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St John’s Wood is a district in the City of Westminster, London, England, about 2.5 miles (4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Historically the northern part of the ancient parish and Metropolitan Borough of Marylebone, it extends from Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill in the east to Edgware Road in the west, with the Swiss Cottage area of Hampstead to the north and Lisson Grove to the south.
The area includes Lord’s Cricket Ground, home of Marylebone Cricket Club and Middlesex CCC and a regular international test cricket venue. It also includes Abbey Road Studios, well known through its association with the Beatles.
The area was once part of the Forest of Middlesex, an area with extensive woodland, though it was not the predominant land use. The area’s name originates, in the Manor of Lileston, one of the two manors (the other the Manor of Tyburn) served by the Parish of Marylebone.
The Manor was taken from the Knights Templar on their suppression in 1312 and passed to the Knights of St John, whose English headquarters were at Clerkenwell Priory.
The name of the knights was applied to a former wood within the area of the manor, which in turn gave its name to St John’s Farm, the farmhouse of which was the site of St John’s Wood Barracks on Ordnance Hill from 1804 to 2012.
The Priory allocated the estate to agricultural tenants as a source of produce and income. The estate remained Crown property until 21 March 1675 (1676 New Style) when Charles II granted the St John’s Wood estate to Charles Henry Wotton. On 22 March 1732 (1733 New Style) City merchant Henry Samuel Eyre (1676–1754) acquired the majority of the estate, around 500 acres (200 hectares), from Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. The St John’s Wood estate came to be known as the Eyre estate in the 19th century after it was developed by the Eyre brothers. The estate still exists, much reduced geographically.
A masterplan for the development of St John’s Wood was prepared in 1794, but development did not start until 1804 when Henry Samuel Eyre II (1770–1851) and Walpole Eyre (1773–1856) held their first auction. One of the first developers was James Burton.
St John’s Wood was among the first London suburbs with lower-density villa housing and frequent avenues but fewer communal garden squares. Most of the villas have since been subdivided and replaced by small apartment blocks or terraces. This pattern of development has made it one of the most expensive areas of London.
Lord’s Cricket Ground, home of Middlesex County Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), is an international test cricket ground known as the Home of Cricket on account of its role as the original headquarters of cricket.
Abbey Road Studios are located on Abbey Road, where the Beatles recorded, notably the Abbey Road album, the cover of which features the band crossing the road.
RAK Studios, founded by producer Mickie Most, are located near Regent’s Park. A number of notable songs were recorded there, including the Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now”, Johnny Hates Jazz’s “Shattered Dreams”, Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” and Big Country’s “In a Big Country”. The studios have a Nubian Jak Community Trust plaque for Errol Brown, who recorded there as lead singer for Hot Chocolate.
St. John’s Wood Church Grounds contains the only nature reserve in the City of Westminster. Much of the neighbourhood is covered by a conservation area, a small part of which extends into neighbouring Camden.
Wellington Hospital is the largest independent hospital in the United Kingdom. The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth is also nearby.
Avenue Road was the street with the UK’s most expensive home sales in 2020. In early 2021, prices for a property on the street averaged over £30.5 million.
St John’s Wood Barracks was the headquarters for The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery until 2012, when the regiment moved to Woolwich. In 2023, Ananda Krishnan’s Usaha Tegas conglomerate began developing the Squire and Partners-designed site as a development called St John’s Wood Square.
Allitsen Road drill hall was formerly the headquarters of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters).
The St John’s Wood Art School and Anglo-French Art Centre were in St John’s Wood.
The former Marlborough Road tube station is at the northern end of St John’s Wood and is now a power substation for Transport for London.
The Star (now a gastropub) was a pub for approximately two centuries.
The main London Underground station is St John’s Wood, which is on the Jubilee line. Maida Vale, Warwick Avenue and Kilburn Park are nearby on the Bakerloo line. The nearest London Overground station is South Hampstead. The 13, 46, 113 and N113, 139, 187, 189 and 274 bus routes transit St John’s Wood.
Media related to St. John’s Wood at Wikimedia Commons