History of 8 / 9 Percy Street

Percy Street, like much of the West End was established in the late 1700s and all but two of the houses feature a uniform design from this time. The street lies in the London district of Fitzrovia. The area was developed by minor landowners leading to a predominance of the small and irregular streets which characterize the area.

Sartorius Family Painting

Sartorius Family Painting. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Numbers 8 and 9 Percy Street have an artistic legacy. Number 8 was once home to members of the Sartorius family; an English family of painters famed for their depictions of horses, horse-racing and hunting scenes. Next door, number 9 Percy Street was home to famous miniature painter Samuel Cotes.

George Orwell, writer of 1984 used much of the area around Percy Street as inspiration for his famous novel. Orwell’s second wife Sonia Brownell, once lived in the upstairs flat at number 18 Percy Street. Orwell used this room as inspiration for the ill-fated affair between Winston and Julia in the novel. Around the corner in Rathbone Place, the Newman Arms, served as the inspiration to the ‘Prole,’ the working-class pub featured in 1984.

George Orwell

George Orwell. Courtesy of Mises Canada

The Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel, previously at number 1 Percy Street also hosted a literary and artistic crowd. The ‘Vorticists,’ a group led by painter and author Wyndham Lewis, used the rooms in the restaurant to discuss their short-lived publication BLAST. The movement used literature and art to react to the impact of war on society and the group favoured abstraction over the traditionally accepted subjects of landscape and nudes.

The Vorticists

The Vorticists. Courtesy of Mouzine

Wyndham Lewis, resided at number 4 Percy Street. Before his residence, Alois Hitler, the brother-in-law of Adolf Hitler lived in the property in the years leading up to the First World War. In 1912, the future dictator visited his relative there.

Other famous residents include actor Charles Laughton, famous for his role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn, who lived at number 15 between 1928 and 1931.

On the corner of Percy Street and Rathbone Place is the Marquis of Granby. This pub too has its fair share of literary history; in the 1930s, Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and author T. S. Eliot could be found there, rubbing shoulders with the prostitutes and small-time gangsters who operated in the area.

The Vorticists

T. S. Eliot. Courtesy of Answer.com

In 1936, London’s first Greek restaurant opened at number 13 Percy Street. The restaurant soon became the ‘place to party’ attracting big screen stars, artists, writers and members of the British and Greek royal families.

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 Percy Street that are ready for you and your business.

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