Why Is There No Such Thing As Bond Street?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 22 months ago

Last Updated 03 August 2022

Why Is There No Such Thing As Bond Street?
You can Google Bond Street all you want — it's not there. Photo by Past London in the Londonist Flickr pool

It's known as a mid-range Monopoly property, a tube station that's about to be plugged into the Elizabeth line, and as the place where flush oligarchs go to bid on sparkly things they don't really need.

The thing is, Bond Street doesn't actually exist. Finished spitting out your tea? Let us explain.

What do you mean Bond Street doesn't exist?

Check Google Maps. Central London has an Old Bond Street and a New Bond Street, but no Bond Street.

So why do people think Bond Street does exist?

There's a Bond Street station, a Bond Street Association, and a whimsical Bowie song called Maid of Bond Street. In fact the area is widely known as Bond Street — it's just not technically called Bond Street, and hasn't been for centuries.

Bond Street DID exist then?

Briefly, yes. Construction on Bond Street — owned by and named after Thomas Bond, who'd later give his family motto to a James Bond film — began in 1686. As The Regency Redingote explains: "The original Bond Street was about two hundred yards long, running from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens".

At the beginning of the 18th century, work on New Bond Street — continuing Bond Street's north west trajectory — began. The new street was built in two stages, and reached Oxford Street in 1720. By then, Bond Street had become Old Bond Street. But the well-to-do residents and patrons of the area still preferred to remember the two streets simply as Bond Street.

So London doesn't have a Bond Street then?

Although THE Bond Street of central London fame doesn't technically exist, London does have two Bond Streets — one off Chiswick High Road, the other, a pleasant enough but rather uneventful cul-de-sac in Forest Gate. As far as we know, neither has an auction house or a song by a legendary musician named after it.

Image from Google Maps