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Coordinates: 51.506944N 0.133056W

Pall Mall, London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pall Mall /pl ml/ is a street in the St James's area of

the City of Westminster, Central London. It connects St
James's Street to Trafalgar Square and is a section of the
regional A4 road. The street's name is derived from "pallmall", a ball game played there during the 17th century.

Pall Mall

The area was built up during the reign of Charles II with

fashionable London residences. It became known for
high-class shopping in the 18th century, and gentlemen's
clubs in the 19th. The Reform, Athenaeum and Travellers
Clubs have survived to the 21st century. The War Office
was based on Pall Mall during the second half of the 19th
century, and the Royal Automobile Club's headquarters
have been on the street since 1908.
Pall Mall in 2009

1 Geography
2 History and topography
2.1 Early history and pall-mall field
2.2 17th- and 18th-century buildings
2.3 Later history
3 Cultural references
4 See also
5 References
6 Further reading
7 External links

The street is around 0.4 miles (0.64 km) long and runs
east in the St James's area, from St James's Street across
Waterloo Place, to the Haymarket and continues as Pall
Mall East towards Trafalgar Square. The street numbers
run consecutively from north-side east to west and then
continue on the south-side west to east. It is part of the
A4, a major road running west from Central London.[1]
London Bus Route 9 runs westwards along Pall Mall,
connecting Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly and Hyde Park

Location within Central London


0.4 mi[1] (0.6 km)


Westminster, London, UK


51.506944N 0.133056W

East end


West end

St James's Street

Commissioned July 1661


September 1661

Known for

Reform Club
Athenaeum Club
Travellers Club
Royal Automobile Club

History and topography

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Early history and pall-mall field

Pall Mall was constructed in 1661, replacing an earlier highway slightly to the south that ran from the
Haymarket (approximately where Warwick House Street is now) to the royal residence, St James's Palace.[3]
Historical research suggests a road had been in this location since Saxon times, although the earliest
documentary references are from the 12th century in connection with a leper colony at St James's Hospital.
When St. James's Park was laid out by order of Henry VIII in the 16th century, the park's boundary wall was
built along the south side of the road.[a] In 1620, the Privy Council ordered the High Sheriff of Middlesex to
clear a number of temporary buildings next to the wall that were of poor quality.[4]
Pall-mall, a ball game similar to croquet, was introduced to England in the early-17th century by James I.
The game, already popular in France and Scotland, was enjoyed by James' sons Henry and Charles.[5] In
1630, St James's Field, London's first pall-mall court, was laid out to the north of the Haymarket St James
After the Restoration and King Charles II's return to London on 29 May 1660, a pall-mall court was
constructed in St James's Park just south of the wall, on the site of The Mall.[4] Samuel Pepys's diary entry
for 2 April 1661 records that he "... went into St. James's Park, where I saw the Duke of York playing at
Pelemele, the first time that I ever saw the sport."[7] This new court suffered from dust blown over the wall
from coaches travelling along the highway. In July 1661 posts and rails were erected, stopping up the old
road.[4] The court for pall-mall was very long and narrow, and often known as an alley, so the old court
provided a suitable route for relocating the eastern approach to St James's Palace. A grant was made to Dan
O'Neale, Groom of the Bedchamber, and John Denham, Surveyor of the King's Works allocating a 1,400 by
23 feet (427 by 7 m) area of land for this purpose. The grant was endorsed "Our warrant for the building of
the new street to St James's."[6]
A new road was built on the site of the old pall-mall court, and opened in September 1661.[4] It was named
Catherine Street, after Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, but was better known as Pall Mall Street or
the Old Pall Mall.[6][8][b] The pall-mall field was a popular place for recreation and Pepys records several
other visits. By July 1665 Pepys used "Pell Mell" to refer to the street as well as the game.[10][c]

17th- and 18th-century buildings

In 1662, Pall Mall was one of several streets "thought fitt
immediately to be repaired, new paved or otherwise amended" under
the Streets, London and Westminster Act 1662.[11] The paving
commissioners appointed to oversee the work included the Earl of St
Albans. The terms of the act allowed commissioners to remove any
building encroaching on the highway, with compensation for those at
least 30 years old. The commissioners determined that the real tennis
court and adjoining house at the northeast corner of Pall Mall and St
James's Street should be demolished, and in 1664 notified Martha
Barker, the owner of the Crown lease, to do so. Although Barker
initially rejected 230 compensation, the court was demolished by

A View of St James's Palace, Pall

Mall etc by Thomas Bowles,
published 1763. This view looks east.
The gatehouse of St James's Palace is
on the right.

The street was developed extensively during 16621667. The Earl of

St Albans had a lease from the Crown in 1662 on 45 acres (18 ha) of
land previously part of St James's Fields. He laid out the site for the development of St. James's Square,
Jermyn Street, Charles Street, St Albans Street, King Street and other streets now known as St James's. The
location was convenient for the royal palaces of Whitehall and St James and the houses on the east, north

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and west sides of the square were developed along with those on the north side of Pall Mall, each
constructed separately as was usual for the time. Houses were not built along the square's south side at first,
or the adjoining part of Pall Mall. The Earl petitioned the King in late 1663 that the class of occupants they
hoped to attract to the new district would not take houses without the prospect of eventually acquiring them
outright. Despite opposition from the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Southampton, on 1 April 1665 the King
granted the Earl of St Albans the freehold of the St James's Square site, along with all the ground on the
north side of Pall Mall between St James's Street and the east side of St James's Square. The freehold of the
north side of Pall Mall subsequently passed to other private owners.[4]
The Crown kept the freehold of the land south of the street except
for No. 79, which was granted to Nell Gwyn's trustees in 1676 or
1677 by Charles II. The buildings constructed on the south side of
Pall Mall in subsequent years were grander than those on the north
owing to stricter design and building standards imposed by the
crown commissioners.[4] When the main road was relocated further
north, some houses suddenly had their backs facing the main road,
losing available land for gardening. In 1664, residents filed a petition
to turn the old road into gardens, which was successful. The trustees
of the Earl of St Albans received a sixty-year lease on most of this
from April 1665 so that trustees could issue sub-leases to their
Several other portions of the old highway were leased for
construction. At the east end, land was leased to Sir Philip Warwick
Pall Mall and St James's Square
who built Warwick House (now the location of Warwick House
shown in Richard Horwood's map of
Street) and to Sir John Denham; this parcel of land became part of
the grounds of Marlborough House. Portions leased at the west end
included the land between St James's Palace and the tennis court at
the corner of St James's Street, and a parcel of land leased to the Duchess of Cleveland that became the site
of 812 Cleveland Row and Stornoway House.[4] The 18th-century London bookseller Andrew Millar also
lived in a townhouse designed by Robert Adam, at 34 Pall Mall.[12]

Later history
By the 18th century, Pall Mall was well known for its shops as well as its grand houses. The shops included
that of the Vulliamy family who made clocks at No. 68 between 1765 and 1854. Robert Dodsley ran a
bookshop at No. 52, where he suggested the idea of a dictionary to Samuel Johnson. Writers and artists
began to move to Pall Mall during this century; both Richard Cosway and Thomas Gainsborough lived at
Schomberg House at Nos. 8082.[13]
The street was one of the first in London to be lit by gas after Frederick Albert Winsor set up experimental
lighting on 4 June 1807 to celebrate King George III's birthday. Permanent lighting was installed in
1820.[13] The eastern end of Pall Mall was widened between 1814 and 1818; a row of houses on its north
side was demolished to make way for the Royal Opera Arcade.[4]
Pall Mall is known for the various gentlemen's clubs built there in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The
Travellers Club was founded in 1819 and moved to No. 49 Pall Mall in 1822. Its current premises at
No. 106 were built in 1823 by Charles Barry.[14] The Athenaeum Club took its name from the Athenaeum in
Rome, a university founded by the Emperor Hadrian. The club moved to No. 107 Pall Mall in 1830 from
tenements in Somerset House. Its entrance hall was designed by Decimus Burton.[15] The Reform Club at
Nos. 104105 was founded for the British Radicals in 1836.[16] The Army and Navy Club at Nos. 3639
was founded in 1837. The name was suggested by the Duke of Wellington in order to accommodate Royal

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Navy members.[17] Other clubs on Pall Mall include the United

Service Club (now occupied by the Institute of Directors), the
Oxford and Cambridge Club and the Royal Automobile Club.[13]
Pall Mall was once the centre
of London's fine art scene; in
1814 the Royal Academy, the
National Gallery and
Christie's auction house were
all based on the street.[19]
The freehold of much of the
southern side of the Pall Mall
is owned by the Crown
Estate.[20] In addition to St.
James's Palace, Marlborough
House, which was once a
royal residence, is its
George Dance the Younger's
neighbour to the east,
Shakespeare Gallery at 52 Pall Mall
opening off a courtyard just
was built in 1788 and demolished
to the south of the street. It
No. 100 Pall Mall, location of the
18681869. It is shown in 1851 after
was built for Sarah, Duchess
National Gallery between 1824 and
of Marlborough who laid the
its purchase by the British
foundation stone in 1709,
with building complete by
1711. The house reverted to
Crown ownership in 1817; the future King George V was born here in 1865 and briefly lived in the house as
Prince of Wales during the reign of his father, Edward VII. It became government-owned in 1959 and
houses now the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.[21] The Prince Regent's
Carlton House was built at the eastern end of Pall Mall in 1732 for Frederick, Prince of Wales and later
inhabited by his widow, Princess Augusta. A ball was held at the house on 19 June 1811 to celebrate the
start of the Prince's regency, but ultimately he did not decide to stay in the house upon ascending the throne,
and it was demolished. John Nash built Carlton House Terrace on its site between 182732.[22]
Pall Mall was the location of the War Office from 1855 to 1906,[23]
with which it became synonymous (just as Whitehall refers to the
administrative centre of the UK government). The War Office was
accommodated in a complex of buildings based on the ducal
mansion, Cumberland House. The office subsequently moved to
The street contained two other architecturally important residences.
Schomberg House, at Nos. 8082 Pall Mall was built in 1698 for
Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of Schomberg and divided into
Pall Mall was one of the first streets
three parts in 1769. The eastern section of the house was demolished
in London to have gas lighting.
in 1850, but reconstructed in the mid-1950s for office use.
Buckingham House[d] was the London residence of the Dukes of
Buckingham and Chandos. It was rebuilt in the 1790s by Sir John Soane and sold by the Buckingham estate
in 1847. The house was demolished in 1908 to make way for the Royal Automobile Club.[26]
The Institute of Directors was founded in 1903 and received a royal charter in 1906.[27] The former branch
of the Midland Bank at Nos. 6970 Pall Mall was designed by Edwin Lutyens and constructed between

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1922 and 1927. The original plan to redevelop No. 70 proved impractical so the two premises were
demolished to provide a site for the current premises.[28] The cigarette manufacturer Rothmans have their
head office at No 65 Pall Mall, in a building designed by Norman Shaw, while P&O Ferries' main
administrative office is at No 79.[29]

Cultural references
When the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray visited Dublin in 1845, he compared Pall Mall to
O'Connell Street (then known as Upper Sackville Street).[30] In 1870, Henry Benjamin Wheatley wrote
"Round about Piccadilly and Pall Mall", documenting changes in and around the street over the century.[31]
A compilation of Oscar Wilde's works, A Critic in Pall Mall : Being Extracts From Reviews And
Miscellanies, was published in 1919 comprising essays he wrote for newspapers and journals from the
1870s to the 1890s.[32]
Pall Mall is part of a group of three purple squares on the British Monopoly board game, alongside
Whitehall and Northumberland Avenue. All three streets converge at Trafalgar Square.[33] Rising house
prices across London mean a small flat on Pall Mall, which is in the lowest-priced third of properties on the
board, now sells for over 1 million.[34]

See also
Pall Mall Gazette
List of London's gentlemen's clubs
The Diogenes Club, a fictional club located in Pall Mall

a. In 1685, the boundary wall became the parish boundary for the parish of Westminster St James.
b. By 9 August 1662, Pepys's diary reports a duel "... at the old Pall Mall at St. James's ..." in which Thomas Jermyn
(nephew of the Earl of St Albans) was wounded and Colonel Giles Rawlins was killed.[9]
c. On 4 July 1665, Pepys wrote "I observed a house shut up this day in the Pell Mell, where heretofore in
Cromwell's time we young men used to keep our weekly clubs."[10]
d. Not to be confused with the Buckingham House that later became Buckingham Palace.[23]

1. "62 Pall Mall to 1 Pall Mall E". Google Maps. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
2. "Central London Bus Map" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
3. Weinreb et al. 2008, pp. 619620.
4. F. H. W. Sheppard (General Editor) (1960). "Pall Mall". Survey of London: volumes 29 and 30: St James
Westminster, Part 1. Institute of Historical Research. p. 322324. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
5. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 619.
6. Wheatley, Henry Benjamin (1870). Round about Piccadilly and Pall Mall. p. 319.
7. Pepys, Samuel (2 April 1661). "March 1st". Diary of Samuel Pepys. ISBN 0-520-22167-2.
8. F. H. W. Sheppard (General Editor) (1960). "Piccadilly, South Side". Survey of London: volumes 29 and 30: St
James Westminster, Part 1. Institute of Historical Research. p. 251270. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
9. Pepys, Samuel (9 August 1662). "August 9th". Diary of Samuel Pepys. ISBN 0-520-22167-2.
10. Pepys, Samuel (4 July 1665). "July 4th". Diary of Samuel Pepys. ISBN 0-520-22167-2.
11. John Raithby, ed. (1819). "Streets, London and Westminster Act 1662". Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5:
162880: 351357. Retrieved 5 July 2013.

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12. Millar 1765.

13. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 620.
14. Weinreb et al. 2008, pp. 9445.
15. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 31.
16. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 685.
17. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 27.
18. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 569.
19. F H W Sheppard, ed. (1960). "Plan Pocket". Survey of London (London). 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part
1. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
20. "The Management of the Crown Estate: Eighth Report of Session 2009". Treasury Committee: 48. 2009.
21. Weinreb et al. 2008, pp. 5301.
22. Weinreb et al. 2008, pp. 1312.
23. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 107.
24. MOD 2001, pp. 58.
25. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 826.
26. Weinreb et al. 2008, pp. 107, 710.
27. "IoD Royal Charter". Institute of Directors. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
28. F H W Sheppard, ed. (1960). "Pall Mall, South Side, Existing Buildings: Nos 6970 Pall Mall". Survey of
London (London). 2930, St James Westminster, Part 1: 425. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
29. Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 621.
30. Thackeray, W. M. (1846). An Irish Sketch Book. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
31. Henry Benjamin Wheatley (1870). Round about Piccadilly and Pall Mall Or, A Ramble from Haymarket to Hyde
Park: Consisting of a Retrospect of the Various Changes that Have Occurred in the Court End of London. Smith,
Elder & Company.
32. "A Critic in Pall Mall : Being Extracts From Reviews And Miscellanies". Methuen. 1919.
33. Moore 2003, p. 45.
34. "Playing the Monopoly House Price Game". MoneyWise. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

Millar, Andrew (16 July 1765). "I recd all yours wt ye Transactions..." (Letter to Thomas Cadell). Retrieved
3 June 2016.
Moore, Tim (2003). Do Not Pass Go. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-099-43386-6.
Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher; Keay, Julia; Keay, John (2008). The London Encyclopedia. Pan McMillan.
ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5.
"The Old War Office Building" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. 2001.

Further reading
John Timbs (1867), "Pall Mall", Curiosities of London (2nd ed.), London: J.C. Hotten,
OCLC 12878129
Charles Dickens (1882), "Pall Mall", Dickens's Dictionary of London, London: Macmillan & Co.

External links
Pall Mall on TourUK (
Panoramic photograph of Pall Mall (
19th Century Gentleman's Clubs on Pall Mall (
/clubsintro/intro.html) (including photographs)
Retrieved from ",_London&oldid=728557359"
Categories: Streets in the City of Westminster London Monopoly places

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