Chenies Street, WC1E

Place Name

Takes its name from the Buckinghamshire village where since 1556 local landowners the Russells, dukes of Bedford, also titled Barons Russell of Chenies, have been buried. Chenies Manor House had been held by the Cheney family (hence the name) since 1180 before passing successively to the Semark and Sapcote families, and then on to John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, in 1526. Though they held it for several centuries, the Russells soon abandoned the house as their main seat in favour of Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. They already owned Covent Garden, London by the time they acquired Bloomsbury in 1669. This area was in the west of the estate and remained fields up until the late 18thCentury which is when this street was laid out, its eastern end appears and is named on Cary’s map of 1795. Before its development, Cox’s Garden was at the eastern end of the site, which can still be seen on Horwood’s plan of 1792 – 9. Camden History Society says that the street was substantially rebuilt in the later part of the 19thCentury, and then had a mixture of traditional and progressive establishments. Much of the north side was rebuilt in the 20thCentury. 

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