The Beadles

Burlington Arcade

The original shopping mall dating back to 1819, the Burlington Arcade was designed by Samuel Ware “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public.” It was commissioned by Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington and owner of the adjacent Burlington House, as a safe place for his wife and other genteel folk to shop, though he was allegedly also fed up with neighbours throwing discarded oyster shells (the era’s most popular ‘fast food’) into his gardens. It opened with 51 independent boutiques across 72 units, selling luxuries like hats, gloves and jewellery, with shopkeeper dwellings on the upper level, and had the first public electric lamps in Britain.

The Arcade was guarded by Beadles recruited from Lord Cavendish’s regiment, the 10th Royal Hussars. The Beadles continue to wear Victorian-inspired uniforms today, and are the oldest and smallest police force in the world.

Discover the History of the Burlington Arcade

200 years of luxury retail.



The Burlington Arcade is located within walking distance of some of London’s - if not the world’s - finest hotels. Click through for our recommendations of the best places to stay in Mayfair.

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The Burlington Arcade’s enviable location at the juncture of Mayfair and St James put it a stone’s throw from a number of London’s most historic and unique attractions.

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