Victorian London - Districts - Streets - Park Lane 

  From Piccadilly towards the north, and along the whole breadth of Hyde-park is Park-lane, with its charming houses built in the villa style, and similar to those of Brighton, for they have irregular fantastic balconies, rotundas, and verandahs.. In Brighton these contrivances facilitate the view of the sea ; here they help to a view of the park. Palace-like in their interiors, and filled with all those comforts which in English houses alone can be found in such beautiful harmony, and yet so unassuming, they do not, by their exterior, overawe the passers-by with the wealth of their inhabitants. Formerly this street was Tyburn-lane. The very name reminds one of hanging and quartering. At the present day, Park-lane, and all the streets around it, are the head-quarters of wealth and aristocracy. Plate-glass windows - powdered footmen - melancholy stillness -heavy carriages waiting at small doors - no shops, omnibuses, or carts-in cold, rainy, winter nights, perhaps here and there a woman and her child half-naked, and more than half-starved, crouching down in some dark corner. Such is the character of this part of the town, where, among old walls and green squares stand the most splendid houses of the aristocracy; and which, with few interruptions only, extends to the regions of Bond-street.

Max Schlesinger, Saunterings in and about London, 1853