St James's facts for kids

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St James's
BPheadoffice.JPG
BP head office in St James's Square
St James's shown within Greater London
Population 10,828 (2011 Census. Ward)
OS grid reference TQ295805
• Charing Cross 0.5 mi (0.8 km) E
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW1
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Cities of London and Westminster
London Assembly
List of places
UK
England
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St James's is a central district in the City of Westminster, London, forming part of the West End. In the 17th century the area developed as a residential location for the British aristocracy and around the 19th century was the focus of the development of gentlemen's clubs. Anciently part of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, much of it formed the parish of St James from 1685 to 1922. Since the Second World War the area has transitioned from residential to commercial use.

History

Toponymy

The St James name is derived from the dedication of a 12th-century leper hospital to Saint James the Less. The hospital site is now occupied by St James's Palace. The area became known as "Clubland" because of the historic presence of gentlemen's clubs.

The section of Regent Street (colloquially known as 'Lower Regent Street') that runs between Waterloo Place and Piccadilly Circus has been officially renamed to 'Regent Street St James'

Urban development

St James's was once part of the same royal park as Green Park and St. James's Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, who developed it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area around a grid of streets centred on St James's Square. Until the Second World War, St James's remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Notable residences include St James's Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House, Norfolk House and Bridgewater House.

Geography

Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans Green Plaque
City of Westminster Green Plaque for Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans (1605-1684), located in Duke of York Street, London SW1

St James's is bounded to the north by Piccadilly, to the west by Green Park, to the south by The Mall and St. James's Park and to the east by Haymarket.

Notable streets include:

  • St James's Square, which retains many of its original houses but is mostly in office use. The London Library is located there.
  • Jermyn Street, an upmarket retail street best known for bespoke shirtmakers and shops offering the finest gentlemen's attire.
  • Pall Mall, which contains many of London's gentlemen's clubs.
  • Carlton House Terrace, a pair of grand terraces of houses designed by John Nash overlooking St. James's Park.
  • St James's Street which runs down from Piccadilly to St James's Palace.

Culture

White Cube St James's 1
White Cube gallery in Mason's Yard, St James's
The ica 1
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Art galleries catering for a spectrum of tastes occupy premises in the area. The White Cube gallery, which represents Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, opened in Duke Street before moving to Hoxton Square. In September 2006, it opened a second gallery at 25–26 Mason's Yard, off Duke Street, on a plot previously occupied by an electricity substation. The gallery is the first free-standing building to be built in the area for more than 30 years.

Other notable modern and contemporary art dealers in the St James's area include Helly Nahmad Gallery, Paisnel Gallery, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Thomas Dane, Whitford Fine Art and Panter & Hall.

On the southernmost border of St James's is The Mall where The Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Mall Galleries are located.

Clubland

St James's is home to many of the best known gentlemen's clubs in London, and sometimes, though not as often as formerly, referred to as "Clubland". The clubs are organisations of English high society. A variety of groups congregate here, such as royals, military officers, motoring enthusiasts, and other groups. In 1990, the Carlton Club, traditional meeting place for members of the Conservative Party, was struck by an IRA bomb.


St James's Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.