Pont Street, SW1X

Place Name

Thought to be from the French word pont, meaning bridge, it was built to bridge the River Westbourne, which no longer flows above ground but beneath the streets, in 1830. The name is likely inspired by the distinctly French flavour Knightsbridge had from around the late 18thCentury when, during the course of the French Revolution, many members of French nobility fled to England and made London their temporary home. Houses to accommodate them sprang up rather quickly, and in order to make them feel more at home, streets were given French sounding names. The émigrés had their favourite places and amusements. Nearby Hyde Park, representing all that was green and healthy about London, was a favoured destination for walks, the green of the park breaking the gloom of the narrow streets of Soho and Mayfair. Prior to its development this area had been fields.





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