Harley Street

Harley Street is a street in Marylebone, Central London, which has been noted since the 19th century for its large number of private specialists in medicine and surgery.[1] It was named after Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer.[2]

Harley Street sign
Harley Street from junction with Wigmore Street
Harley Street 2011
One of many doorbells at consulting rooms
Letter to an early Harley Street resident, 1771


Since the 19th century, the number of doctors, hospitals, and medical organisations in and around Harley Street has greatly increased. Records show that there were around 20 doctors in 1860, 80 by 1900, and almost 200 by 1914. When the National Health Service was established in 1948, there were around 1,500. Today, there are more than 3,000 people employed in the Harley Street area, in clinics, medical and paramedical practices, and hospitals such as Dr. Gabriela Clinic, The Harley Street Clinic, Hifu Skin Clinic, Medical Express Clinic, Harly Medical Foot and Nail Clinic, Harley Street Fertility Clinic, Sonoworld Diagnostic Services, The London Women's Clinic and The London Clinic, Harley Street Life Coaching[3][4][5][6]

It has been speculated that doctors were originally attracted to the area by the development of commodious housing and central proximity to the important railway stations of Paddington, King's Cross, St Pancras, Euston and, later, Marylebone. The nearest Tube stations are Regent's Park, Great Portland Street and Oxford Circus. Harley Street has also been featured in many films and television programmes.

Land ownershipEdit

Harley Street is part of the Howard de Walden Estate.

Notable occupantsEdit

Many famous people have lived or practised in Harley Street, including the Victorian Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, the artist J. M. W. Turner, and the speech therapist Lionel Logue. Queen's College, founded in 1848 and one of the oldest girls' schools in England, is situated on Harley Street.

Fictional referencesEdit

In Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925), medical professional Sir William Bradshaw lives on Harley Street.

In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1813), the Dashwood sisters, Lucy Steele, Mrs Jennings, Edward Ferrars, and others spend some of their free time there while in London.

P.G. Wodehouse's Sir Roderick Glossop, the “nerve specialist", was said to maintain a practice on Harley Street.

Dr. Janet of Harley Street is a novel about a woman doctor published in 1894 by Dr. Arabella Kenealy.

In Agatha Christie’s The Secret of Chimneys (1925), Lord Caterham ruefully mentions that his doctor advised him to “avoid all worry. So easy for a man sitting in his consulting room in Harley Street to say that.” Earlier in the book, a surgeon in Harley Street is mentioned among names listed in a phone book.

In Agatha Christie's Death in the Clouds (1935), Dr. Bryan, one of the passengers and suspects of the murder, is a Harley Street physician.

In Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (1938), murder victim Dr Edward Armstrong is a Harley Street physician.

In Agatha Christie's Crooked House (1949), Edith de Haviland visits Harley Street.

In Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" (1898), the wealthy uncle at the beginning of the work apparently has a house on Harley Street.

In the movie The Revenge of Frankenstein, Dr Victor Frankenstein aka Dr Franck after his brain transplant begins his medical practice on Harley Street W

In John Banville's The Untouchable,[18] Victor Maskell visits his doctor and is told "I should have thought you had died already, in a way." ... which is "not the kind of thing you expect to hear from a Harley Street consultant, is it."

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Street stories - Harley Street". www.marylebonevillage.com. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Harley Street" in Christopher Hibbert; Ben Weinreb; John Keay; Julia Keay. (2008). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd ed.). London: Macmillan. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-230-73878-2.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ History of Harley Street at Harley Street Guide (commercial website)
  4. ^ Alisha, Ali (14 July 2013). "Psychological Therapy in London". London: Harley Therapy Clinic. pp. 7–8. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2016. Counselling Approaches
  5. ^ "IVF Clinics | Fertility Clinics | The London Women's Clinic London". www.londonwomensclinic.com. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  6. ^ "9 Harley Street | Healthcare Centre | 9 Harley Street". www.trinitypr.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b Henry Benjamin Wheatley; Peter Cunningham (24 February 2011). London Past and Present: Its History, Associations, and Traditions. Cambridge University Press. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-1-108-02807-3.
  8. ^ "Wilkie Collins in Harley Street". www.wilkie-collins.info. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  9. ^ Grantly Dick-Read
  10. ^ a b David J. Apple (2006). Sir Harold Ridley and His Fight for Sight: He Changed the World So that We May Better See it. SLACK Incorporated. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-55642-786-2.
  11. ^ Modern English Biography: Containing Many Thousand Concise Memoirs of Persons who Have Died Between the Years 1851-1900
  12. ^ "Historical plaques about Lionel Logue Open Plaques".
  13. ^ "Sir Charles Lyell Facts, information, pictures - Encyclopedia.com articles about Sir Charles Lyell".
  14. ^ G. Androustos. Illness and Death of the Kaizer Fredrick III (!832-1888), The tremendous impact on politics. Journal of BUON 7: 389-395, 2002
  15. ^ Christopher Hibbert; John Keay; Julia Keay (23 March 2010). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4050-4925-2.
  16. ^ "The Turner Society".
  17. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 59. Oxford University Press. 2004. p. 503. ISBN 0-19-861409-8.
  18. ^ Banville, John (1997). The Untouchable (1st Vintage International ed.). Random House. p. 168. ISBN 0-679-76747-9.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°31′14″N 0°08′52″W / 51.5206°N 0.1477°W / 51.5206; -0.1477