The new seventh Duke of Westminster Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor, previously known by his honorary title Earl Grosvenor, inherits around 300 acres of land in Belgravia and Mayfair following the death of his father Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor.
Belgravia can be traced back to the Grosvenor family’s acquisition of the 430-acre Ebury Farm in the 17th century, after Sir Thomas Grosvenor married the heiress Mary Davies in 1676.
It was another 150 years before the development began of Belgravia as we know it today. In 1825 a deal was clinched between Lord Grosvenor and the builder Thomas Cubitt, and for a while Belgravia was dubbed “Cubittopolis”.
Leasehold reform has meant that many freeholds on the Grosvenor Estate have been bought by individual buyers. However, the estate still exerts control of the external appearance of the terraces and squares through a special “scheme of management”, and in Eaton Square the estate only grants leases of under 20 years, which cannot be enfranchised.
One of four siblings, the new Duke is a former student of countryside management at Newcastle University.
He now works as an account manager for bio-bean, a green technology company that recycles coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.
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