Paddington and Lisson Green about 1800

Penfold Street was re-named after George Sandby Penfold, the first rector of Christchurch
(1825-8) but it was also a strangely suitable name. In the eighteenth century, before the openning of the new road, the villages of Paddington and Lissing were set among farms, well manured by the thousands of cattle which passed through each year on their way to slaughter at Smithfield. Hyde Park and the farms near Edgware Road were used as final fattening fields. The different flocks and herds were driven into separate penfolds, which are long narrow pens with a gate at each end. One gate was opened and the animals followed each other in a line, with the natural leaders at the front. There the animals were free to graze for the night. In the morning the further gate was opened and the animals were driven along the New Road to Smithfield.

Haydn in Lisson Grove

Haydn came to London in 1791-2 and 1794-5. He lodged at 18 Great Poultney Street, Golden Square. Although he was received with acclaim, he longed for the peace of Vienna because the noise of the traffic made it difficult for him to compose.

Haydn had agreed to write an opera for Gallini for £300, six symphonies for Solomon, with £200 for the copyright of these works, and £200 for 20 other compositions, so he needed somewhere peaceful to work.

pic29aHe decided to leave Great Poultney Street and in 1791 he moved to Lisson  Grove. At this time the area was still delightful countryside. In Lisson Grove a farmhouse faced on to Lisson Green and backed onto a nursery garden and the cricket ground. An old print dated 1770  shows a pond, a pump, fences, etc. Marion M. Scott, who wrote an article called 'Haydn in England' in the Musical Quarterly, 1932, was convinced that this is where Haydn lodged from May until August 4th 1791 and where he wrote his last (unpublished) symphony. In August he left Lisson Grove, perhaps because the property had just been sold in lots. This was shortly before Lisson Grove was engulfed with houses in the years between 1800 and 1820.

The Toll House on the New Road at Marylebone


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Updated February 3, 2011