Monday, September 1, 2008

Grosvenor Crescent Mews , Belgravia

Grosvenor Crescent Mews is a little oasis of tranquillity off the busy thoroughfare of Grosvenor Crescent in the north-eastern corner of Belgravia. The mews takes its name from The Grosvenor family. Belgravia is part of the Grosvenor Estate which also includes much of Mayfair. One version of the name story is that the family were descended from one of William the Conqueror's nephews, whose nick-name was 'the Great Hunter' or, in French, 'Gros Veneur' - Grosvenor.
It is one of the most secure locations in Belgravia. There is an arched entrance in classical Palladian style (although built in 1990). The electrically operated metal gates built in 1996 use the Grosvenor wheat sheaf design. There are security cameras and a small 'sentry box', but the security man would need to be uncharacteristically thin.
Inside, is a cobbled mews with an attractive little courtyard at the end. Seth Smith built Nos. 1-10 from about 1836 onwards. Thomas Cubitt built Nos. 16 and 17 in about 1852. Most of the houses date from around 1870 and were built with yellow brick.
No. 22 is an interesting house with a decorative plaque on the first floor fa├žade. No. 28 is a charming house with a terrace at the first floor level and a garden next to it. At the end of the mews is a very attractive but unnumbered grey house covered in creepers, with a locked gate in front. Just as you enter the mews, there is a small side branch, also lined with mew houses, but not so attractive as the main mews.
17 new homes were very recently created by the Grosvenor Estate behind the original facades of some of the houses and these are larger than traditional mews houses.

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