What a difference! Oxford Street in 1750 and now

google - What a difference! Oxford Street in 1750 and now

MARYLEBONE, FROM THE SITE OF THE PRESENT WIGMORE STREET. (From a Print of 1750) Source: British History

MARYLEBONE, FROM THE SITE OF THE PRESENT WIGMORE STREET. (From a Print of 1750) Source: British History


This image from British History showing Marylebone from the present site of Wigmore Street is a very interesting image. Despite its location being ‘Marylebone’ (which is correct) its an early view of the land to the rear of Oxford Street (then known as Tyburn or Tiburn) Street before any of the area was built upon considerably.
A large part of the view on the right in the 1750 image would these days be taken up by Selfridges.
Modern view of the site shewn in 1750. Source Google Street View

Modern view of the site shewn in 1750. Source Google Street View


Google Streets offers the best wide perspecitve view to properly show the same (or rather a similar) location today. Actually I believe the location the 1750 drawing was taken is a bit further back nearer to Marylebone Lane, somewhere in the middle of where No.74 Wigmore Street now stands.
Its actually quite difficult to imagine the same scene in 2016 with houses which in 1750 seem to clearly sit on top of a fairly steep slope. Such a slope isnt visible today, obviously the land has been levelled out considerably. However remnants of this steep slope can be seen at the junction of Oxford Street and Davies Street. The furthest extent of this slope still exists in a cul de sac south of Oxford Street called St Anslem’s Place (once known as Cock Yard, and which is incidentally where the River Tyburn also flowed.)
The dip seen at St Anselm's Place, just south of Oxford Street

The dip seen at St Anselm’s Place, just south of Oxford Street


I have denoted on the 1750 image (below) the various locations described next. Firstly the bridge over the Tyburn stream would have been roughly where the northern entrance to St Christopher Place is, whilst the rough thorougfare behind the house at left would now be James Street.
The clump of trees at far left in the middle distance would now be those once found at the top end of Green Park near Hyde Park Corner.
I have made a somewhat crude attempt to show the where the modern locations are in the image below based on the 1750 view:
1750mod - What a difference! Oxford Street in 1750 and now
Hyde Park is somewhat visible above the tops of the rooftops on the right. Its not really a park in the proper sense it was still a fair bit of rough land in those days. Further behind the heights of the North Downs can be seen.

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