History of 79 Wardour Street

The site of Wardour Street was surrendered by the Abbot and Convent of Abingdon to Henry VIII in 1536 during the dissolution of the monasteries and has been listed on maps as a highway and thoroughfare since the Elizabethan period. The street began to be called Wardour Street in the 1680s, after Edward Wardour who owned the West side of the street during this time.

For many years Wardour Street was associated with cinema. In the early 20th century, French owned Pathé Company moved to offices at 142, becoming the branch Assoicated British-Pathé. They were the first company in Britain to produce a regular newsreel for cinemas in June 1910, calling it the Pathé Gazette. Nearby at 82 Wardour Street, Charles Urban promoted Kinemacolor, the first successful means of shooting and producing colour film. Production company Hammer Horror, famous for its Dracula and Frankenstein films during the 50s and 60s, also resided in Wardour Street at number 113-117.

The Film House

The Film House. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Wardour Street also has roots in the history of popular music. Number 90 Wardour Street played host to the ‘Marquee Club’ between 1964 and 1988. Regarded as the most important venue in the history of European Pop and rock, the club witnessed the rise of future legendary acts from the emerging British scene in the 60’s and 70’s such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Cream, Pink Floyd, the Who, Led Zeppelin and the Moody Blues. The club also served as a venue during the beginning of music genres born in the last decades of the 20th century, including acid rock, progressive rock, hard rock, and folk rock.

During the late 70’s and early 80’s the Marquee saw the development of the British punk, new wave and synth pop showing bands such as the Clash, the Police, the Cure, Joy Division and the Sex Pistols. The club moved to a new venue on Charing Cross Road until its closure in 1996. The street’s popularity was so great that it inspired the song ‘A Bomb in Wardour Street’ by the Jam. Wardour Street was also once famed for its violin shops and was the centre of the British violin market, boasting four violin dealers.

Keith Moon at Marquee

Keith Moon Plaque. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Between 33 and 37 Wardour Street, another famous music club once resided. The Flamingo Club hosted jazz acts for ten years, opening in 1957. Acts including Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald graced the stage.

Keith Moon at Marquee

The Flamingo Club. Courtesy of The Strange Brew

Today Wardour Street is known for its abundance of restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world.

Each area of London has its unique history that’s waiting to be discovered and it’s always something we look out for when choosing an office location. We currently have a number of offices on Wardour Street that are ready for you and your business.

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