Jason Court, W1U
Jason Court W1
Credit: The Underground Map
Jason Court was part of the ancient village of Marylebone.

The court runs into Marylebone Lane. A stroll along its twisting course will at once reveal a complete contrast with to the symmetrical layout of the surrounding streets. This very distinctly indicates that it was once nothing more than a pathway along the side of the Tyburn Brook providing an access route to the village, clustered around the parish church of St Mary. Indeed it is the Tyburn which gives the area part of its name.

In the middle ages when this was a suburb village, surrounded by fields and well outside the commercial city, a small church, dedicated to St John, was built on the site where Marble Arch now stands. Almost on its doorstep stood the gallows. Served by the main road of Tyburn Way (Oxford Street) it was an easy location to reach and on execution days the area became choked with spectators, all straining to catch a glimpse of the noosed victims. As the crowds gathered, so did the thieves; there were rich pickings to be made from the densely packed throng preoccupied by the gory detail. By the early 15th century the villagers were at the end of their tether and decided to quit St John’s and establish themselves about half a mile up stream where they built a new church. To completely rid themselves of all association with Tyburn gallows they abandoned the title of St John and dedicated the new church to St Mary.

In those days, when outlying areas were small and local populations were insignificant, places were often identified by the title of the parish church. This area, therefore, came to be known as St Mary by the Bourne. Over the years ’Saint’ has been dropped and ’Mary by the Bourne’ has been corrupted to the present day Marylebone.

John’s Court became Jason Court.

There are a number of little byways in the vicinity of Marylebone Lane: Hind Mews, just north of Jason Court on the west side of the lane, and between Benting Street and Bulstrode Street on the east side is Benting Mews. Still further north on the east side of the lane is Bulstrode Place and a little further on is Cross Keys Close. To the east of Marylebone Lane on the north side of Wigmore Street is Easleys Mews. All are cul-de-sac walkways and provide additional evidence of the ancient origin of this locality.

return to article