Radio London: Handels Past
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Radio London: Handels Past

The site of spectacular society parties and Handels music.


You can see the decorative lamp outside this BBC building on the pavement, it signifies the location of a long-gone pub called the Rose Tavern.

This pub was one of the biggest society draws from the late 18th century. Through the pub here you could gain entrance to Marylebone Gardens, a popular pleasure resort.

Samuel Pepys had visited them in 1668 with some young ladies and by the 1760s Dr Arne and Handel were writing music, mainly songs, to be performed there.

The Gardens were also well-known for their spectacular fireworks. They show up very clearly on John Rocques map of London of 1746.

English painter William Hogarth became famous with a series of moralistic paintings entitled A Rake's Progress (pictured). The painting shown here, The Rake at the Rose Tavern, is part of that series and was painted in 1735. It is in the Sir John Soane Museum.

Location: 35-36 Marylebone High Street, London