The area south of Regent's Park, incorporating the medieval village of Marylebone, boasts London's highest concentration of quality Georgian housing. Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, developed it as London's borders shifted west in the 18th century. Terraces by John Nash adorn the southern edge of Regent's Park, the busiest of the royal parks, while to its northwest lies St. John's Wood, a smart inner suburb.
A sedate, almost feminine feel characterizes this elegant section of London - Marylebone. Women have owned and passed on most of the property in the area. It has a doppelganger personality, on one hand it's cultured and refined: you can stroll through the royal lawns at Regent's Park, take in Shakespeare at the Open Air Theatre, or visit the Wallace Collection. On the other hand, the neighbourhood is playful and whimsical: there's the London Zoo, Madame Tussaud's, Lord Cricket Grounds and Baker Street.
Marylebone is a shortened version of the church name - St. Mary by the Bourne - Bourne being an alias for the Tyburn River. Marylebone gets its name from a church called "St Mary's" (now known as St Marylebone Parish Church) which was built on the bank of a small stream or "bourne", called the Tybourne, in an area named after the stream, Tyburn. The church and the surrounding area later became known as St Mary at the Bourne, which over time became shortened to its present form, Marylebone. It is a common misunderstanding that the name is a corruption of Marie la Bonne.
Marylebone Lane and Marylebone High Street are full of expensive specialty food shops and boutiques that cater to the wealthy (and healthy) relatives of the ill who pay court to the good doctors of nearby Harley Street.
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