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Gerrard Street
00 Gerrard Street sign.jpg
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Adrian  Gerrard Street given it's own page


Jon F  Looks like one of Prince Charles' "spider" letters to the PM.


Jon F  Does anyone remember the film " A touch of class" where the love nest was in Gerrard St? All shot on location too.


3 Gerrard Street 1967
3 Gerrard Street 1967.jpg
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Adrian  This was the Dumpling Inn


Jeff Dexter  Wrong corner for the Dumpling Inn Adrian, as it was at the corner of Macclesfield Street.


Adrian Stern  I think you'll find I'm right this time Jeff. Can't remember how many times I ate there and went past so many more.


Jeff Dexter  Dumpling Inn 15A Gerrard Street W1 GERrard 2567


9 Gerrard Street 1958
9 Gerrard Street 1958.jpg
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16-18 Gerrard Street 1946
16-18 Gerrard Street 1946.jpg
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21 Gerrard Street 1959 - The White Monkey
21 Gerrard Street 1959 - The White Monkey.jpg
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Roy Deverell  Isn't that the Legrain coffee house in Gerrard St., just off lower Wardour St.?
It was very similar to the Valerie only smaller and more intimate.
Thanks for this new addition.


Adrian  I think that is the view towards Wardour St as you can just see the Algerian Stores window on the right. I think this was before my time - can you hazard a guess at the year?


Inspector Clouzot  I can see what you're saying, Adrian, but, no, that is lower Wardour St in the background. There was always a continental newsagent in Old Compton St where the two women are and never, as far as I know, a barber shop at the end of the street. The Legrain was in Gerrard St. Haven't a clue when this was taken.


Adrian  Begad sir! You're damned right! Well spotted. And you're right about there never having been a barber shop on the North corner of Old Comprin St/Wardour St of course.


georgie skeggs  Let tidy this up a bit ---this view looks west along Gerrard St towards lower Wardour St . At the far end you can see a neon sign, in the window of the old Regent Shoe Shop who also had another shop next door .the first floor of this premises turned into the 'Whiskey A Go Go, nd much later the Wag Club. Sqoushed inbetween the two shoe shops waswas a door which lead to (mingo) The Flamingo Club . On the facing corner of Gerrald street is the amusement archcade. Picture is from 1960 I guess.


georgie skeggs  Sorry folks about the spellings and grammar in the last comment. I had to rush it as my web connection was about to shut down, and , finally it did!!! I hope the comment was understanable anyway..


22 Gerrard Street 1830
22 Gerrard Street 1830.jpg
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27-29 Gerrard Street 1941
Built between 1680 and 1783
27-29 Gerrard Street 1941 - 1783, 1680.jpg
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30-31 Gerrard Street 1964
Built between 1683 and 1778
30-31 Gerrard Street 1964 - 1778 & 1683.jpg
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Bass  Would like to discover more information about the club. It ran from approx early 50s to late 60s.


Christine Bassett  La Cave wine club, run by 'Georgie' Nicolas.


The front picture of the invitation
Christine's mother and stepfather, known to all as 'George'. He was very well known in Soho and knew so many of the club and restaurant owners.
30 Gerrard Street 1954 - La Cave  Georgie and Gilda.jpg
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Adrian Stern  Got these great pictures from Christine!


Invitation to the year-end festivities 1954
Christine tells us the club was there from the early 50s to late 60s. The owner was her stepfather who actually came to an infamous end. Tell us more Christine!
30 Gerrard Street 1954 - La Cave invitation.jpg
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Christine Bassett  No secret since it was all over the papers at the time. He killed his third wife (not my mother!) and then himself. I still cannot come to terms with it being the man I knew so well as kind, generous, cheerful and a great host.


32-33 Gerrard Street - Gerard House
Pictured around mid 19th Century .jpg
32-33 Gerrard Street mid 19thC - Gerard House.jpg
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32-33 Gerrard Street 1887 - Gerard House
32-33 Gerrard Street 1887 - Gerard House.jpg
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32-35 Gerrard Street 1908 - National Telephone Company Exchange
Built between 1905 and 1907
32-35 Gerrard Street 1908 - National Telephone Company Exchange.jpg
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36 Gerrard Street 1958
Built 1737
36 Gerrard Street 1958 - 1737.jpg
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36-41 Gerrard Street 1958
36 to 39 Built in 1737, 40 in 1799 and 41 circa1683
36-41 Gerrard Street 1958.jpg
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39 Gerrard Street 1959 October 31 - Ronnie Scotts
39 Gerrard Street 1959 October 31 -  Ronnie Scotts.jpg
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43 Gerrard Street 1940 - Gay club
43 Gerrard Street 1940 - Gay club.jpg
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Jon F  Given the illegality of the clientele before the change in the law, there must have been substantial police "understanding " at West End Central cop shop


Gerrard Streeet 1965 - View looking west
Gerrard Streeet 1965 - View looking west.jpg. Click on the picture to enlarge

The earliest known building lease in Gerrard Street was granted by Barbon in 1678 for a term of fifty-one years. It was granted to William Gillingham of St. Margaret's, Westminster, bricklayer, for the sites of the modern Nos. 15 and 16. Another was granted in 1679 for fifty-eight years to John Shales for one of the two houses which he built on the site of the present Nos. 3639. As a partial payment for work which he had done on the 'greate' house, Barbon let the fifth house from the east end (on the site of No. 44?) to William Stephens for fifty-one years from Michaelmas 1680. The house on the south corner, where No. 30 Wardour Street now stands, was let in 1681to John Stephens, gentleman, for fifty-one years. In 1682 Gerard House (on the south side) was let to Lord 'Macclesfield by Barbon and four houses on the north side were granted from Michaelmas of that year. Another lease, for a corner house, was granted in partial payment to Thomas Young, carver, and Thomas Streeter, painter, in January 1683/4; this house was still, in December 1684, 'nothing but bare Walles and not fully Tyled in'.

The house on the site of No. 21 was probably finished about 1685 and was let to Samuel Hunt of St. Anne's, carpenter. Finally, George Capell was said to have built the former Nos. 5 and 6 Gerrard Street and Joseph Ward, carpenter, built a house on the site of No. 43.

From this evidence the building of Gerrard Street appears to have been spread over the period 1677 to 1685; the surviving ratebooks suggest that most of the houses were finished at the end of this period, but that the street was not fully occupied until after 1685. There are seventeen names under Gerrard Street in 1684, thirty-nine in 1685 and forty-eight in 1691.

The appearance of the original street can be deduced from the evidence of drawings and photographs of houses which have been demolished (e.g., Nos. 28, 29, 43 and Gerard House, and from the surviving houses which, although much altered, seem to date from the 1680's (Nos. 1012, 31, 41 and 47). At all these last six it is necessary to step down when entering the passage, an indication of how much the street level has risen since they were built.

The original buildings were, almost certainly without exception, three-storeyed houses with garrets. The finishing of the interiors with wainscot panelling, as recently existing at No. 41, was common, probably, to all. The 'greate' house was so finished, and so, too, was the original house at No. 21. An inventory of the latter, dated 1686, shows that all three floors were wainscoted and painted, and that the two garrets were partially wainscoted. All the fireplaces had painted chimneypieces, firestone and marble hearths, and were set with 'galley' tiles. At the rear of the house was the kitchen and a 'Lardery', the former fitted with a buttery and supplied by a pump with New River water.

The regularity of the street, achieved by matching storey heights, was broken by the width of the house plots, which varied from about eighteen feet (e.g., Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 16) to over sixty feet (one of the houses on the site ofNos. 36 39). The largest houses, and therefore the best patronized, were on the south side, opposite Macclesfield Street; all the plots on this side were a little over sixty feet in depth and most of the gardens were contiguous to the garden of Leicester House. Only on the north side, where there was access to the mews, did some houses haveattached stables at the rear, although consequently the yards and gardens were shorter. There were, however, two very large houses on the north side at the east end, Lady Wiseman's (No. 9) and the Earl of Devonshire's further east.

A number of the early inhabitants of the large houses in Gerrard Street were prominent in political affairs, and several were chosen to supervise the building of the parish church. From the first, however, the population was mixed, the meaner houses on the north side of the street and at the corners attracting tavern-keepers and tradespeople, several of the latter becoming suppliers to the royal household at Leicester House.

Gerrard Street's chief distinction was Dryden's occupation of a house on the south side, which, by mistaken identity, preserved the house next to the one in which he actually lived. Other men of letters associated with the street include Dr. Johnson and the other members of The Club, and in more recent times, G. K. Chesterton and HilaireBelloc, who dined in a small restaurant in Gerrard Street at their first meeting.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many artists lived in Gerrard Street, and there was also from an early period a number of metal workers and jewellers (the most notable being Paul de Lamerie), who in the nineteenth century were superseded by engravers and electro-plate workers. Many of the buildings are now used as shops, offices, clubs, restaurants and 'clipjoints'.

Notable inhabitants of Gerrard Street who occupied houses not described in the following pages are listed here:

Other occupants whose lodgings cannot be assigned to particular houses include:

Some artists whose addresses are given as being in Gerrard Street in exhibition catalogues, but whose names do not appear in the ratebooks, are listed below, with the years in which they exhibited:

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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