Close Up: Belgravia

Written on 4 April 2014 by Alistair Boscawen in London


Wondering what's in it for you if you move to this district of west London? We hardly know where to start…

Elizabeth steet, BelgraviaBelgravia is one of the most sought after areas of Central London, with property purchasers clamouring to snap up a home in this upmarket part of the UK capital. And with prices soaring exponentially, no wonder so many see it as a great place to invest in too. Belgravia is found with Sloane Street to the West, Knightsbridge to the north, Pimlico Road to the South and Grosvenor Place and Buckingham Palace Road to the East. A very quiet area, Belgravia is well served by public transport – with easy access to Sloane Square, Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge and Victoria. The area’s also got great London bus connections.

Let’s have a look at the history and the benefits of living in this remarkable part of London…

In Brief

The name Belgravia was originally applied as a nickname to Belgrave and Eaton Square and the streets around them. One of the Duke of Westminster’s subsidiary titles is Viscount Belgrave, with the village of Belgrave actually just a couple of miles from the Grosvenor family’s main country seat of Eaton Hall in Cheshire. To this day, much of the property in Belgravia is owned by the Grosvenor Estate.  Initially, the majority of the area was owned by Richard Grosvenor, who had it laid out and developed by Thomas Cubbitt. Cubbitt was a leading master builder, involved with Pimlico and Eaton Square too. He was the son of a Norfolk carpenter, who subsequently set up a successful building firm in 1810 on Gray’s Inn Road, using a more up-to-date system of employing all of the trades, with him managing projects.

Belgravia Properties

belgraviaBelgravia is famous for its grand, elegant, 19th century white stucco houses. The majority of streets and mews are quiet and residential, with many properties having access to garden squares, which are very quiet; despite being in the city centre. Unlike other, now upmarket parts of London, Belgravia has always been highly fashionable and well known for its well heeled and aristocratic residents. After World War II, some of the biggest houses stopped being used as townhouses for country gentry and aristocracy and instead were converted to embassies, charities and professional institutions. However, more and more these houses are being reconverted to residential use, as offices in old houses are not as sought after as they used to be.

Things to do

The best thing about living in Belgravia is the location, as you can get easy access to a large range of cultural experiences as well as a range of luxury shops, cute cafes and great restaurants. Art lovers will find plenty of opportunities to pick up fantastic pieces in the area, as there are galleries and antique shops on well known streets such as Pimlico Road and Motcomb Street. As well of this, the Tate Britain is a mile or so away in Pimlico.  If you’re looking for big brands, try Beauchamp Place, King’s Road, Piccadilly, Bond Street and Oxford Street. If you’d rather something a bit more personal, you can pick up great hats at Philip Treacy, stunning gowns at Jenny Packham and try Allegra Hicks for interiors.

The Belgravia Squares

As mentioned previously, Belgravia represents London’s most sought-after addresses. This exclusive part of London boasts the UK capital’s most famous streets and squares. Examples are: Belgrave Square; Eaton Square; Lowndes Square; Chester Square; Motcomb Street; Elizabeth Street and Upper Belgravia Street.

Keep posted for our next article which will go more in-depth about Belgravia’s luxury garden squares – don’t miss out for more insight into this fabulous part of London.

Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen

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