Friday, August 29, 2008

Wilton Place , Belgravia

It could be argued that Wilton Place is really in Knightsbridge. However, it is also the northern access to Belgravia and runs into Wilton Crescent.
Houses are mainly built on 5 storeys with a semi basement. The houses on the west side of the street were built as individual projects by various builders, starting in the 1820s.
No. 27 is unusual with a large three foot ivy hedge in front of the area leading to the front door, instead of the usual ground floor railings. No. 28 is a particularly impressive double-fronted building.
On the western side there is a small access to Kinnerton Street and on the eastern side is the Berkeley Hotel built in 1971, which has a swimming pool at roof level with a sliding roof above which can be opened on hot summer days.
‘Grey de Wilton’ was a family name of the Wilton family. The first Marquess of Westminster married into the Wilton family in 1794 when he married Lady Eleanor Edgington. Lady Eleanor was the daughter of the first Earl of Wilton.
Wilton Place was built in 1825 to connect Belgravia with Knightsbridge, before Grosvenor Crescent existed. St Paul's Church is by Thomas Cundy the Younger and was built between 1840 and 1843. The Victorian Vicarage is at No. 32. The surrounding houses were built in the 1840s. At the north end of the street are some brick-faced houses built even before Thomas Cubitt arrived to create Belgravia.
The Berkeley Hotel was built in 1971. The houses on the site were pulled down to make way for it. Previously it had been at a site for a barracks of foot guards which was knocked down in 1840.
Sir James Macdonnel, who played a crucial role in the Battle of Waterloo (d. 1857), lived at No 15. George Bentham, a botanist (d. 1884), lived at No 25.

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