A Close Up on Eaton Square in Belgravia

Written on 2 April 2019 by Courtney Manton in Property News


With immaculate white stucco houses, impressive pillars and tidy black railings, Eaton Square is possibly London’s most exclusive prime real estate address – it frequently tops the list of its most expensive too.

Eaton Square Belgravia

Not only is it situated right in the middle of desirable Belgravia, SW1, but residents can also benefit (by separate arrangement) from access to its beautiful private gardens with tennis courts.

Built almost 200 years ago, Eaton Square is the centrepiece of the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate, with a fascinating history that has seen it house Prime Ministers and nobility, film stars and the occasional oligarch.

It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the square that the influencers of every age have chosen to live here – and its terraces bear the blue plaques of former well know residents to prove it.

Technically an oblong, Eaton Square was built around its six private gardens. Its elegant terraces are classical in style, often with hidden mews behind the houses. While the properties were all originally townhouses, most are now divided into individual apartments – and it’s worth noting some have short and mid-term leases.

Eaton Square is the ultimate prestigious address, so despite the price tag, demand for property here is consistently high. It is also located close to other prestigious areas such as Sloane Square, Grosvenor Square and Chester Square.

So, if you can see yourself following in the footsteps of Nigella Lawson, Baroness Thatcher, Laurence Olivier and even James Bond – read on for everything you need to know about Eaton Square.

A bit of history

Eaton Square is one of three squares built by the Grosvenor family. It is named after Eaton Hall, a Grosvenor country house in Cheshire.

Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, commissioned Georgian London’s legendary master builder, Thomas Cubitt to develop the square, along with swathes of Belgravia and Pimlico.

It was the perfect location. King George IV had decided to make Buckingham Palace his home and would travel along the private Kings Road towards Kew or Hampton Court. Eaton Square was a convenient stopping-off point, highly advantageous to anyone who wanted the ear of the monarch.

Eaton Square was always home to the upper classes, but pre-World War II it didn’t have quite the cache of Mayfair and Belgravia’s grand areas such as Belgrave Square, Grosvenor Square or Park Lane.

During the Second World War, it housed the headquarters of the Belgian government-in-exile and after 1945, Eaton Square stood out for remaining almost completely residential, while similar streets would be turned into international embassies and office buildings.

Some houses are still undivided, however, much of the square was converted into flats and maisonettes by the Grosvenor Estate, while ensuring that the exterior appearance of the square remained unaffected. Most of the freeholds still belong to the Grosvenor Group, and the present Duke of Westminster has his own London home in the square.

Famous residents

Eaton Square has been home to its share of politicians, including British Prime Ministers Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain. Baroness Thatcher also resided in the square in the years before her death.

Celebrity power couple of their day, actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh lived here for a time and there is also a strong connection with 007 – the fictional James Bond had a home in the square, as did the actors who played him; Roger Moore and Sean Connery.

More recent well-known residents include Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, Roman Abramovich, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Petra Ecclestone.

Types of properties and prices

Whilst the exterior of the buildings have maintained their grand facade, most of the insides have been converted into flats and maisonettes.

These properties range from 60 sq m one-bed flats to 1,200 sq m grand houses, with the occasional magnificent mansion spread over 6 floors and all available to buy or rent on both long and short lease agreements.

Over the past year, properties in Eaton Square had an overall average price of £3,519,000. However, in 2018 the average sold property price was over £7,500,00, representing a 54% drop in prices from its 2018 peak.

This means that properties in the square currently represent great value; therefore, there has never been a better time to buy and invest in one of the world’s most exclusive neighbourhoods.

The gardens

Eaton Square’s Grade II-listed private garden is divided into six main enclosures spanning 2.5 hectares. With lofty plane trees, ornamental shrubs, formal lawns and quiet seating areas, the garden is a tranquil retreat available for use by residents. There is also a tennis court – and dogs are allowed, subject to obtaining a licence.

Eaton Square gardens

St Peter’s church

At the east end of the square is St Peter’s church. Classical in style, it was designed by the architect Henry Hakewill during the first phase of Eaton Square’s development in the 1820s. It features a six-columned portico and clock tower.

Eaton Square School

Independent Eaton Square School in Belgravia is a co-educational pre-prep and prep school for ages four to 11. According to the Independent Schools Inspectorate, “the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.”

Eaton Square Senior and Sixth Form School accommodates 11 to 18 years old’s, preparing and educating your children for life and a highly successful future.

Places to eat

There are numerous world-class dining opportunities within easy reach of Eaton Square – with Michelin stars aplenty.

  • Zafferano, has been serving sophisticated Italian cuisine for more than two decades.
  • Try The Dining Room, in the luxurious five-star hotel, The Goring, for Michelin Star classic British food and effortless service. There is also the Goring Cocktail bar for a glass of champagne or an extraordinary cocktail.
  • Petrus by Gordon Ramsay promises flawless modern interpretations of classic flavours at his Michelin starred fine dining establishment in the heart of Belgravia.
  • Contemporary Michelin starred Indian restaurant, Amaya serves bite-sized taste sensations straight from its gourmet grill.
  • Celebrity hang-out, Motcombs specialises in carefully-sourced seasonal game, meat and fish and has a downstairs bar with live jazz.
  • For more relaxed gastropub fare, try the Thomas Cubitt pub – named after the master builder himself.

Upscale bars

Within easy walking distance or just a tube stop away you have an enviable selection of upscale bars serving a range of high-end cocktails and drinks.

Eaton Square Bar – This is a stylish bar and kitchen, serving some of the best cocktails and drinks in Belgravia alongside DJs and live music.

New York Bar – This world-renowned bar is located at the Rubens Hotel and is well known for its dramatic red décor, rare artwork and welcoming atmosphere. With a combination of great service, live music, inventive cocktails and even gin-tasting masterclasses, it truly is a great place to chill out with friends or family.

How to get to Eaton Square

If you are looking to visit the square to look around or view a property, then it is within easy walking distance of several tube stations and even a main train station.

The nearest stations to Eaton Square are:

  • Sloane Square which is only a 5 min walk away.
  • Victoria underground, train and coach station are all around an 8 min walk away.
  • Hyde Park Corner is a 12 min walk away.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about the properties for sale in Eaton Square, as well as what you need to know about leasehold enfranchisement, please contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable team who will be happy to help you.

For in-person expert advice and view or portfolio, then you can visit our offices which are located just around the corner from Eaton Square in Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9PG.

Courtney Manton

Courtney is a Chartered Surveyor, the senior partner and owner of the Best Gapp group.

His special talent honed over the last 30 years is winning. Winning for his many clients.

Winning a Leasehold Enfranchisement case, winning a negotiation to sell or buy, winning a lower rent at review, winning a planning permission to enhance value, winning trust.

All articles by Courtney Manton

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