An Introduction to Ramadan on Edgware Road

During Ramadan on Edgware Road there is a festive atmosphere from Marble Arch to the Marylebone Flyover. Ramadan (in Arabic رمضان), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, during which observers fast from sunrise to sunset to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. The length…

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What is the Reformers Tree?

The Reformers’ Tree is remembered by a beautiful mosaic on the eastern side of Hyde Park. The circular artwork made from black and white pebbles supposedly marks the spot where the original oak tree once stood, at the convergence of nine different footpaths through the Royal Park. In a park full of trees, why was this…

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What Octavia Hill Did For Marylebone

If the name Octavia Hill does not sound familiar to you, her legacy certainly will. Co-founder of the National Trust, Hill pioneered a model of social housing still in use today. It all started with three unassuming cottages, just minutes from Marble Arch. Although born in Cambridgeshire in 1838, adult Octavia Hill called Marylebone home.…

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Visit The Annunciation Church Marble Arch

The Annunciation sits quietly behind Oxford Street. Shoppers might never know it was there. Yet this cavernous, dramatic Grade II listed church is unmissable from the moment you enter Bryanston Street from Great Cumberland Place. The site The Annunciation sits on has been home to a place of worship since the late eighteenth century. Reportedly a…

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The History of Speakers Corner

On the north-eastern edge of Hyde Park, a stone’s throw from Marble Arch, is Speakers’ Corner. One of the best known locations for public speaking and debate in the world, the premise is simple: anybody can turn up and talk on any subject they like, as long as it is lawful. With Marble Arch tube station…

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The Eliots of Crawford Mansions

A green Westminster plaque marks where the Eliots of Crawford Mansions lived on Homer Row. American born poet and playwright T.S. Eliot moved into 18 Crawford Mansions with his wife, Vivienne, in March 1916, shortly after the publication of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, the poem that made him famous. An enviable location…

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Memories of the Metropolitan Theatre

The Metropolitan Theatre, affectionately known as ‘The Met’, once entertained London from 267 Edgware Road. It had long been a site of leisure and entertainment. From 1524 there was the White Lion pub, which made way for Turnham’s Grand Concert Hall in 1836. Then in 1862 it was rebuilt again as the Metropolitan Music Hall. In 1897,…

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The Cinematic History of Edgware Road

These days, London’s film central is Leicester Square. But back at the start of the 20th century, Edgware Road was pioneering when it came to picture houses and continued to innovate right up to modern times. Here’s a look back at the cinematic history of Edgware Road. “Recreations” Cinematograph Theatre, 1909-64 The “Recreations Theatre” was the…

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The Green Wall of Edgware Road

Have you admired the Green Wall of Edgware Road? It’s 200 sq m of sustainable living wall on the side of Edgware Road Bakerloo Line station. Funded by the London Clean Air Fund, the eye-catching greenery was installed in 2011 as “just one of a range of innovative and targeted measures … introduced by the Mayor, Boris…

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Danse Gwenedour at Marble Arch

Saturday 11 March 2017 saw the official unveiling of Danse Gwenedour at Marble Arch, as part of Westminster’s City of Sculpture series. Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL was joined by contemporary British sculptor Bushra Fakhoury to unveil the latest piece of public art at Marble Arch. Bushra Fakhoury described how Danse Gwenedour depicts the human…

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Who Was Wallenberg?

Have you ever passed the pensive statue next to the Montcalm Hotel on Great Cumberland Place and wondered who was Wallenberg? Walk around the monument and you’ll find out. The inscription reads: “Wallenberg’s bravery helped save the lives of as many as 100,000 men, women and children, destined for the death camps only because they were…

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There’s a Forest Under the Flyover

Have you noticed the Forest under the Flyover? The space beneath the Marylebone Flyover was brightened and lightened up in 2016 by a virtual forestscape stencilled to the underside of the imposing structure. Entrepreneur, innovator, artist and maker Manou Bendon was commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) to create the surprising piece of public art in the midst…

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A Vintage Aerial View of Edgware Road and Marble Arch

This vintage aerial view of Edgware Road and Marble Arch was published as a postcard by Aircraft Manufacturing Co (Airco) sometime between 1918-1920. But the image is older. Peter Berthoud, who obtained the postcard, did some detective work and concludes that the photograph was taken circa 1913. Take a closer look at the picture and…

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Track Down 17 Colourful Versions of Marble Arch

Where can you track down 17 colourful versions of Marble Arch? On the platforms at Marble Arch Underground station where the gleaming white marble of the Triumphal Arch upstairs has been replaced with bright colours and bold patterns. There are 17 different murals in total, offering dizzying permutations of the Grade I listed monument, punctuated by station…

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Dancing Lessons in Connaught Square

Once upon a time, one could take dancing lessons in Connaught Square and learn how to curtsey like a pro with one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. A blue plaque marks the Georgian Townhouse where Marie Taglioni, one of the most famous ballerinas of the nineteenth century and arguably one of the most…

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Jimi Hendrix Stayed at the Cumberland Hotel

Jimi Hendrix stayed at the Cumberland Hotel on numerous occasions. It was there that he gave his final interview to Keith Altham for the NME on 11 September 1970, six days before he was found dead of an overdose in an apartment in Notting Hill. He was just 27. Jimi Hendrix’s last address is recorded as The…

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John Betjeman Wrote a Poem About Marble Arch

In 1968, Sir John Betjeman wrote a poem about Marble Arch and recited it from the monument’s roof in BBC documentary, Contrasts: Marble Arch to Edgware. John Betjeman (1906-1984) was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death. When his Collected Poems came out in 1958 they made publishing history and have since sold over two…

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The History of Marks & Spencer Edgware Road

We came across the M&S Company Archive Twitter feed and found an incredible photo of Marks & Spencer Edgware Road from 1912. Subsequently, the company archivist kindly sent us more photos and these lovely stories about the history of the Edgware Road store.  The Penny Bazaar opened at 228 Edgware Road on 1 December 1912, covering…

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Knighthood for Architect of The Edison, David Adjaye

The New Year’s Honours List 2017 announced a Knighthood for Architect of The Edison, David Adjaye. Sir David Adjaye OBE and his international architectural practice, Adjaye Associates, are based at The Edison, 223 Old Marylebone Road. Among his many architectural achievements are the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, the…

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A Closer Look at Marble Arch and its Sculpture

Have you ever taken a closer look at Marble Arch and its sculpture and wondered what it all means and what’s it made of? Read on for a detailed tour of all its features.  The whole Arch is clad in Ravaccione, a grey/white type of Carrara marble from Italy. This was the first time marble…

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Where Can You Find Marble Arch Sculptures Around London?

Some sculptures originally intended for the Arch ended up decorating other buildings in the capital. So, where can you find Marble Arch sculptures around London?  When John Nash was sacked from the Marble Arch project for overspending, replacement architect Edward Blore completed the Arch in a practical fashion, leaving off much of the elaborate decoration that…

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What Marble Arch Might Have Looked Like

Ever wondered what Marble Arch might have looked like if George IV had lived a little longer? John Nash (1752-1835) was the favoured architect of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. Under George’s auspices Nash designed and planned such landmarks as The Regent’s Park, Regent Street, Carlton House Terrace, much of Buckingham Palace and…

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What Is A Tyburn Poem?

What is a Tyburn poem? It is a six line format consisting of 2.2.2.2.9.9. syllables. The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last two lines rhyme and incorporate the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines as the 5th and 8th syllables. The Restoration of the Tyburn Stone plaque on 2 October…

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In Praise of the Marylebone Flyover, and What Lies Beneath

Inspired by wonderful pictures from Transport for London’s archive, we wrote this blog In Praise of the Marylebone Flyover, and What Lies Beneath. Assuming a commanding position across Edgware Road the Marylebone Flyover was constructed as part of the Westway to relieve congestion and provide a direct route into Central London from the West Cross…

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Midnight Samra: Celebrating Edgware Road

In April 2014, Edgware Road Partnership teamed up with Masters Student Farida Alhusseini from Central Saint Martin’s to bring the exhibition Midnight Samra celebrating Edgware Road to Subway Gallery* in the underpass under the Marylebone Flyover. The exhibition captured thoughts and aspirations shared by communities wishing to see Edgware Road as a more inclusive space, and turned…

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Restoration Of The Tyburn Stone Plaque

The restoration of the Tyburn Stone plaque took place during the summer of 2014, 50 years on from its original installation and dedication. Edgware Road Partnership (the forerunner of Marble Arch BID) commissioned DBR (London) stone masons to undertake this delicate job, working closely with the Tyburn Convent and City of Westminster. Transport for London surrounded…

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Was Marble Arch Ever A Police Station?

Was Marble Arch ever a Police Station? The short answer is no but it was used by the Metropolitan police for over 50 years. It was never a fully functioning police station, i.e. a place to report crimes, a building with holding cells or interview rooms. This myth may have grown out of confusing Marble Arch with…

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Inside Edgware Road’s 1926 Signalling Cabin

In September 2016, Edgware Road’s 1926 Signalling Cabin was designated as an item of national historic interest by the Railway Heritage Designation Advisory Board. Built in 1926 and operated by the Metropolitan Railway – the world’s first underground railway and the predecessor to London Underground – the cabin’s technology is still in use. Its mechanical…

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Discover A Green Valley Off Edgware Road

Tucked just off Edgware Road, you will find Green Valley grocery shop, every inch of it rammed with ingredients and delicacies sought out by Arabic customers. There are fruits and vegetables – blushing pomegranates, feathery bunches of herbs, crisp miniature cucumbers, gourds and fresh dates. The olive and pickle section is vast – barrels brim…

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Look at Marble Arch in 1926

Take a look at Marble Arch in 1926 in this jaunty little film clip from Claude Friese-Greene’s ‘The Open Road’ originally filmed in 1925/6 and now re-edited and digitally restored by the BFI National Archive. It is shot from a vehicle driving along what was then known as East Carriage Road in Hyde Park (now the northbound carriageway of…

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The Tube Station Wrapped In An Artwork

The London Underground stop at Edgware Road (Circle Line) stop is a tube station wrapped in an artwork. Look up as you disembark from tube trains. Look back at the entrance as you exit and take a minute to walk round the side. The station is embraced and enlivened by a intricately patterned artwork, aptly…

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The Nomadic History Of The Tyburn Stone

The nomadic history of the Tyburn Stone tells of a way marker pointing travellers down the Edgware Road to Tyburn and its various homes.   Standing on a wooden pedestal in the slick modern entrance of one of the biggest hotels in London is an incongruous relic of the 18th century. The London Hilton Metropole on Edgware…

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Was Marble Arch Wide Enough For The Royal Coach?

Was Marble Arch wide enough for the Royal Coach? It is often said that Marble Arch was removed from Buckingham Palace because it was too narrow to accommodate Queen Victoria’s State Coach. In fact, Queen Victoria’s coronation procession passed easily through the Arch as it left Buckingham Palace on its way to Westminster Abbey in…

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