History of Church Street

How we inherited our market heritage of today

By Patricia Fallon

Church Street takes its name from St. James Church, which was the Parish Church for Paddington between 1678 and 1787. The present St Mary’s Church at the western end of Church Street was built 1788-1791. The part of Church Street that lies east of Edgware Road dates from the early nineteenth century.

There is a general consensus that the market on Church Street dates back to December 1830 and originated with the creation of a hay market. It is said to have grown as a descendant of Portman market, which was located to the north of Church Street , between Salisbury and Penfold Street . Over the following two years the market grew to accommodate both a vegetable and general market. Although the market remained throughout the 1800s, its real success was during the early 1830s when it received much accolade for its quality and goods - the market was said to be "replete with every convenience".

 At this time its popularity was such that in 1833 it was considered to be a"formidable rival" to Covent Garden . However, this prosperity was short lived and attempts to recapture the former spirit and success of the market also failed. In 1900 the market was taken over by H.T. Grunton, whose bold (unrealised) plans to rebuild and modernise the market were not successful.

"The impressive Marylebone Station and Hotel" which opened in 1900 were also unsuccessful in aiding the revival of the former glory of the market and in 1906 the market site was sold. It later become a vehicle maintenance depot but was bombed in the Second World War and then redeveloped as part of the Church Street estate.

This page was added on 16/03/2010.
Comments about this page

I remember coming to Church Street as a child with my mum shopping every Saturday. We lived at that time in Maida Vale. The number 18 bus used to terminate at Paddington Green. We used to be able to cross over the Marylebone Road (before the flyover) to catch the bus. My mum saw "Cliff Richard" at the Met theatre just before he changed his name from Harry Web. We used to visit the cinema where the Metropole Hotel now stands."

By Janet Lewis
On 29/04/2010

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