The May fair was held in fields around the site of today's Shepherd Market. In the 1660s three large mansions were built on the north side of Piccadilly. One of these is Burlington House (the Royal Academy). These were followed by smaller scale, high quality, speculative development. The speed of this development increased through the 18th century and by 1780 Mayfair was almost completely built-up. The street pattern created by this development can be seen today; three distinct areas of 18th century grid-iron layout corresponding with the three largest estates in the area. The haphazard junctions between these create a great deal of townscape interest.
Some of the original town-houses and their mews survive, although many have been redeveloped as their 99 year leases have expired. This redevelopment has taken place in phases that can be seen in architectural styles today. Mid-19th century houses tend to be stuccoed-Italianate style, from the 1870s Queen Anne style and later Victorian/ Edwardian buildings are Renaissance and Arts and Crafts. After the First World War neo-Georgian style took over. There has been some Modernist redevelopment since the Second World War.
The area has become increasingly commercial and is known as the home of specialist shops, galleries and tailors. However, it has retained its domestic scale as large-scale commercial development has been kept to the perimeters.
The area was first designated in 1969 and has since been extended.
|Publications and Documents:|
|Mayfair Conservation Area Map|
|Mayfair Mini Guide|
|Mayfair Conservation Area Directory|
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