Print-friendly version of this page Down StreetMayfair (originally called The May Fair) is an area of central London, by the east edge of Hyde Park. Mayfair boasts some of the capital's most exclusive property of all types.
, also known as Down Street
(Mayfair), is a disused station on the London Underground, located in Mayfair.
It was opened in 1907 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly
and Brompton Railway. It was latterly served by the Piccadilly
line and was situated between Dover Street
(now named Green Park
) and Hyde Park Corner
The station was little used and trains often passed through it without stopping. Its lack of patronage coupled with its proximity to other stations resulted in its closure in 1932. During the Second World War it was used as a bunker by prime minister Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet. The station building survives today and is close to Down Street
’s junction with Piccadilly
. Part of it is now converted to a retail outlet.
Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market
today. In 1764, the May Fair was banned at Shepherd Market
because the well-to-do residents of the area disliked the fair's disorderliness, and it moved to Fair Field in Bow in the East End of London.
The district is now mainly commercial, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporations headquarters, embassies and also hedge funds and real estate businesses. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some exclusive shopping and London's largest concentration of luxury hotels and many restaurants. Rents are among the highest in London and the world.
The freehold of a large section of Mayfair also belongs to the Crown Estate.
The renown and prestige of Mayfair could have grown in the popular mind because it is the most expensive property on the British Monopoly set. Victor Watson, the head of Waddingtons at the time, and his secretary Marjory Phillips, chose the London place names for the British version — Ms Phillips apparently went for a walk around London to choose suitable sites.