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Les Enfants Terribles
Carlisle Street, London W1  
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6 Carlisle Street - Home to Private Eye
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7 Carlisle Street today
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7 Carlisle Street 1965 April
The Yardbirds; Chris Dreja, Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, Jeff Beck, Jim McCarty
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10-12 Carlisle Street - Carlisle House
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10-12 Carlisle Street 1941 May 11
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10-12 Carlisle Street 1941 May 11 a
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Carlisle Street - bomb map
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This street takes its name from the mansion which was built in the mid 1680's on part of the site of the present Nos. 10–12 Carlisle Street and which was occupied from 1725 to 1752 by the Countess of Carlisle.

The street was probably laid out in 1685 by Edward Roydon, turner, and Job Bickerton and William Webb, carpenters, all of St. Anne's parish, on a large plot of land on the west side of Dean Street leased to them by the assignees in bankruptcy of Benjamin Hinton, to whom Cadogan Thomas had mortgaged the property. The three developers held the property on a building lease of forty-eight years, subject to a peppercorn rent for the first year and an annual rent of £20 thereafter. Between May 1685 and June 1687 they erected in the new street, or in the area immediately adjoining, one large mansion (probably Carlisle House), two inns and thirteen smaller houses, all of which were described in June 1687 as being almost complete. Some of the working capital and building materials were provided by Philip Harman, Joseph Girle's son-in-law and executor. The houses first appear in the ratebooks in 1691 (the ratebooks tor 1686–90 being missing), when thirteen ratepayers' names arc listed, one for the large house (later Carlisle House) at the west end of the street and twelve for the smaller houses on either side.

The street was at first known by a variety of names. Ogilby and Morgan's map of 1681–2 calls it Marybone Street, the undated engraving reproduced on Plate 68b calls it Merry Andrew Street, whilst on Sutton Nicholls's engraving it is called Denmark Street. Blome's map of 1686 describes the part east of Dean Street as King's Square Street and that to the west as King's Square Court, the latter being the name used in the ratebooks in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries for both parts of the street. The name Carlisle Street was first used in the ratebooks in 1745 to denote the eastern part only, but the rate collectors continued to describe the western part as King's Square Court until 1837. Honvood's map of 1792–9 marks both parts as Carlisle Street.

In 1720 Strype described the eastern part as 'a short Street, called King's-Square Street, of small Account', and the western part as 'a handsome broad Court fronting Kings-Square; 'tis a Place well built and inhabited, and hath one very large House, which takes up all the West End or Front'. The eastern part, between Soho Square and Dean Street, contained only the back and side premises and stables of the two corner houses in Soho Square (Nos. 37 and 38). There were no separate dwellings in this part of Carlisle Street until the mid 1730's, when two houses were built on the north side of the street, on part of the site of the original No. 38 Soho Square.

The most prominent feature of the street from its earliest days was the mansion (later known as Carlisle House) built at its western end and facing eastwards down the street, with a façade which provided the vista from Soho Square with an impressive terminal feature. It was probably because of their proximity to this house and to other neighbouring mansions in Soho Square that the comparatively small houses in the street remained well inhabited with a few titled residents and military officers until the third quarter of the eighteenth century.

Thereafter the street declined in fashion. In 1763–4 Carlisle House ceased to be a private residence and was turned into a fencing school. Some of the other houses were occupied by artists and musicians, of whom the most prominent are listed below. In the nineteenth century this artistic element persisted, notably amongst the occupants of Carlisle House, but after 1850 the majority of the inhabitants were craftsmen and tradespeople. Three of the original late seventeenth-century houses in the street (Nos. 4–6) still stand, much altered, and on the north side Nos. 16, 17 and 19 survive from the eighteenth century.

Notable Inhabitants and Lodgers

Text extracted from British History Online, a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800.
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