Our Top Historic London Streets
Hans Road, London SW3 £8.25m
Burton Mews, London SW1W £5.95m
Elystan Place, London SW3 £2.2m
Wilton Terrace, London SW1X £3.5m
Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 £2.25m
Kensington Square, London W8 £7m
Park Walk, London SW10 £1,200p/w
Queen’s Gate Terrace, London SW7 £650p/w
Where have they come from and where do they go? Every street has a tale to tell, a journey to reveal. Some are well documented, some whisper it quietly in their architecture and design. We find streets with interesting histories, and dream homes (for sale or to rent) where you could become part of London’s rich history.
Sir Hans Sloane gave his name to several streets across south west London. He was an 18th century doctor who amassed a huge collection of objects from around the world and later bequeathed them to the nation. His collection laid the foundations for the British Museum. Sloane was president of the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians. You will find statues of Sloane in both the Chelsea Physic Garden and in Duke of York Square. He also invented drinking chocolate. Opposite Harrods, purveyor of every sort of chocolate, this lateral apartment in Hans Road has three bedrooms. It has superb period plasterwork, hardwood flooring and huge windows.
Mews cottages started out as the stables and coach houses at the back of the grand and elegant town houses at fashionable London addresses. The old cottages are full of charm, character and history. Nowadays, the mansions may well be positioned on busier roads, but the mews cottages are tucked away in the back streets, making them peaceful locations. That’s true of this one just off South Eaton Place. The house has three bedrooms, a garage and private parking.
King’s Road was a private royal road used by King Charles II to travel to Kew. In the 1960s it became synonymous with “hip and happening” swinging London. The shops that sprang up then – such as Malcolm McLaren’s boutique – helped to put King’s Road on the map. Today, the road is still a magnet for shoppers with Anthropologie, Peter Jones, William Yeoward and Designers Guild. This three-bedroom flat in a modern block just off King’s Road still has a trendy vibe and comes with underground parking.
Elystan Place: http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=561E358B78463
Belgrave Square was laid out in the 1820s by Thomas Cubitt, for Robert, Earl Grosvenor, an ancestor of the current Duke of Westminster. Another title held by the duke is Viscount Belgrave, taken from a village close to his Cheshire country seat, Eaton Hall.
Wilton Crescent was created by Thomas Cundy II, who was the estate surveyor to the Grosvenor family in the early 19th century. The crescent is a gentle curve of grand terraces, stone facades, with matching first floor balconies. It’s currently home to the High Commission of Singapore and the Luxembourg embassy, but many politicians have lived here in the past. Nearby, in Wilton Terrace, this two-bedroom flat is on the second floor of a similarly elegant building.
Wilton Terrace: http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=PS93633
Cadogan Square was built in the late 19th century and was named after Earl Cadogan. The Cadogan family can famously walk from Peter Jones to Harrods without stepping off their land. The houses are mainly red brick and five or six storeys tall, with Flemish gables and ornate first-floor balconies. This two-bedroom flat in Cadogan Gardens, just south of the square, has huge windows and a timeless style. It also has walnut herringbone flooring, high-tech lighting and a heating system.
Cadogan Gardens: http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=53D104E73B613
This residential garden square dates to 1685 and, as such, is one of the oldest in London. The owner, Thomas Young, wanted to build “large and substantial” houses. The communal gardens were laid out in 1698. On the market is this five bedroom family home in the square, with views over and access to the gardens. It’s rare to find a complete building like this for sale. It has a magnificent double reception room on the first floor, and an apartment on the lower ground level, which could be incorporated into the rest of the house.
Kensington Square: http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=54FDA27CCA538
Park Walk links Fulham Road with King’s Road, Chelsea. In the late 17th century it was lined with elms and known as Twopenny Walk. Raw silk was cultivated in 2,000 mulberry trees in Chelsea Park and the area came to be known as Little Chelsea. This two-bedroom duplex in a smart development is now available to rent. It has underground parking and high-tech sound and heating systems.
Queen’s Gate was known as Albert’s Road until 1859. It was built on land bought by the Royal Commissioners for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park. It’s a wide boulevard, now housing mainly embassies. Just off it lies Queen’s Gate Terrace, a row of white, five-storey terraces with porticoed doors and iron railings. This one-bedroom flat is on the third floor and has views of South Kensington.
Queen’s Gate Terrace: http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=55F006F96EBE8