Belgravia lies in the City of Westminster and the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea with large swathes being owned by The Grosvenor Estate. It is one of the wealthiest districts in the world and hosts a variety of understated but expensive luxury property in Prime Central London.
Belgravia was developed back in the 1820’s when, in 1824, wealthy landowning aristocrat Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster commissioned building contractor Thomas Cubitt to develop the area. Norfolk born Cubitt designed and constructed grand terraces featuring fine stucco fronted houses leading to the focal points of Belgrave and Eaton Square.
Rather like Mayfair, following the Second World War the large residential houses became vacant and commercial organisations took them over, leading to embassies and charitable concerns occupying the properties and eroding the residential aristocratic character of the district. Gradually during the 21st Century, there has been a return to converting more of these properties back to residential homes. Currently, the level of ‘super rich’ owners in Belgravia is at its highest since 1939. The likes of Charles Saatchi, the art collector, oligarch Roman Abramovich, former James Bond actors Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore, are all present day residents.
What London property buying agent, Simon Barnes at H. Barnes & Co wants in Belgravia…
“What I’d like are the keys to a nice big flat in Belgravia. The flat should be on the top floor, so nice and bright, ideally on two floors, so there is a feeling of space, in a wide street, with good wide buildings so the floors and the rooms are big and bright plenty of space to relax and entertain in and space for big furniture and big art, the flat should have about three bedrooms, enough for me, plenty of clothes a small office and the occasional guest, not to big otherwise you’ll never get rid of your guests! A kitchen that’s big enough to eat my takeaways in, or cook the occasional meal with a great wine fridge and a dishwasher. Ideally the flat should have a lift directly into the flat, so I don’t have to meet the neighbours. The perfect flat would be, 6 Upper Belgrave Street, available to rent for £4000 per week.”
Five things you didn’t know about Belgravia
- Before being developed and built on, Belgravia was a humble swampland called Five Fields; as a main exit route out of the city, it was favoured by bandits and vagabonds and considered highly unsuitable for the gentry and respectable people.
- Queen Victoria rented number 36 Belgrave Square for her mother. This was considered to be a royal seal of approval for the square.
- The late Lord Lucan lived at number 46 Lower Belgrave Street, Belgravia
- The late Baroness Thatcher lived in Chester Square.
- In Downton Abbey Lady Rosamund Painswick, sister of Lord Grantham, lives in Belgrave Square.
- The Grenadier Pub in Wilton Row, Belgrave Square is one of London’s most haunted pubs. The story goes that an 18th century officer was caught cheating at cards. He was flogged to death and it is claimed that his ghost still roams the pub keeping an eye out for devious punters and unexplained puffs of cigar smoke and poltergeist activity have been spotted.