Life in Marylebone: an old name

My London home is in Marylebone.  This week it has been smoggy and polluted, but usually I feel lucky to live here.

Marylebone High Street - fertile people-watching ground
Marylebone High Street

Where does the rather odd name “Marylebone” came from?

Tongues have twisted and re-shaped it over the years into something like “Mar – lee – bone” or “Marry – li – bone”, but originally the name “Mary-le-bourne” described the old church of Saint Mary by the Tyburn river.  The river is now invisible, having disappeared into culverts and sewers below ground.  But it is still remembered in this sign on Marylebone High Street.

Marylebone Old Church sign

There was once a Tyburn Manor House, commemorated now by a sign on the London Clinic.

Tyburn Manor House

We haven’t had a local council called Marylebone since the name disappeared in the reorganisation of London’s local government in 1965, but we still have –

and various streets named Marylebone.

Don’t get muddled – check to see if your destination is Marylebone Road (beware of the traffic), Marylebone High Street (beware of people walking while reading their phones, or shopping while looking too glamorous), Marylebone Lane (which owes its twisty curves to the old Tyburn river) or Marylebone Street (pop in for a cup of tea if you’re passing).

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. It is always good to read these little bits and pieces about London on your blog. And to see your pics of the various places that you find interesting there. 🙂 Keep the posts coming!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you. It’s great to hear that you are enjoying the London posts. I’ve got another post on Life in Marylebone written and scheduled already.

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  2. Kim in Fiji says:

    Marylebone is lucky to have you there, keeping the old spirits alive.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      That’s a lovely comment (as always from you!). I will be Maryleblogging again tomorrow.

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  3. You make me want to come back…

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      This is just the beginning of my campaign….I’ve another post scheduled for tomorrow. And I haven’t even started on our cake shops yet.

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      1. I’m hopping up and down with excitement 🙂

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  4. Won’t get muddled up by the name Marylebone again! 😉 Enjoyed the bits of trivia. 🙂

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      It’s a weird name. After typing it so many times I stopped trusting my own spelling….and now it just looks wrong.
      How’s your injured leg? Are you taking it easy?

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      1. Haha! I had to do a double check when writing too! 😉

        As for the ankle, still hurts like the dickens but am taking it easy. The pampering remains fab, but pretty soon I still just might have a bad case of cabin fever!

        Entertainment comes home though – a bunch of rehearsals are happening at home so I’m getting some cool sax, singing and dialogues right in my living room. 😉

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        1. Karolyn Cooper says:

          You have excellent friends. They don’t just turn up with sweets and a get well card – they put on live plays in your living room. I’m impressed.

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          1. What can I say? I’m a lucky gal! 🙂

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  5. London’s a funny place. Imagine a whole river disappearing (and yet I believe it’s not the only one?). I love how the old names survive the modern bureaucracy, though.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I like living on top of so many layers of history. And yes there were other rivers, leaving traces of their names in Fleet Street, Holborn and Westbourne Grove. Have you heard of Ben Aaronovitch? He writes a great series of books – funny and fantastical – set in London, with the spirits of these old rivers as actual characters in the stories.

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      1. Name sounds vaguely familiar. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll have to look him up!

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  6. Alex says:

    We also have a local online publication too – http://maryleboneonline.co.uk – we’d love to be included in your list of resources!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Done!

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