Hollen Street, W1F


Allen Hollen, the 18thCentury builder, who along with Paul Dufour and a carpenter called John Meard was responsible for developing Hollen Street, Dufour’s Place, and Meard Street on the Pulteney estate. The street was laid out from 1715-1716, when prominent British Whig politician Sir William Pulteney, whose family had held the land since 1690, leased it for development. By that time much of the area had already been developed, but the houses were irregular and poorly built. The remaining vacant plots appear to have been developed haphazardly. Dan Cruickshank in Soho explains: “This lack of foresight on the part of the Pulteney family, and the failure of adjoining streets to collaborate when laying out their lands as streets, alleys and building plots, is still apparent in the street patterns of east Soho. The building fabric of the Pulteney estate consisted largely of houses along the east side of Wardour Street and along a series of narrow streets, alleys and courts leading east off Wardour Street but with few of them continuing directly to the adjoining Dean Street on the Portland and Pitt estates. Indeed, many of these minor thoroughfares terminated abruptly at the estate boundary.” At first the street appears to have been called Holland Street, as seen on John Rocque’s 1746 map of London, though by the time Richard Horwood published his plan in 1792 it had become Hollen Street. Before it was acquired by the Pulteneys the land had been part of an estate surrendered by the Abbot and Convent of Abingdon to King Henry VIII in 1536 as part of the king’s land grab against the Catholic Church.


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