Sometimes it is the beautiful cobbles that catch the eye. Other times, it might be the window-boxes or the peace and quiet in the heart of the city. You do not have to spend too long in central London before stumbling across a mews house that makes our capital so special.
It all goes back to the time when the owners of those grand properties relied on horse-drawn transport rather than cars to get around the capital. And so an extensive network of stables and accommodation for grooms and ostlers sprang up across central London in the 18th and 19th centuries.
By the mid-20th century, the mews had outlived their usefulness but – typical of the way a great city re-invents itself – gained a new lease of life as properties that were the epitome of cool.
In classic Swinging Sixties movies such as Alfie, starring Michael Caine, a mews house was the perfect setting for his London lifestyle. There was nothing lavish about a mews house, just a pretty property within easy reach of Chelsea, Portobello Road or the streets of Belgravia. Local residents sashayed happily over the cobbles.
In the 21st century, mews properties may not quite embody hipster heaven in the way they used to, but they have become some of London’s most desirable homes. In 2015, the mews property near Hyde Park which had originally been owned by Sir Michael Caine, came on the market for £5 million.
“We are always thrilled when we get the chance to market a mews property, like the one on Relton Mews in Knightsbridge, just around the corner from Harrods,” says James Bailey, Chief Executive of Henry & James. “We are also marketing a two-bedroom property in Eccleston Mews, Belgravia, with planning consent for a single-storey basement.”
Buyers who are familiar with London history, are often fascinated by these properties. And with so many fabulous mews houses across the capital, their appeal is clear. They boast all the benefits from having your own front door and extra privacy, to owning one of London’s hidden gems.
Mews houses have changed over the years, as London has changed. But their rich history, allied to their natural adaptability, explains their enduring charm.
- Relton Mews, London SW7 is on the market for £4,250,000. For more information, visit http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=58FF4820DB347
Eccleston Mews, London SW1X is on the market for £2,950,000. For more information, visit http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=58C12403BB7BF