The Royal Arcade
The Royal Arcade is a wonderful shopping arcade in the heart of London’s Mayfair.
Built in 1879, this arcade is smaller than the nearby Burlington Arcade and provides a connecting walkway between 28 Old Bond Street with 12 Albemarle Street.
This elegant, Victorian space houses retail outlets selling fine silverware, art, bespoke shoes and high-end chocolate.
As can be seen from the original signage above, the arcade was originally titled “The Arcade”, but after the shirtmaker H.W. Brettell was patronised by Queen Victoria, the arcade was renamed as the “Royal Arcade”.
William Hodgson Brettell opened his Shirtmakers in the Arcade in 1880 (aged 24) and occupied number 12, which is now (at the time of writing) in use by Ormonde Jayne.
What shops were in the Arcade in the 1880s?
Looking at business directories from the time, we can see that the following businesses occupied the Arcade:
- 1 The Arcade – Hill & Co (Hairdressers)
- 2 The Arcade – Duclos Alfred (Confectioner)
- 3 The Arcade – Mrs Ellen Turner (Artificial Florist)
- 4-7 The Arcade – Sleight Chas – (Oriental Dealer)
- 8 The Arcade – Durrent Frederick (Heraldic Stationer)
- 10 The Arcade – John Latha, (Boot maker)
- 12 The Arcade – May & Brettell (Shirtmakers)
- 13-14 The Arcade – Pitman & Son (glass stainer/decorator)
- 15 The Arcade – Smith & Sons (Umbrella makers)
- 16 The Arcade – Edward Goodyear (Court Florist)
What shops are in the Royal Arcade now? (2010)
- 1-2 Royal Arcade – Charbonnel et Walker
- 3 Royal Arcade – Simon Griffin Antiques
- 4 Royal Arcade – Royal Arcade Watches
- 5 Royal Arcade – Angela Hale
- 6 Royal Arcade – BM Meyrowits
- 7 Royal Arcade – William Weston
- 8-11 Royal Arcade – Camper Shoes
- 12 Royal Arcade – Ormonde Jayne
- 13 Royal Arcade – George Cleverly Bespoke Shoemakers
- 14 Royal Arcade – Shah Newsagents
- 15 Royal Arcade – Galerie Besson
- 16 Royal Arcade – Petley Fine Art
The Royal Arcade’s freehold is owned by a Natwest-run charitable trust in the name of Reginald M Phillips, who was a Brighton based property developer and philanthropist. Phillips was an award winning stamp collector who donated his collection to the nation.
The leasehold for the Royal Arcade is currently owned by Bluston Securities Limited.
The Royal Arcade, with its stunning ceiling (see below), is a must-see for any visitors to Mayfair.