Hidden London

Jermyn Street

Latest addition
Index of places
Clickable map
About this site
London football
London lyrics
London proverbs
London quotes
London statues
London images
Contact us


A high-class thoroughfare situated south of Piccadilly, particularly noted for gentlemen’s tailoring. Originally, this was to have been the north part of a ‘little town’ planned around St James’s Square by Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans, who leased the land from the Crown in the 1660s. Sir Isaac Newton lived here from 1697 until 1709, when he left for Chelsea. Newton stayed first at number 88, which was built soon after 1675 on land leased from the earl, and still survives. In 1700 he moved next door to number 87, which is no longer standing. William Blake was baptised at Wren’s church of St James, which is located on the corner of Church Place and was once the most fashionable church in London. A Jermyn Street Festival takes in place in September.

The poet Thomas Gray and the author Sir Walter Scott both lodged in the street. Rosa Lewis ran the Cavendish Hotel in the early years of the twentieth century, where she was famed for her cooking and her open-minded hospitality. Known as the Duchess of Jermyn Street, she is credited with the quotation, ‘It doesn’t matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.’ The 1970s TV series The Duchess of Duke Street was loosely based on the story of Rosa Lewis.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
Outside St James's church on Jermyn Street

Postal district: SW1

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

Text and selected images are reproduced with the permission of Chambers but may differ from the published versions
All content 2005–2010