History of Harley Street

Harley Street began, as the name suggests, with a man called Harley, Edward Harley. He was a man of means, having married Henrietta Cavendish Holes, daughter of the late Duke of Newcastle and heiress to an estate that included Marylebone, then a small village on the banks of the River. In 1719, the couple decided to spend their fortune on turning this land into a grand grid of buildings, including a north-south street that would carry their name.

Edward, who died in 1741, didn’t live to see much progress made on Harley Street. Work eventually began at the southern end, with the street first rated in 1753, and the opening of Marylebone Road in 1756 provided impetus to its steady progress north. By the time Richard Horwood completed his map of London in 1790s, Harley Street (or Upper Harley Street, as the top section was once designated) fell just tantalisingly short of Marylebone Road. It was completed in the 1820s.

 

While beautifully proportioned, Harley Street lacked the grandeur of some other parts of the estate, and its modest townhouses attracted professionals rather than aristocrats scientists, politicians, military officers, artists. Medical men began arriving in the mid-19th century. By the 1860s there were a dozen or so doctors. By 1873 there were 36. After that, the numbers increased rapidly. The building stock was ideal attractive but affordable, with space for a consulting room on the ground floor and a spacious family home upstairs. In the early years of the 20th century, as Marylebone became more urbanised and transport links more efficient, doctors chose to live in the leafier parts of town rather than setting up home above the surgery. This led to the development of multiple tenancies, with entire buildings being converted into consulting rooms. The north end of the street remains almost entirely Georgian, its narrow, elegant townhouses blessed with beautiful detailing: cast-iron balconies, arched doorways, vast first-floor windows. The southern half is dotted with more flamboyant Victorian and Edwardian styles notably the Tudor gothic of number 51, dating from 1894, and the beaux-arts stylings of number 37 as well as a few unloved 1970s constructions.

 

In the early part of the 20th century, Marylebone became more urbanised and transport links more efficient, doctors chose to live in the leafier parts of town rather than setting up home above their surgery. This led to the development of multiple tenancies, with entire buildings being converted into consulting rooms.
 
Many famous people have lived or practised in Harley Street, including the Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone and the artist J. M. W. Turner. Queen’s College, founded in 1848 and one of the oldest girls’ schools in England is situated on Harley Street.
 

Florence Nightingale was arguably the most famous occupant in Harley Street when in 1853 she was appointed the superintendent of the Institution for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen at Number 1 Upper Harley Street (renamed the Hospital for Invalid Gentlewomen in 1903).

 

Today Harley Street is part of the Howard de Walden Estate and remains inextricably linked to high-quality private medicine and private therapies, offering superlative healthcare famous around the world.

 

Nowadays, Harley Street is renowned globally for being a hub of medical and healing excellence and innovation. The Harley Street Wellbeing Clinic is no exception, offering cutting edge treatments. 

Inspired by historical figures who once worked down Harley Street, the Harley Street Wellbeing Clinic aims to provide phenomenal care for all clients. We are driven to remain at the forefront of our field, continually educating ourselves and researching pioneering treatments to help our clients of all ages. 

 

 

 

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