Home » Shops of London » Great London Shopping Streets : A Short Guide to Bond Street ( or Bond Streets)

Great London Shopping Streets : A Short Guide to Bond Street ( or Bond Streets)

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bond Street is a major shopping street in London, it runs from Piccadilly in the south to Oxford Street in the north. The first unusual feature of Bond Street is that it does not exist under the title Bond Street The southern section is called Old Bond Street and the longer northern section New Bond Street.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The street or streets were named after Sir Thomas Bond the head of a syndicate of developers who purchased a Piccadilly mansion called Clarendon House from Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle in 1686. The syndicate then demolished the house and began develop the area.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The area around Clarendon House were open fields before the development which happened over two stages leading to Old and New Bond Streets. During the 18th century, the streets began to be popular with the wealthy elite living around Mayfair for shopping. Shop owners often supplemented their profits by letting out accommodation above their shops to tenants. Writers Jonathan Swift and Laurence Sterne were just two of a number of famous residents in the streets.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

By the end of 18th century, the streets became a popular place for the wealthy residents of Mayfair to socialise. Some of this group were known as the Bond Street Loungers, wearing expensive wigs and parading up and down the street. This promenading died out in the 19th century when an increasing number of prestigious and expensive shops were established along the street. New Bond Street also became known for its art galleries, auctions houses like Sotheby’s and Bonhams (formerly Phillips) and the department stores like Fenwick and Tiffany. The Royal Arcade was built in 1879 to link Old Bond Street with Albemarle Street.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the streets were considered the most expensive and sought after real estate in Europe. It is considered that the streets have the highest density of high end luxury stores anywhere in the world. The streets have a number of flagship stores including Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Armani, Tiffany’s, Hermes and many more. Sotheby’s and Bonham’s still run auction rooms and Fenwick has had a department store on Bond Street since 1891.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The streets features Allies, a statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who are portrayed sitting in conversation on a park bench, sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener. The statue was unveiled in 1995 and has become a popular tourist location. Another sculpture over the entrance to Sotheby’s is from Ancient Egypt and is believed to date from around 1600 BC. It is said to be oldest outdoor sculpture in London.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Old and New Bond Street are not full of large shopping outlets but generally the shops are quite small and very exclusive. It is not uncommon for large expensive cars to unload their shoppers directly to the shop. Security is high with most shops employing their own security. The streets themselves are full of interest not only in a retail sense but because of the interesting architecture above the shops.

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