Pickering Place, St James’s

Pickering Place, St James’s

One of London’s literal hidden gems, Pickering Place (reportedly the smallest square in town) is passed by, by thousands of Londoners and tourists every year, and it’s easy to see why, with the entrance to the court being only a few feet wide. However, if you happen to stumble into Pickering Place, it’s well worth a 5 minute visit. In the 1730’s, the houses in Pickering Court, as it was known then, were built by William Pickering, son in law of the grocer owners at the entrance to the court, the shop in question now being home today (as it was then) to Berry & Rudd Ltd, the oldest wine merchants in London, who have been trading since 1698.

Pickering Place Courtyard

For a small square there’s certainly a lot of history packed into this tiny area, for example during the 1840’s the Republic of Texas to the court of King James, had its legation (embassy) in Pickering Place. The square became infamous for it gambling dens, bear baiting and a place of many duels.  Infamous Georgian “dandy” Beau Brumell, was thought to be one of those to have had a duel here.

 

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