Hamilton Place - initially Hamilton Street - came into being at the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the person of Charles II.
Charles granted James Hamilton, a ranger of Hyde Park and later groom of the bedchamber, a corner of land which had been excluded from Hyde Park when it was walled. A street bearing Hamilton’s name (which eventually became Hamilton Place) was constructed from Piccadilly
to the park wall but the houses on it were small with none of the elegance which later came to be associated with the area.
Towards the end of the 18th century, by which time Hamilton’s lease had been acquired by others, the houses in Hamilton Street were said to be “in a ruinous condition and intended to be removed.” They were replaced by a row of houses with a view over the park. Plans were then produced to build three new houses on Piccadilly
to make a symmetrical group. Those surviving (141–144 Piccadilly
) were demolished in the early 1970s, at the same time as 2–3 Hamilton place, to build the hotel InterContinental.
The architect Thomas Leverton (who also planned Bedford Square) was mentioned as a surveyor to the Hamilton Place scheme and he is referred to as the builder “acting on his own plans. Documentary evidence shows that Leverton designed 4 Hamilton Place in 1807 for his client, the 2nd Earl of Lucan, who took up the lease in 1810.
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, Hamilton Place was not separated by a busy, wide Park Lane
from Apsley House
. A row of buildings, many of them public-houses, stood between the two. Next to Apsley House
stood, up to 1797, a noted inn, the Pillars of Hercules.