The Grosvenor family spotted a lucrative opportunity when Kind George IV decided to make Buckingham Palace his permanent residence in 1825. Richard Grosvenor commissioned architect Thomas Cubitt to build an areas of exclusive residences, and his grand classical designs have survived to be some of the most fashionable in London. Many of the UK’s richest residents have their London homes located here.
The area has been home to many famous former residents including, by happenstance, the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming as well as two notable actors who depicted the James Bond character, Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
After the world wars, death duties and the servant shortage forced most of the nobility out of the area and many of the houses were converted into embassies and academic institutions. However, the Grosvenor Estate maintained strict control of the building work in order to maintain architectural integrity, even specifying the exact shade of magnolia that houses have to be painted.
As a result, when the world's super-rich began to adopt London as their international headquarters, Belgravia was their preferred location, especially Belgrave Square, Eaton Square and Chester Square.
The grand houses that had become offices began to be converted back into homes. Suddenly the splendid interiors were used for entertaining again, and the enormous spaces available were adapted for modern life such as media rooms, gyms, swimming pools and secure parking. Many of the houses still have the mews house behind, originally built to house the carriage and horses but now invaluable as a garage and staff accommodation.
The new residents of Belgravia are attracted by the location, just west of Buckingham Palace. It is convenient for Westminster and the City, and also practical for Heathrow and the private airports at Northolt and Farnborough.
Belgravia is characterised by the grand terrace of houses that overlook Eaton Square and Belgravia Square. They are white stucco front properties with four or five storeys many of which have been converted into desirable maisonettes and apartments some remain as they were first built circa 1827 as complete houses. There are several lateral conversions which run across one or two buildings providing the much sort after space on one level. Both Eaton Place and Eaton Square back onto pretty mews properties some of which are still linked to the main house providing very substantial properties with parking.
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