Friday, August 29, 2008

Wilton Row , Belgravia

Wilton Row was originally called Crescent Mews but later acquired the Wilton name. ‘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 Row was built in 1828-1830 and was designed as a service road for grander neighbouring streets. 'The Grenadier' public house was built at the same time. Legend has it that it was originally an officers' mess, but it was in fact built as a public house from the start. The sentry box outside was no doubt bought later to support the legend.
It is a quiet mews entered through a gated entrance on the eastern side of Wilton Crescent. Just inside the mews is an attractive white wooden and glass 'sentry box' with just enough room for a small seat inside.
Just inside the news Nos. 1-3 are fairly recent but good quality brick houses on three storeys with a semi basements. They fit in well with the surrounding older houses.
The mews then curves round north becoming cobbled. On the western side the buildings are mainly three-storey brick houses with garages. On the eastern side the buildings are two storeys with painted first floors, some with double garages. There is then a branch on the eastern side leading into a triangular shaped courtyard consisting of mews houses with room for a few cars with attractive shrubs and plants around the central street lamp. The setting is quite delightful. No. 24 on the East Side is a particularly attractive double-fronted white house with black window boxes, a pitched roof and a round window at the top level. No. 21 has an unusual window protruding over the first floor at the front.
Back in the main mews one then comes to the historic Grenadier Pub with an original pub front from around 1830. It is supposed to be haunted. It has an attractive sentry box next to it. Beyond the Grenadier there is a 15 Walk ft wall separating the mews from the neighbouring St Paul's Church with several tall trees which fit in well.
The end of the mews is a cul-de-sac, although there is a small passage at the side of the Grenadier Pub which leads to Old Barrack Yard.
Despite its proximity to Knightsbridge the mews is unusually quiet.

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