Wilton Crescent, SW1X

Road in/near Knightsbridge, existing between 1825 and now

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Road · Knightsbridge · SW1X ·
JANUARY
11
2018

Wilton Crescent is notable for its affluent and politically important list of residents, present and historic.


Wilton Crescent was created by Thomas Cundy II, the Grosvenor family estate surveyor, and was drawn up with the original 1821 Wyatt plan for Belgravia. It was named at the time of Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton, second son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster on whose estate the road was built in 1825.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was home to many prominent British politicians, ambassadors and civil servants. Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979) lived at 2 Wilton Crescent for many years, marked today by an attributive blue plaque. Akin to nearby developments, Wilton Crescent is characterised by grand terraces with lavish white houses which are built in a crescent shape, many of them with stuccoed balconies, particularly on the southern part of the crescent. The Portland stone-clad, five-storey houses toward the north are high and were refaced between 1908 and 1912 via architects Balfour and Turner. Most of the houses had originally been built in the stucco style, but such houses became stone-clad during this renovation period. Other houses today have black iron balconies.

Wilton Crescent lies east of Lowndes Square and Lowndes Street, to the northwest of Belgrave Square. It is accessed via Wilton Place which connects it to the main road in Knightsbridge. Grosvenor Crescent is to the east, which contains the Indonesian Embassy. Further to the east is the back of Buckingham Palace and London Victoria station. In 2007, Wilton Garden in the middle of the crescent won a bronze medal from the London Gardens Society.

There are two diplomatic buildings in Wilton Crescent: the High Commission of Singapore at No. 9, and the Embassy of Luxembourg at No. 27 (formerly home to the Luxembourgish government-in-exile).

The 50 buildings, some subdivided, forming the headline Wilton Crescent addresses are listed at Grade II. The crescent is split into three terraces of lengthy proportion buildings, plus 31 which forms a terrace with 1-15 Grosvenor Crescent, plus 32 and 33 which face the opposing side of a brief continuation of the eastern broad link into Belgrave Square which form a terrace with 1-11 Belgrave Square. The western broad link into Belgrave Square is however termed Wilton Terrace, split into 1-3 Wilton Terrace and is of identical date, style and proportions.


Main source: http://www.grosvenorlondon.com/getattachment/our-customers/Residential/WALKING-IN-BELGRAVIA.pdf
Further citations and sources


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Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge was originally a small hamlet, between the villages of Chelsea (Chelsey), Kensington (Kensing town) and Charing. In the time of Edward I, the manor of Knightsbridge appertained to the abbey of Westminster. It was named after a crossing of the River Westbourne, which is now an underground river.

Knightsbridge is notable as an ultra-expensive residential area, and for the density of its upmarket retail outlets. Fourteen of Britain's two hundred most expensive streets are in the district.

Knightsbridge is leafy, especially considering its location at the heart of London. It is home to many of the world's richest people, and has some of the highest property prices in the world. In February 2007, the world's then most expensive apartment at One Hyde Park, sold off plan for £100,000,000, and was bought by a Qatari Prince, and another apartment at the same place in February 2009, of almost the same price was bought by an Afghani Prince.

The principal landowners in the area are the Duke of Westminster and Earl Cadogan. The two areas of aristocratic landholdings can be distinguished: red-brick Queen Anne Revival buildings are mostly to be found on the Cadogan Estates, whereas white stucco-fronted houses are mostly found on the Grosvenor Estate, built by Thomas Cubitt.

Knightsbridge station opened on 15 December 1906 by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line). When opened, the platforms were accessed in the standard manner by four lifts and an emergency staircase connecting to parallel passageways and bridges to midway along the platforms. The original station building designed by Leslie Green was located on Brompton Road a short distance west of its junction with Knightsbridge and Sloane Street.
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