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St John's Wood facts for kids

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St John's Wood
OS grid reference TQ265835
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW8
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Westminster North
London Assembly
List of places
LondonCoordinates: 51°32′10″N 0°10′30″W / 51.5361°N 0.1751°W / 51.5361; -0.1751
St. John's Wood High Street

St John's Wood is a district of northwest London, in the City of Westminster, and on the northwest side of Regent's Park. It is about 2.5 miles (4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Once part of the Great Middlesex Forest, it was later owned by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.

The boundaries of St. John's Wood are the Regent's Canal to the south, Maida Vale (Edgware Road) to the west, Boundary Road to the north and Avenue Rd/Primrose Hill Park to the east.

It is a very affluent neighbourhood, with the area postcode (NW8) ranked by Forbes magazine as the fifth most expensive postcode in London based on the average home price in 2007. According to a 2014 property agent survey, St. John's Wood residents pay the highest average rent in all of London.


St Marylebone Met. B Ward Map 1916
A map showing the St John's Wood ward of St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916.

St John's Wood was developed from the early 19th century onwards. One of the first developers in the area was James Burton. It was one of the first London suburbs to be developed with a large amount of low density "villa" housing, as opposed to the terraced housing which was the norm in London up to the 19th century, even in expensive districts. Parts of St John's Wood have been rebuilt at a higher density, but it remains a highly desirable residential district, and one of the most expensive areas of London.

St John's Wood is the location of Lord's Cricket Ground, home of Middlesex County Cricket Club and of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and the original headquarters of cricket. It is also famous for Abbey Road Studios and the street Abbey Road, where The Beatles recorded, notably the Abbey Road album, the cover of which features the band crossing the road.

The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery was formerly based at St John's Wood Barracks. The regiment moved to Woolwich on 6 February 2012; the barracks is to be demolished and developed as housing.

The area is also home to St. John's Wood Church Grounds, which contains the only nature reserve in the City of Westminster.

Places of worship

St John's Wood has a range of places of worship.

  • The Liberal Jewish Synagogue
  • The New London Synagogue
  • Saatchi Shul
  • London Central Mosque

Transport and locale

Nearest places

The nearest London Underground stations are St. John's Wood, Swiss Cottage—on the Jubilee line; Maida Vale, Marylebone Station and Warwick Avenue—on the Bakerloo line; and Baker Street on Bakerloo line, Jubilee line, Hammersmith & City line, Metropolitan line and Circle line.

The nearest London Overground station is South Hampstead.

St John's Wood in literature and music

  • Count and Countess Fosco live at No. 5 Forest Road, St. John's Wood in Wilkie Collins's 1859 sensation novel The Woman in White.
  • Irene Adler lives there (in Briony Lodge on Serpentine Avenue) in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1891 Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia".
  • In the first instalment of John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga, The Man of Property (1906), Young Jolyon lives on fictional Wistaria Avenue with his second wife and family.
  • St John's Wood is the home of fictional characters Bingo and Rosie Little in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster short stories and novels, written from the early 1920s onward.
  • Referenced in the Rolling Stones song, "Play with Fire", released in 1965.
  • The protagonist of J.G. Ballard's novel Millennium People (2003), is a psychologist who lives in St. John's Wood, which he abandons to join a middle-class rebellion.
  • Appears in two books by Howard Jacobson, as the setting for his 2004 book The Making of Henry, followed in his 2010 Man Booker Prize winning novel The Finkler Question as the planned location for the Museum of Anglo-Jewish Culture.
  • Violet Hill, a street and area off Abbey Road with Violet Hill Gardens and Violet Hill Hospital, is the source of the name in Coldplay's 2008 song "Violet Hill".
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