Archer Street, W1D

Place name

First appears in the parish rate books in 1675, when it is called Arch Street, presumed to be after a long-lost archway on the site or nearby. In about 1720 it appears to have been called Orchard Street, possibly in reference to an earlier orchard when this area was still fields, and is described by John Strype in his Survey of London as “broad, but of no great Account.” By the time John Rocque published his map of London in 1746, by which time most of Soho’s streets had already been laid out, it had become Archer Street. It was built by the building speculator Colonel Thomas Panton who in 1671 was granted a royal license to construct streets and houses in the area of modern Great Windmill Street under the direction of the Surveyor General of the King’s Works, Sir Christopher Wren. Dan Cruickshank in his book Soho explains: “It was part of Colonel Panton’s building enterprise, and in his building petition of 1671 is referred to as the ‘short street leading out of Windmill Street over against Windmill Yard towards St Giles’. Until the 1830s Archer Street was only connected to Rupert Street by a narrow, right-angled passage.”



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