Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lowndes Place , Belgravia

Lowndes Place has to be one of the nicest streets in Belgravia. It runs north to south off Chesham Place and contains several magnificent houses.
No. 2 on the west side has an attractive yard in front of it, with small trees and plants.
Opposite stands Lowndes House, a very imposing mansion with a porticoed entrance and elaborate carvings on the fa├žade.
No. 6 on the east side is very pretty. It has a small box hedge in front. It is built on two storeys with a basement. The second floor has an attractive slate facing.
Nos. 8 and 10 comprise a semi-detached building on two storeys, with a raised ground floor over a basement, and an exceptionally wide frontage. No. 8 is known as Lowndes Cottage. It is notable for its two sets of curved steps up to the front door.
The Lowndes estate, which was just to the east of the Grosvenor Estate, was owned by the Lowndes family, who were originally from Buckinghamshire. The creator of the estate was William Lowndes, who became Secretary of the Treasury. He bought the land in 1723. In the 1820s, his grandson, William Lowndes, was spurred into developing the land by the developments the Grosvenors were carrying out to the east and south.
In Mediaeval times this land had belonged to the Abbots of Westminster and it was a small wood where the monks cut their firewood. By the time of Charles II, it was a public garden, visited by Pepys.

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