Albemarle Street is a street in the heart of Mayfair in central London, off Piccadilly, just five minutes away from Green Park underground station.
Albemarle Street was the first one way street in London, aimed at getting traffic flowing better and has historic associations with Lord Byron.Albemarle Street is best known for its art galleries. It is a host to such well known galleries like Albemarle Gallery , which represents contemporary paintings and sculptures from around the world, with a tradition to support controversial artists and create superbly presented exhibitions. As well as, Belgravia Gallery, this is a home to the finest collection of Royal Art. A welcoming and informal gallery constantly showcasing works of outstanding artists.
Nestled in the heart of London’s luxurious Mayfair, Albemarle Street boasts a rich historical precedence that dates back centuries. This prestigious address was nurtured to life in the late 1600s by a group of property developers led by Sir Thomas Bond. The street’s name derives from Christopher Monk, the second Duke of Albemarle, who sold his newly purchased mansion to Bond and his associates to alleviate rising debts. This defining acquisition opened the gates to a flourishing development of estates that attracted a stream of affluent residents.
One such inhabitant relocated to number 50 in 1812, a former marine by the name of John Murray, who succeeded in establishing one of Britain’s most celebrated publishing houses. Working with such pioneering authors as Jane Austen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and famously becoming a close friend to Lord Byron, Albemarle Street’s literary affair had got off to an illustrious start. Meanwhile at the opposite end of the avenue, an elite assembly of scientists including Henry Cavendish and Sir Thomas Bernard were busy founding the Royal Institution of Great Britain at the turn of the 19th century. Focusing on advanced research and renowned for its hugely popular lectures, headed by Sir Humphrey Davy and later Michael Faraday, the institute became a thriving hub of activity, still preserving its leading status to this day. The increase in traffic caused by the centre’s popularity triggered the decision to make the bustling thoroughfare London’s very first one way street.
Albemarle’s story continues with the joining of eleven Georgian townhouses in 1837, resulting, allegedly, in the formation of the city’s first ever hotel. Brown’s remains a heavyweight in London’s hospitality circuit, renowned as the site from which Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call in the UK, inspiring Agatha Christie’s thriller, ‘At Bertram’s Hotel,’ and generally hosting an array of distinguished guests throughout the years. Well acquainted with prominent figures, Albemarle Street brought several aspiring artists, writers and intellectuals together with the creation of the Albemarle Club in 1874. Deemed progressive at the time, due in part to its acceptance of female members, this creative hive became notorious for its involvement in Oscar Wilde’s case of failed libel action, leading to his two year term of imprisonment. Whilst the heady heydays of 19th century city living are a thing of the past, the faded stones still remain, bearing the footsteps of a new generation of visitors and residents inspired by the current art galleries, boutiques and museums that strive to retain the street’s abundant heritage and keep its effervescent spirit alive.
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Published: Sat 22nd Dec 2018 09:00 AM
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