Facts about Mayfair
Mayfair General Info
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly, and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in London and the world. The area was originally part of the manor of Eia and remained largely rural until the early 18th century.
It became well known for the annual “May Fair” that took place from 1686 to 1764 in what is now Shepherd Market. Over the years, the fair grew increasingly downmarket and unpleasant, and it became a public nuisance. The Grosvenor family acquired the land through marriage and began to develop it under the direction of Thomas Barlow.
The proposal has been disputed because of lack of archaeological evidence. If there was a fort, it is believed the perimeter would have been where the modern Green Street, North Audley Street, Upper Grosvenor Street and Park Lane now are, and that Park Street would have been the main road through the center. This area was the manor of Eia in the Domesday Book. Owned by Geoffrey de Mandeville after the Norman Conquest. It was subsequently given to the Abbey of Westminster.
Mayfair was mainly open fields until development started in the Shepherd Market area around 1686–88 to accommodate the May Fair that had moved from Haymarket in St James’s because of overcrowding. There were some buildings before 1686 – a cottage in Stanhope Row, dating from 1618 was destroyed in the Blitz in late 1940.