Marylebone High Street – A Haven In The Frantic City

The street is about one-half mile long, two lanes across, and has been the grounding of Marylebone Village since 1400 when St. Marylebone Parish Church and Marylebone Gardens three hundred years later, on the west and east sides of the head of the street, offered the best of religious and secular features of life in Marylebone. Six hundred years is an extensive claim on history and few streets can claim a continuous importance in the lives of its residents as can Marylebone High Street.

Over 8 million people call London home. Of them, the listeners of BBC Radio praised Marylebone High Street as their choice as a “haven in the middle of the frantic city.” High praise, indeed. It is well deserved.

Since the street and the village owe their names to St. Marylebone Parish, it is fitting to begin its praise there, where Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was baptized and married (though not in the building that graces the plot of land today). Two hundred years later, in a re-constructed parish on the site, Charles Wesley lived, worked and wrote music for the parish. In the same eighteenth century, Admiral Nelson and family worshipped there. Lord Byron was baptized there late in the century. A new parish on the site began the nineteenth century with the marriage of poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett solemnized in mid-century. Alterations to the present parish were outfitted late in the nineteenth century.

Two hundred years earlier, the east side of Marylebone High Street saw Marylebone Gardens begin the secular excellence of village life, making a complete circle of influence the revered lifestyle of residents to this day. Here, musical concerts, dramatic theater and leisurely strolls through the grounds marked and married the culture of Marylebone villagers at the head of Marylebone High Street.

Unfortunately, Marylebone Gardens did not survive the century, built over as commerce overtook the necessities of life, although news and entertainment was still the order of the day as the original site of the BBC London until 2009 when the organization moved just a little south to its present, opulent headquarters, still in Marylebone.

The balance of High Street south from the head of the street offers charming shops, restaurants and taverns to cater to the continued high culture for which Marylebone has always been praised and proud.

The majority of the buildings on the street date from the very beginning of the 20th century, but with facelifts to make the street modern yet nostalgic as residents and visitors stroll up and down shopping, visiting, enjoying a leisure stroll or conducting their business affairs in an atmosphere called a haven by jealous visitors and proud residents.

With a harkening to the old forest of trees that once graced the land on northeastern Marylebone High Street where the Gardens were once established, the village contributed to the memory and the current effort to Re:Leaf London.

Over 600 trees were planted from 2009 to 2013 all over Marylebone, including in Marylebone High Street. A haven must have trees, after all.

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