This bird’s eye view of St James’s Square in the King's Topographical Collection looks towards York Street and St James’s Church, with King Street on the left and Charles Street on the right. St James’s is a central district in Westminster, developed from the seventeenth century as an exclusive residential enclave for the aristocracy, many of whom were courtiers at the royal palace of St James. A sense of the area’s refined urbanity is communicated. Genteel figures promenade leisurely across the Square and carriages can be seen circuiting it. The elegant townhouses on the north, east, and west sides of the Square were amongst London’s most desirable and fashionable properties. The view was drawn and engraved by Sutton Nichols as part of a series entitled London Described; or Perspective Views and Elevations of Noted Buildings.
- Article by:
- Alison O'Byrne
- Town and city
In the 18th century, a whole range of works catered to new arrivals in London. Alison O’Byrne explores how these works – including guidebooks, pocket maps, and views of the city – offered different kinds of topographical information to enable visitors to find their way through the streets of the capital.