As a destination on the British version of the Monopoly board, Marylebone station is a familiar name, but even those living in London might not know exactly where it is. Marylebone is an area of the city, bounded approximately by Oxford Street to the south, Regent's Park to the north, Regent Street to the east and Edgware Road to the west.
The area is named after the parish church of St Mary-le-Bone, whose name is a contraction of 'Saint Mary by the Bourne'. Bourne itself is a contraction of the name 'Tyburn', a river that now runs fully underground, from Hampstead to the Thames. The only road in Marylebone that doesn't run in a straight line is Marylebone Lane, which originally ran along the river bank. If you stand in Oxford Street, somewhere near Selfridges, you'll notice that you are at the bottom of a dip in the road. This is the river valley, and if you observe similar dips in roads you can follow the river's progress to the Thames and watch it pour out of a concrete pipe near Vauxhall.
There are those who claim that Marylebone is still a village, despite its being in central London. This is a view held mainly by elderly people and tourist guides; however, there is one piece of evidence for this theory. If you go into the Golden Eagle pub on the corner of Marylebone Lane and Bulstrode Street, everyone will stop talking and turn around to look at you1. You know that you have been accepted as a Marylebone local when the tables turn and it's you who stops talking when a stranger enters the pub.