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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Mrs Montagu's Chimney Sweeps
The location of The Feast of the Chimney Sweeps
Location: Portman Square, Marylebone
Description: Here, at the north west corner of Portman Square once stood (note the grim building there today) a fine mansion owned by a social reformer Mrs Montagu.
Mrs Elizabeth Montague ((2 October 1718 25 August 1800) made Portman Square famous for one reason - chimney sweeps.
In 1790 her four year old nephew was kidnapped and unbeknownst to anyone forced into a gruesome chimney sweeping racquet. When Mrs Elizabeth Montague's chimney sweeper was due, she recognised her nephew and rescued him from a terrible childhood.
In gratitude and probably some guilt she set up an annual 'Feast of the Chimney Sweeps' every May 1st on the velvety lawns of her mansion here in Portman Square.
The building was destroyed in world war 2 and replaced with the current tower/retail/office complex.