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The St John's Wood Society’s history stretches back to 1956 when a group was originally set up to counter a threat to the character of the local area.

In 1956, there was a huge outcry when St Marylebone Council attempted to replace St John’s Wood’s Victorian lamp-posts with up-to-date but unsympathetic street lighting.

A public meeting was organised and the St John’s Wood Preservation Society was set up. After a two-year struggle and a petition signed by 3,000 local residents, the Council admitted defeat and installed modern lighting which was more in keeping with the period charm of St John’s Wood.

In 1963, developers set about destroying good quality, as well as bomb-damaged, houses in Loudoun Road. In response to this, the St John’s Wood Society was reconstituted under the chairmanship of the late Stephen Potter. In 1967, under the Civic Amenities Act, the Society was instrumental in the listing of many buildings and the designation of the St John’s Wood Conservation Area - the first such area in London and the second in the UK.

Changes that are unsympathetic to the style and character of the neighbourhood are still being resisted by the Society and our voluntary committees continue to positively influence outcomes. Today, the Society is a charity, recognised by Westminster City Council as a respected consultative body representing the views of local residents on transport, tree preservation and all local planning applications.

With grateful acknowledgements to St John's Wood: An Abode of Love And The Arts by Stella Margetson.

Today St John’s Wood's vibrant heritage is celebrated by the St John's Wood History Group. Historical research, photographs and personal memories are documented on their website, St John's Wood Memories, which brings the fascinating history of the area to life.

Useful Links/Reading


St John's Wood History Group:                                                                         
St. John's Wood Memories

Principal land owners:                                                                                           
John Lyon's Charity

Eyre Estate: 020 7722 2207

St John's Wood: An Abode of Love and The Arts by Stella Margetson

Cottages and Villas by Mireille Galinou

© 2021 St John's Wood Society

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