arcade
, opened in 1879, links Old Bond Street
with Albemarle Street
and was originally proposed in 1864 as a longer link between Old Bond Street
and Regent Street
The street maintained its reputation for luxury shopping into the new millennium and has on occasion been regarded as the best retail location in Europe. It is a green square on the London version of the Monopoly game.