Humble Beginnings of the Most Prestigious Medical Community in London 

Housing a selection of world-renowned clinics, Harley Street is the epicentre of private practice. London Urologica charts how a Marylebone backwater rose to acclaim.

Harley Street and Edward Harley

Harley Street began in 1713 when Edward Harley married Henrietta Cavendish Holles, daughter of the Duke of Newcastle. They entrusted architect John Prince to redevelop the 92-acre Marylebone backwater Henrietta had inherited. The result was an attractive grid of beautifully proportioned townhouses. Edward, who died in 1741, didn’t live to see much development made on the street. Around a decade later, construction began at the southern end, and the opening of Marylebone Road in 1756 signified gradual progress north.

The modest properties of Wimpole Street blended with the grand Portland Place mansions constructed by the likes of the Adam Brothers and John Nash, which became known as the Portland Estate. And Harley Street was in the heart of it.


In the early days, professionals occupied the townhouses of Harley Street. Smart society then moved to Mayfair and Belgravia, and specialists began to arrive throughout the 19th century. 

 Florence Nightingale resided at number one; Sir Joseph Lister, who pioneered work on antiseptic surgery, occupied Park Crescent, along with Sir Frederick Treves, who treated Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. 

 By 1873 there were 36 doctors. After that the numbers increased quickly. There was space for consulting rooms and living quarters in the elegant buildings.

In 1932, The London Clinic was opened by the Duchess of York, accompanied by the Duke of York who later became King George VI. Ever since, the hospital has been dedicated to pioneering healthcare.

As Marylebone became more urbanised and transport links more proficient, doctors moved to the verdant parts of town rather than living above the surgery. This triggered the expansion of various tenancies – and Harley Street’s status as the international centre for private practice was sealed.

Today, there are more than 5,000 specialists working in the Harley Street Medical Area. Under the landlord of the Howard de Walden Estate, 21st century facilities are installed in the historical townhouses, 18 of which are Grade II* Listed.

Harley Street’s Leading Urology Specialists

Based at 145, London Urologica is located in the centre of Harley Street’s medical legacy. Our private Urological specialists offer a first-class, state-of-the-art approach to medical care, along with a personalised plan. Please call +44 (0)20 7935 5606 to speak to our team to discover more and book an appointment.

Appointment enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3944 1073 Concierge service: +44 (0) 203 219 3323 Self-Pay service: +44 (0) 203 918 7301International office: +44 (0) 203 219 3266 Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708 General enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3918 9135

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